14 February 2017, London: BMC Research Notes, an open access journal from BioMed Central, is returning to its roots with a focus on publishing null results, dark data and micropublishing. The journal will also expand its scope to cover all scientific and clinical disciplines.
The journal is re-focusing on its original mission of accepting submissions for short publications, incremental updates to previous work, results of individual experiments and similar material that lacks a suitable publication outlet. The core belief of BMC Research Notes is that all scientifically sound research has value and should be made freely and openly available to the research community, including those observations which would not be written up as a full research article.
The phrase ‘dark data’ describes research outputs that are not usually considered in traditional research journals. As a result, these research outputs often never see the light of day and remain hidden in researchers’ lab books or buried as some extra data to be considered further one day in the future. There are many datasets, field observations, null results and small experiments, which would potentially give useful information to other researchers but which may never be shared.
Dirk Krüger, Editor of BMC Research Notes, said: “We want to help researchers publish material which would not be published elsewhere, from bite-size results such as single observations, to dark data.”
“Publishing dark data and negative results could lead to a reduction in the duplication of research, the dissemination of fragmented findings, or the publication of null results potentially useful to the research community. We are bringing BMC Research Notes back to its roots with the aim to make dark data and single observations widely available to the global research community.”
BMC Research Notes is also expanding its scope and will now accept submissions from all scientific and clinical disciplines including health sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and all engineering disciplines. All research must be scientifically valid. Articles which will be considered include single observations, replication studies, method validations and null results. The journal will also accept submissions of ‘side data’ that scientists may have collected during their experiments.
Dirk Krüger added: “We believe that all data has value and that being able to publish this material will improve the scientific record. Side data and unused data could be useful to other researchers so it’s important that BMC Research Notes renews its focus on this area and now accepts them for publication across a broader range of disciplines.”
Notes to Editors
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BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Nature.