Jonathan Steven Alexander
PhD, Associate Professor, LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana
"I was impressed by how uncomplicated and fast it was for editors to get articles reviewed and published online. Speed is often essential in scientific publishing. I found that the whole process, both submitting and reviewing was really fast and easy…Hopefully, BioMed Central’s format is the future of scientific publishing."
What is your field of study?
I do research in endothelial biology, the vascular system and teach the cardiovascular system. In particular, my lab works on how capillaries and endothelial cells in the blood and lymphatic vascular systems contribute to the etiology of several inflammatory diseases.
How were you first introduced to BioMed Central?
The first time I came across anything from BioMed Central was when I typed some phrases into a search engine randomly and pulled up articles on the BMC journal - BMC Developmental Biology. After doing some research into the journal and submission process, I sent some articles in. You have to be impressed by how simple and fast it is for editors to get articles reviewed. Speed is often essential in scientific publishing. I found that the whole process can proceed very quickly- even as fast as a 2-3 week turn-around time. Hopefully, BioMed Central’s format is the future for scientific publishing.
What are BMC’s main strengths and weaknesses when compared to traditional publishing models?
I like the arrangement; it is fast, it gets read and it is very widely accessible. When I use BioMed Centrals portal, we can submit many different graphic and text formats. You can also find out the status of up-loaded articles easily. People like finding out the total and recent access statistics for articles as well the ability to get readers comments. Also, contacting editors and getting reviews was fast and clear-cut. I often encourage colleagues to publish in the BMC journals, it is also a relatively inexpensive format for publication.
What are your thoughts on open access publishing?
There is a still a stigma attached to online journals because online journals often don’t have high impact factors yet. The resistance to open access publishing is based on several economic pressures which are still adapting to the technology. It is just satisfying when you can download an article you find interesting immediately wherever you are working, like if you are not at a private network, or somewhere without institutional privileges and licenses. Sending reprints is also so much easier by e-mailing PDFs to colleagues.
Why do you think open access publishing is important?
Very simply, as a scientist, open access just gets the work out the fastest and gives us the widest possible audience.