Supplements – policies

  1. Supplements are special collections of content with a common theme or origin. Supplements can contain meeting abstracts or articles, and can feature article types not normally considered for publication in the main journal.
  2. Sponsorship
    1. Supplements may or may not be sponsored.
    2. Special conditions apply for projects which are sponsored by for-profit organizations.
    3. All sponsorship arrangements must be declared (see sections 5c and 5d below).
  3. Supplements can originate from a variety of sources, and may be commissioned by the journal or by another organization or group. Typically, organizing groups will be conferences, societies, research groups, charities, government or non-government organizations, communications agencies, etc.
  4. Acceptance criteria
    1. Articles and abstracts submitted for publication must be original and should not have been previously published in a citeable format.
    2. The work must contain reliable data, add to the published literature, and be of educational value or represent a professional service to the scientific community.
    3. The work must be balanced, objective, of good quality, and independent. The integrity, independence and reputation of the journal are of prime importance.
    4. All submissions must comply with BioMed Central’s editorial policies.
    5. Supplements solely for promotional purposes will not be considered.
    6. Acceptance or rejection by the Editor(s)-in-Chief/Executive Editor of the journal is solely based on scientific merit. Profitability does not influence editorial decisions.
  5. Supplement requirements
    1. Articles must be formatted according to BioMed Central’s specifications.
    2. Supplement Editors are appointed following consultation with the Editor(s)-in-Chief/Executive Editor of the journal. All Supplement Editors must provide a competing interests statement. Abstract supplements do not require Supplement Editors.
    3. Funding
      Charges apply for all supplements. BioMed Central requires that a statement is made in each supplement to state how the publication costs have been funded.
    4. Declarations
      1. A declaration of sponsorship is included on contents pages online and in the case of supplements sponsored by for-profit organizations, in the individual articles.
      2. Where the publication fee is shared between authors, a statement about the author’s source funding for publication is to be included in the article.
      3. Financial relationships between any of the Editors, authors and sponsors must be disclosed along with any other competing interests.
      4. In supplements which are sponsored by for-profit organizations, where any product of the sponsor is mentioned in an article, a statement to clarify for this for readers must also be included in the Declarations section of the article.
      5. Any payments (honoraria, expenses, etc) made to Supplement Editors, authors or other parties with respect to generation of articles or the supplement must be declared.
  6. The Editor(s)-in-Chief/Executive Editor maintains editorial responsibility for the content of all supplements in their journal, including adherence to BioMed Central’s editorial policies. They retain the authority to reject or request amendments to any article or abstract submitted to a supplement.
  7. Peer review
    1. Articles submitted to supplements are subject to peer review using the same criteria applied to other journal content.
    2. The journal’s Editor(s)-in-Chief/ Executive Editor will decide whether the peer review process is to be administered by the journal or the supplement organizers. Where supplement organizers are responsible for administering peer review, all referee reports and correspondence relating to the process are submitted with the articles for assessment to ensure that the process meets journal requirements.
    3. All supplements funded by for-profit organizations undergo the standard peer review process administered by the journal and overseen by the Editor(s)-in-Chief/Executive Editor.
    4. All final decisions regarding acceptance are the responsibility of the Editor(s)-in-Chief/Executive Editor of the journal.
  8. Abstracts must undergo a review and acceptance process by a suitably qualified group appointed by the conference. A specialist supplement handling team at BioMed Central manages the negotiation of publication terms and handles the production process.
  9. All supplement content is open access.

See our Access to Articles page for further information.

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