An Editorial perspective
Melissa L Norton MD
Editorial Director, Medicine
The basics of Open Access
• No subscription barriers to research
• Journal costs covered by
– Article processing charges
• Typically paid by author's funder/institution, sometimes by the
– Direct institutional support of journal
• All journals
• Archived in PubMed Central, INIST and other
• Searchable and retrievable
• Articles are included in PubMed, Scopus, Google,
• Some journals
• Indexed in MEDLINE, Biosis (all biology titles), CAS
• Tracked by Thomson-Reuters for Impact Factors
Our journal portfolio
• 64 BMC-series journals
– Very broad scopes to cover all areas of Biology and
– e.g. BMC Medicine, BMC Cancer, BMC Genomics
• 130+ independent journals
– Run by external groups of scientists or societies
– e.g. Retrovirology, Molecular Pain, Malaria Journal
• A small number of special ‘hybrid’ journals which
publish OA research, but also publish subscription-
based commissioned reviews and commentary
– Genome Medicine, Genome Biology, Arthritis Research &
Therapy, Breast Cancer Research, Critical Care
The journal pyramid
BMC Research Notes
Citations and downloads
• “Senior authors believe downloads to be more
credible measure of the usefulness of research then
•“Open access articles receive 50% more full-text
accesses and PDF downloads than subscription-access
• Kenneth R. Fulton, PNAS Publisher
How can one judge journal
• Visibility = article accesses, press releases/media
• Audience = scope, published content
• Speed to publication = publication on acceptance,
delays for issues, long embargo/wait periods?
• Reputation ?=? IF, SciMago ranking, rejection rates
– I’d argue these things don’t accurately represent
quality, but what other metrics do we have?
Community opinion is very important
• "Thank you very much for your help editing our paper. Your support has played
an important role in the success of our work. "
Indiana University School of Informatics
Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling
• "My experience was excellent, I was particularly impressed by the thorough
reviews by 3 renowned experts internationally. The article has so far had
>14,000 accesses, i.e. about 55 hits per day since publication."
BMC Public Health
• "Since August 2005, BMC journals have become our lab's favoured vehicle to
establish publication priority. In addition to the smooth review and publication
process, we appreciate the ability maximize the exposure of our findings to
colleagues through PubMed. The ability to monitor the number of accesses to
the articles is a particularly valuable feature."
Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario
BMC Medical Genetics
• "In general I enjoyed working with the staff at Journal of Biology. I have
recommended the journal to all my colleagues."
Baylor College of Medicine
Journal of Biology
• "Wonderful positive experience. Outstanding Editor-in-Chief."
Bijoygarh State hospital
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