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Every peer-reviewed research article appearing in any journal published by BMC is 'open access', meaning that:

  1. The article is universally and freely accessible via the Internet, in an easily readable format and deposited immediately upon publication, without embargo, in an agreed format - current preference is XML with a declared DTD - in at least one widely and internationally recognized open access repository (such as PubMed Central).
  2. The author(s) or copyright owner(s) irrevocably grant(s) to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the research article in its entirety or in part, in any format or medium, provided that no substantive errors are introduced in the process, proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given, and that the bibliographic details are not changed. If the article is reproduced or disseminated in part, this must be clearly and unequivocally indicated.

BMC is committed permanently to maintaining this open access publishing policy, retrospectively and prospectively, in all eventualities, including any future changes in ownership.

BMC has established an independent Board of Trustees. If and when a change of ownership should be considered, the Board of Trustees will be asked to judge and advise whether sufficient guarantees to continue a policy of unconditional open access for research articles are being offered and agreed by any prospective new owner. BMC will not enter into a change of ownership agreement unless the Board of Trustees accepts these guarantees.

Any change in the composition of the Board of Trustees will be subject to approval by a majority of the existing members of the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees consists of the following members:

  • Professor Brian Haynes McMaster University (Canada)
  • Dr E Hyman Harvard University (USA)
  • Professor Marc W Kirschner Harvard Medical School (USA)
  • Professor Philippe Kourilsky Singapore Immunology Network (Singapore)
  • Dr David G Nathan Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (USA)
  • Sir Paul Nurse Rockefeller University (USA)
  • Sir Richard Peto University of Oxford (UK)
  • Dr Harold E Varmus Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (USA)
  • Professor Mitsuhiro Yanagida Kyoto University (Japan)