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BioMed Central's policy for protecting your personal information

Privacy is an important concern for internet users, and is something that BioMed Central takes very seriously. What follows is an explanation of BioMed Central's policy for protecting users' personal information.

What personal information does BioMed Central ask users to supply, and why?

Registration on BioMed Central is optional and voluntary. Browsing and viewing articles on BioMed Central does not require any personal information to be submitted from users. Nor do these functions require the user's browser to be set to accept cookies.

Some other aspects of BioMed Central's service do require the use of cookies, and the supply of information such as name, email etc. This is necessary for security reasons and also for BioMed Central to be able to assure standards of scientific integrity. Users may submit further personal information (e.g. details of research areas of interest) in order to take advantage of present and future personalization facilities on BioMed Central.

In accordance with European Union guidelines, registrants may decline to provide the information requested. They should be advised, however, that BioMed Central may be unable to deliver its services unless at least the information necessary for security and identification purposes is provided.

What further information does BioMed Central track, and why?

In order to offer the best possible service to users, BioMed Central tracks the patterns of usage of pages on the site. This enables us to identify the most popular articles and services. Where users have provided details of their research areas of interest, this information can be correlated, helping BioMed Central to provide a useful service for researchers, offering them the most relevant information based on their areas of interest.

What is BioMed Central's policy on sharing email addresses with third parties?

User information will only be shared with third parties with the explicit consent of the user. If the user has explicitly opted to receive special offer and product information emails from BioMed Central partners, then BioMed Central may from time to time email the user on behalf of these partner companies. However, these companies will not be given the user's details without that user's explicit consent.

What is BioMed Central's policy on emailing its registrants?

BioMed Central may contact registrants from time to time to draw the registrant's attention to information that may be of interest. Members may opt out from receiving such email when registering as a member, or at any time thereafter by responding to such an email or contacting customer services.

What is BioMed Central's policy on using demographic information about users for online advertising purposes?

Support from advertisers is important to BioMed Central's model of free access to research articles. Statistical demographic information about the BioMed Central registrants may be supplied to advertisers. BioMed Central may target online advertising to specific users on the basis of this demographic information, or on the basis of their past behavior on the site, but information about an individual user will not be passed on to an advertiser without the users' express consent.

Access for journalists

Articles on BioMed Central will be published electronically immediately upon acceptance. So, the issue of having an 'embargo' on controversial or publicity sensitive material in the temporal gap between acceptance and publication is not an issue for BioMed Central. Journalists, like everyone else, will have access to published material immediately upon acceptance.

How does this privacy policy relate to authors of research articles published through BioMed Central

Publishing a scientific manuscript is inherently a public (as opposed to anonymous) process. The name and email address of all authors of a BioMed Central manuscript will be available to users of BioMed Central. These details are made available in this way purely to facilitate scientific communication. Collecting these email addresses for commercial use is not permitted, nor will BioMed Central itself send unsolicited email to authors, unless it directly concerns the paper they have published on BioMed Central.

Use of cookies

BioMed Central uses cookies to track usage. For auto login a cookie is sent from our server and is stored on your computer's hard drive.

Session cookies are also sent from our server to your computer and used for session management. However these cookies do not remain on your hard drive on completion of your session.

Cookies are used by BioMed Central to:

  1. Enable us to identify you without having to ask you for username and password.
  2. Measure usage.
  3. Track movement within BioMed Central.

If you do not wish to accept any of these cookies or wish to be notified when a cookie is sent you can modify your browser preferences. If you refuse to accept the permanent cookie that is saved on your computer's hard drive then you will not be able to use the auto login facility. If you choose not to accept session cookies then you may not be able to use all of the facilities offered on BioMed Central.

More information about cookies

Legal responsibilities

BioMed Central reserves the right to disclose registrants' personal information if required to do so by law, or in the good faith and belief that such action is reasonably necessary to comply with legal process, respond to claims, or protect the rights, property or safety of BioMed Central, employees or registrants.

Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns about my privacy?

If you have any questions or concerns about your privacy and BioMed Central please contact our customer services team.