BioMed Central: Freedom of Information for the Science Community

Stevan Harnad harnad at cogito.ecs.soton.ac.uk
Mon Jan 24 08:11:07 EST 2000



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 12:51:48 +0000
From: John Peel <john at biomedcentral.com>
Reply-To: Info <info at ccforum.com>
To: SEPTEMBER98-FORUM at LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG
Subject: BioMed Central: Freedom of Information for the Science Community

BioMed Central - Freedom of Information for the Science Community

A new web initiative for biomedical researchers was announced today by
one of the key players in the web publishing revolution. BioMed Central
(www.biomedcentral.com) will give researchers the tools they need to
publish their data quickly and easily on the web. 'The publishing model
of BioMed Central is different from the current forms of science
publishing,' stated Vitek Tracz, Chairman of the Current Science Group.
'At present, scientific publishers make a large proportion of their
revenue from highly-priced 'archival' journals, which are bought almost
exclusively by libraries. The research reports themselves are
highly-formalized articles whose form reflects the limits of the
printed-paper format. We believe that new technologies can make the
publishing process so much more efficient and flexible in both format
and economic terms. BioMed Central believes that research reports
should:

    1. be published electronically

    2. take advantage of technology to allow more flexible presentation
    of scientific data thereby improving accessibility and use and

    3. be available to all - globally, free and without barriers to
    access'

BioMed Central is currently embarking upon a period of intense
discussion with the scientific community to better understand its needs
and requirements.

As of May 2000 BMC will:

    provide authors with the most effective method of disseminating
    their work by providing specially-designed aids to submission

    use web technologies to speed up the peer review process so that it
    will take days rather than months

    make all articles published through BMC available immediately and
    in full, through the PubMed Central research archive

    allow groups of researchers to publish their own niche journals
    online, servicing a need that would not be commercially sustainable
    in traditional print-based publishing

    publish submitted research provided it has been carried out
    according to accepted scientific  criteria, from the pharmaceutical
    trial to the most fundamental biophysical research

    participate in a parallel pre-print/e-print archive that will be
    closely integrated with the proposed PubMed Express e-print
    archive.

"This is about putting tools into the hands of scientists which will
enable them to publish their research," comments Dr Matt Cockerill, BMC
Technology Director. 'With the technology now available, we can speed
up the process of publication and make it much more efficient. What we
want to do now is get input from researchers into what they would like
to see in this service.

BioMed Central will put the needs of the author and reader back at the
forefront of science publishing'.

BioMed Central is currently under development. It will launch in May.
Authors and groups of researchers who would like more information on how to
use BioMed Central should email BioMed Central at  info at biomedcentral.com

NOTE TO EDITORS

BioMed Central is part of the Current Science Group of companies that
also includes Current Controlled Trials Ltd, Current Drugs Ltd, Current
Medicine Inc., Current Science Ltd, Science Press Ltd and Praxis Press
Inc. The group has corporate offices in London, New York, Philadelphia,
and Tokyo. The Current Science Group has been responsible for the
creation of some of the leading brands in biomedical research
literature including Current Biology, the Current Opinions series and
the world's largest scientific web portal, BioMedNet.

PubMed Central is the barrier-free NIH repository for peer-reviewed
primary research reports in the life sciences. PubMed Central has been
the source of some controversy within the scientific publishing world
as it aims to redefine the economic rules of the industry. It was
proposed last spring by Harold Varmus, M.D., director of the National
Institutes of Health, and his colleagues. Currently under development,
PubMed Central will begin accepting journal articles in January 2000.

Web links
www.current-science-group.com
www.biomedcentral.com
<http://pubmedcentral.nih.gov>





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