Additional files quick reference

Additional files are files containing additional information that supports or expands upon items referred to in the main manuscript.

You are encouraged to provide data sets, tables, movie files, software or other information as additional information. Results that would otherwise be indicated as "data not shown" can and should be included as additional files. Additional files are considered integral to articles published by BioMed Central. There is no distinction between the main article and 'supplementary material'.

What we do with additional files

Type Submit as What we do


Video content can be submitted in AVI, FLV, MPG, MP4, MOV format

If users have QuickTime installed, the video content is played back within the web browser via the QuickTime plugin. The author’s original version is also made available for download. Example.

In the near future, all video content will be converted to a standard format allowing it to streamed within the web browser on all major platforms including mobile. The author’s original version is also made available for download.


Audio can be submitted as WAV, WMA, MP3, AAC or AIFF

If users have QuickTime installed, the audio content is played back within the web browser via the QuickTime plugin. The author’s original version is also made available for download.

Interactive images

Interactive images can be submitted as SVG files or PDFs

These are viewable inline within the article, and as a lightbox in a separate window. Example.

Enhanced PDFs

Enhanced PDFs can be submitted as additional files.

We publish enhanced PDFs, for example, as interactive 3D visualizations.

Chemical equations, structures and reaction schemes

Chemical equations, structures and reaction schemes should be submitted either in a general vector image format (PDF, EPS, DOC or PPT) or alternatively may be submitted in a chemistry-specific format to assist reuse. CDX and TGF (ISIS/Draw) formats are supported

Chemical structures and equations are converted to JPEG and displayed within the article, or may be opened in a separate window. The author’s original file is also made available for download. Example.

Additionally, if you have the Jmol applet is running, a 3D structure will be displayed..

Mathematical equations/formulae

Mathematical equations can included as part of the main manuscript. Using either Microsoft Word’s equation editing tools or TeX allows equations to be converted electronically, avoiding markup errors. This is preferable to embedding equations as images, or submitting as a PDF/DVI file.

Equations are embedded in the article XML using MathML, and are displayed in the web browser using MathPlayer (for IE) or MathJaX (for other modern browsers). Benefits of MathML include the ability to zoom equations, and to cut-and-paste equations into other applications which support MathML such as MathCAD, Mathematica, Maple. Example..

General Datasets

BioMed Central supports general datasets up to 20MB. For larger datasets we recommend the use of a suitable dataset repository service. Many BioMed Central journals encourage or require public deposition of supporting data.

Linking to supporting data on a personal or laboratory homepage is strongly discouraged due to the lack of permanence and reliable citability of such links.

We encourage authors to share data in a standard format to facilitate reuse. The BioSharing catalog provides an extensive list of suitable data exchange formats relevant to life sciences. For tabular data, we recommend easy-to-reuse formats such as CSV or XLS rather than PDF.

All datasets are made available for download as supplied by the author.

In the future, we aim to add support for full text search of additional files, and we are investigating the potential of the combination of multiple dataset types using standard such as ISATAB.

BioMed Central is keen to add support for the display of additional dataset types within the web browser. If there is a particular dataset type and visualization tool which you think we should support, please get in touch!

Virtual slides

One BioMed Central journal, Diagnostic Pathology, supports high-definition virtual microscopy slides. If you wish to include virtual slides in your manuscript please indicate this in your cover letter when submitting to the journal.

Virtual slides are scanned and made available as zoomable high-definition images, hosted on the Leica Microsystems website. Links to the virtual slides are inserted at the end of the corresponding figure legends, in both the HTML full text article and the final PDF version. More information. Example.

Geographic data files

Geographic data can be submitted in KML/Google Earth format.

As well as being made available for download, for users with the Google Earth plug-in, KML files are displayed in the browser. Example.

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