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Open access

Open access publishing allows free distribution of and access to published articles. The author retains copyright of their work with a Creative Commons attribution licence, so all articles are made freely available to the widest audience possible.

The benefits are:

  • All articles are free to read, copy, distribute, and use (with attribution)
  • Author retains copyright - not the publisher
  • Complies with self-archiving mandates

Time for change

Fifteen years ago, the business model for scientific publishers was to charge users to view the articles they published.

This subscription-based model was contrary to the interests of authors, funders and the scientific community as a whole, and prevented full use of emerging digital technologies.

It was also becoming unsustainable; increasing amounts of research were being published, whilst library budgets remained static.

BioMed Central's open access publishing model changed all that.

The BioMed Central way

We introduced article-processing charges (APCs) to cover the cost of the publication process, allowing readers free and immediate access to the research articles.

This move put the author at the heart of the publishing process; publishers had to compete to provide the best service at the best price. By coupling the cost of publication to research budgets, APCs also ensured that the journal publishing system could scale to cope with an ever increasing volume of research.

This innovative approach to scientific publishing continues today, and is at the heart of everything we do.