|BioMed Central, Ltd. has announced that this year over 1,000 scientists
have submitted their research papers to the journals published by BioMed
Central, the publishing company committed to free and unrestricted access
to peer-reviewed scientific research articles.
Established as an alternative to the current publishing model, BioMed
Central believes that subscription-based access to research is hindering
rather than helping scientific communication. The company's core belief
is that all research findings in medicine and biology should be freely
accessible to all, and that a successful science publishing operation can
be built by providing subscription-based information services (reviews,
alerts, analysis, database subscriptions) to the scientific community.
The support for BioMed Central from scientists has grown rapidly in
the past year, gaining praise from the scientific community. Marc W. Kirschner,
head of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, said:
"BioMed Central promises to deliver all primary research without financial
and copyright barriers and deserves all our support. Free access to research
and the right to distribute work among colleagues and other contacts will
allow scientists the freedom to participate in a truly worldwide community
The recently confirmed acquisition of Harcourt General by Reed Elsevier
has further contributed to the disquiet within the scientific community
both about the levels of profit and the control that the commercial sector
is exercising over the market.
The academic library community has reacted positively to this new venture.
Paul Ayris, chair of the Scholarly Communications Task Force for the Consortium
of University Research Libraries (CURL), said, "Traditional models of publishing
are changing fast, and research libraries should welcome BioMed Central's
efforts to tackle the academic, financial, and technological challenges
in forging new modes of scholarly discourse."
The frustration of scientists with the status quo is also expressed
in the recent statement issued by the Public Library of Science advocacy
This statement is effectively a call to arms to scientists to boycott publishers
who refuse to "grant unrestricted free distribution rights to any and all
original research reports that they have published, through PubMed Central
and similar online public resources, within 6 months of their initial publication
date." [For more on this effort, see Robin Peek's Focus on Publishing column
BioMed Central not only satisfies these demands but is also revolutionizing
the way in which biological and medical research is communicated. Research
is typically published within an average of 35 working days and is lodged
immediately at the PubMed Central repository. This means that all articles
can be permanently archived, opening access to an audience of millions
across the globe.
BioMed Central is part of the Current Science Publishing Group, which
has been a leading scientific publisher for the past 15 years and has been
responsible for founding a number of scientific journals and innovative
products, such as The Current Opinion Journals, BioMedNet, Investigational
Drugs Database, and Current Biology.
For further details about the research papers published at BioMed Central,
go to http://www.biomedcentral.com.
Source: BioMed Central, Ltd., London, 011-44-20-7323-0323; http://www.biomedcentral.com.