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Supplements and collections

Table of Contents


Our journals welcome inquiries about publishing supplements. Supplements are usually based on a common theme or originate from a conference or workshop. Our system is fast, simple and personal; we aim to publish your supplement within 8-10 weeks once it has entered production.

Types of content considered:

  • Research
  • Reviews
  • Reports
  • Guidelines
  • Consensus meeting results
  • Conference proceedings papers
  • Meeting abstracts
  • Others - let us know what you need

We provide:

  • Publication in well-respected, peer-reviewed journals
  • Exposure to BioMed Central’s international audience
  • Open access immediately on publication
  • Indexing in major databases, including PubMed for most journals. See our indexing page for further information
  • Permanency - deposit of articles in PubMed Central and/or other mirror databases
  • Peer-review processes to ensure that content meets journal standards. See the Supplements - policies for further information
  • Online publication as PDF and full text. Other formats are available including print, eFlipbooks, USB etc.
  • Competitive pricing
  • Metrics available at article level (accesses, Altmetric scores, etc.)
  • Specialist Supplements team at BioMed Central to support and guide your project from initial inquiry to publication and beyond

Take a look at an example of an abstract supplement and an article supplement.

Supplement Inquiry Details

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If you are interested in publishing a supplement, please either complete our online inquiry form or contact us with a brief description of the supplement including the following information:

Where does the collection come from?

If it is not from a conference, how did the project originate?
If the project is linked to a conference, please provide:

  • The conference name, place and dates
  • A link to the conference website
  • A brief summary of topics and keynote speakers

About your submission

  • Which journal would you like to publish in? (see our list of journals)
  • How many articles/conference abstracts will be submitted?
  • How long will each article/conference abstract be?
  • When do you expect to submit the content?
  • Are there any publication deadlines?
  • Are printed copies or other formats required?
  • What type of articles are they? Research, reviews, reports, conference abstracts, etc.
  • What review process do you propose?
  • Who will the Supplement Editors be?
  • Is there any other useful information such as provisional article titles, authors etc?

Funding/declarations

How will the supplement be funded?  Is there sponsorship? Will the conference cover the publication costs? Will the costs be divided among the authors?

Please see our supplements policies.

Find out more about our production processes.

If you are unable to find the information you need on these pages, please email us

Production processes

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Once we have full details of your inquiry, approval in principle for the supplement is sought from the Editor of the relevant journal. Where approval is granted, we will quote for online publication and any other required formats. At this stage we also provide instructions for authors and guidelines for organizers. Articles must be formatted according to specifications in these instructions. 

We ask that one person from the organizing group acts as the main contact for the project to liaise with us and the authors. A project manager from our supplements team will be assigned as the main contact throughout the publication process.

Organizer and author guidelines for abstracts are available here

Organizer guidelines for articles are available here, and instructions for authors here.

Accepted articles undergo assessment and checks by BioMed Central and the journal, and once formatting is complete, articles move into production. Authors are then asked to check their online proofs and supply corrections if required.Production time is usually around 8 – 10 weeks; faster options may be available for time-sensitive projects.

Supplement policies

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  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
    • a. Supplements may or may not be sponsored.
    • b. Special conditions apply for projects which are sponsored by for-profit organizations.
    • c. 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
    • a. Articles and abstracts submitted for publication must be original and should not have been previously published in a citeable format.
    • b. 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.
    • c. The work must be balanced, objective, of good quality, and independent. The integrity, independence and reputation of the journal are of prime importance.
    • d. All submissions must comply with BioMed Central’s editorial policies.
    • e. Supplements solely for promotional purposes will not be considered.
    • f. Acceptance or rejection by the Editor of the journal is solely based on scientific merit. Profitability does not influence editorial decisions.
  5. Declarations
    • a. 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.
    • b. 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.
    • c. Financial relationships between any of the Editors, authors and sponsors must be disclosed along with any other competing interests.
    • d. In supplements 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.
    • e. 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 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
    • a. Articles submitted to supplements are subject to peer review using the same criteria applied to other journal content.
    • b. The journal’s 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.
    • c. All supplements funded by for-profit organizations undergo the standard peer-review process administered by the journal and overseen by the Editor.
    • d. All final decisions regarding acceptance are the responsibility of the Editor of the journal.
    • e. Supplement Editors are appointed following consultation with the Editor of the journal. All Supplement Editors must provide a competing interests statement. Abstract supplements do not require Supplement Editors.
  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. 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.

If you are unable to find the information you need on these pages, please email us.

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