Re: BioMed Central and new publishing models

From: Marvin <physchem_at_EARTHLINK.NET>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 09:55:48 -0500

There are glaring questions about this proposal.

The notice mentions the NIH system, but doesn't say whether it is part of it
or a competitor.

The notice speaks of peer review. Who will do the reviews, and by what

I could certainly find more to question, but I'll wait to hear the answers
to these two .

----- Original Message -----
From: John Peel <>
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2000 7:51 AM
Subject: Re: BioMed Central and new publishing models

> 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
> ( 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
> use BioMed Central should email BioMed Central at
> 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
> <>
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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