Publishing in BioMed Central’s journals


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Ruth King, Journal Publisher, BioMed Central speaking at Open Access Africa 2010

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  • What I am going to cover today:
    About us and the different types of journals we publish.
    What I think is important in journal publishing, covering peer review and how we get the publications to the right audiences.
    Some of this relates to being open access – some of it doesnt
  • Started with big ambitions and a big message.
    Have put a lot of work into getting our message out and into helping people to understand open access.
  • Aim to cover all important subject areas – with a range of types of journals
    To do that we start new journals, acquire existing jnls that are interested in our services and we develop the scope of journals.
    Some journals under editorial control of BMC. Some published by BMC with editorial control elsewhere.
    Some journals have links to or are owned by societies.
    BMC Medicine = Broad in scope, flagship journal. Looking for articles of outstanding quality, broad interest and special importance.
    BMC Infectious Diseases = Relatively broad scope, aims to be inclusive. coherent and sound work, provided the research constitutes a useful contribution to the field
    Malaria Journal = Right journal at the right time. Specialised. Published by BMC, Under the editorial control of Marcel Hommel who sets the interest level.
  • Journals that span subject areas but with a specific aim.
    JMCR = consider any original case report that expands the field of general medical knowledge.
    Authors are encouraged to invite the patient to contribute to the case report — each article can include an optional ‘Patient's perspective’ section, where the patient describes their experience of the disorder and treatment.
    Trials = Specific Randomised Controlled Trials and more general discussion around why and how they are conducted. Registration of trials. Trial protocols.
    BMC Research Notes = scientifically sound research across all fields of biology and medicine. updates to previous research, software tools and databases, data sets, small-scale clinical studies, and reports of confirmatory or 'negative' results. Additionally the journal welcomes descriptions of incremental improvements to methods as well as short correspondence items and hypotheses.
  • Encouraging journals to offer transfers. Something could be rejected from GB just on interest level, would be suitable for BMC Genomics.
    Service for authors, preventing them from starting the whole service again and saves burden on reviewers. Portability of peer review review statement for reviewers:
    if a manuscript is not accepted for publication in Genome Biology and the authors choose to submit a revised version to another BioMed Central published journal, we will pass the reviews on to the other journal's editors at the authors’ request. We will reveal the reviewers' names to the handling editor for editorial purposes unless reviewers let us know when they return their report that they do not wish us to share their report with another BioMed Central published journal and/or that they do not wish to participate further in the peer review of this manuscript.
  • Fair, Efficient, Friendly
    We survey authors at submission and upon publication, asking them about the different aspects of our service – feedback helps us to shape what we do.
    Providing authors with a good service so that they return, is key.
  • Peer review not perfect and different ways of doing it suit different disciplines.
    Some of our journals use open peer review, where the reviewers names are revealed to the authors. Reviewers comments are published alongside the article.
    If nothing else, everything is transparent to the reader.
  • We ask authors and reviewers to declare any competing interests in relation to the work.
    A competing interest exists when your interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by your personal or financial relationship with other people or organizations. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests but also any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment were they to become public after the publication of the manuscript.
    Author contributions: state each authors input into the article and that all authors have read and approved the final draft.
  • Biology Direct offers a novel system of peer review, allowing authors to select suitable reviewers from the journal's Editorial Board; making the peer-review process open rather than anonymous; and making the reviewers' reports public, thus increasing the responsibility of the referees and eliminating sources of abuse in the refereeing process.
    The journal will publish "essentially anything", even papers that receive three unanimously negative reviews, the only conditions being that three Editorial Board members agree to review (or solicit a review for) the manuscript and that the work qualifies as scientific (not pseudoscientific as is the case for intelligent design or creationism) – and, of course, that the author wants his/her paper published alongside the reviews it receives.
    limiting the number of times any two individuals may appear as an author-reviewer pair.
  • We operate within a wider framework with the same principles
    COPE is a forum for editors and publishers of peer-reviewed journals to discuss issues related to the integrity of work submitted to or published in their journals. It supports and encourages editors to report, catalogue and instigate investigations into ethical problems in the publication process…
    Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association: Through a shared interest in developing appropriate business models, tools and standards to support OA publishing, we can ensure a prosperous and sustainable future to the benefit of our members and the scholarly communities they serve.
  • Get indexed in relevant places
    Easier opportunities for promotion nowadays but competing with more information
    Have a presence at whatever is going on: in person, online, exchange
  • Most viewed articles in past 30 days
    Figures given indicate the abstract, full text and PDF accesses on BioMed Central for each article, over the last 30 days. All research articles are also available via the PubMed Central archive, so the total number of accesses to each article is significantly higher. ays
  • Also get cited a lot..
  • to make it simple and efficient.
    Emphasis on free access to data.
  • Answer these questions
  • Publishing in BioMed Central’s journals

    1. 1. Publishing in BioMed Central’s journals Ruth King Journal Publisher, BioMed Central
    2. 2. About BioMed Central  Largest global publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals  Launched first open access journal in 2000  Now publishes >200 OA titles  >80,000 peer reviewed OA articles published  All research articles published under Creative Commons license  Costs covered by 'article processing charge' (APC)
    3. 3. Range of journals
    4. 4. Innovative journals
    5. 5. Peer review cascade High rejection rate Moderate rejection rate Low rejection rate
    6. 6. Peer review “I felt, as an author and as a reviewer, that the peer review process was extremely fair.” Ricardo Z.N. Vencio “Very efficient in reviewing and publishing manuscripts.” Demelash Biffa “I had a wonderful experience with BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. All the crew were very nice to us…..It was a friendly process.” Ade Fatai Adeniyi
    7. 7. Transparency in peer review  Open vs Closed
    8. 8. More transparency
    9. 9. Experiment!  Author selects suitable reviewers from Editorial Board  Published if three Ed Board members agree to review  Open peer review  Reviewers’ reports are public
    10. 10. Framework
    11. 11. Maximum exposure Open access + Indexed PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus … + Promoted Article alerts, Blogs, Twitter, Press release …
    12. 12. Visibility
    13. 13. Open access journals have high rankings in the JCR  Malaria Journal - 2/17 Tropical Medicine  BMC Systems Biology 3/29 Mathematical & Computational Biology  Breast Cancer Research - the 2nd highest ranking breast cancer specific journal
    14. 14. More benefits for authors..  Online submission, electronic peer review and production  Articles published as soon as they are ready  No space constraints: Useful for figures, extensive data and video footage  No charges for colour
    15. 15. Tips for getting published  Ensure that the scientific message is clear and arguments built up logically  Be concise: lengthy discussions and descriptions can distract from the key message(s)  Ensure claims are supported and don’t overstate your findings  Clearly and explicitly state the aims of the study and questions you have addressed  Put your work into the context of the literature: be sure to cite the relevant key references and cite them in the correct context  Pay attention to journal policies
    16. 16. Getting published - title and abstract Your advert to help attract peer reviewers, readers and citations! Be specific and concise Avoid jargon and abbreviations Include keywords Includes detailed and precise info about: - Key aims of the study and why the questions you asked are important - Key methods and materials used - Results presented - Conclusions drawn
    17. 17. Cover letter  What is the scientific question you are addressing?  What is the key finding that answers this question?  What is the nature of the evidence you provide in support of your conclusion?  What are the three most recently published papers that are relevant to this question?  What significance do your results have for the field?  What significance do your results have for the broader community (of scientists and/or the public)?  What other novel findings do you present?  Is there additional information that we should take into account?
    18. 18. Thank you!