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. From 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 pha

Contact: John Peel
BioMed Central

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