Threaded publications – the wait is over
14 Jan 2011
Open access science publisher, BioMed Central, is a long-established advocate of free and complete access to scientific research. This year BioMed Central further encourages transparency in research reporting with the launch of several ‘threaded publications’ initiatives.
‘Threaded publications’ use electronic publishing technology to link content related to a research study or clinical trial and will help scientists, readers and patients find more complete information about a treatment, and should help reduce the potential for wasteful duplication of research efforts . The concept was first put forward twelve years ago in an article co-written by Prof Doug Altman, Editor-in-Chief of Trials; 2011 sees the idea become an actuality.
From January, BioMed Central authors will find seamless links between their trial registration record – in one of four internationally-recognised databases – and trial protocol published in a BioMed Central journal. Any subsequent article reporting the outcomes of the trial that includes the unique trial identifier in the abstract will also be linked.
To encourage participation BioMed Central are offering financial incentives to authors who support the initiatives. Authors who register a clinical trial in the Current Controlled Trials database and have their study protocol accepted for publication in Trials or a BMC Series medical journal will be entitled to a discount on the article processing charge (APC). Authors will also receive a discount on any subsequent article that reports the results of the same trial. Furthermore, a discount on the APC will be given to authors of any medical case report, accepted for publication in Journal of Medical Case Reports, that relates to patients in their published protocol or results article.
Prof Doug Altman comments, ‘This initiative facilitates the publication of a series of linked publications from a single trial beginning with the study protocol and continuing with reports of the resulting research and deposition of the complete data set. Not only will this approach provide greater transparency and a deeper understanding of a particular study, it will also help to counter the growing concerns about research misconduct and allow alternative explorations of the data. We are very happy to be participating in such a scheme.’
A number of BioMed Central journals are experimenting with innovative approaches to publishing data-related publications including Trials and BMC Research Notes. The coming months will see the development of other unique titles and projects, which will later form part of this initiative.
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