Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 7 July/August 2001
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Over 1,000 Authors Submit Research Papers to BioMed Central Journals

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 of scholars."

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 group ( 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 onpage 32.]

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

Source: BioMed Central, Ltd., London, 011-44-20-7323-0323;

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