BioMed Central

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Not to be confused with PubMed Central.
BioMed Central
BioMed Central.svg
Parent company Springer Science+Business Media
Status Active
Founded 2000 (2000)
Founder Current Science Group
Headquarters location United Kingdom
Distribution Open access
Publication types Scientific journals
Nonfiction topics Science
Official website

BioMed Central (BMC) is a United Kingdom-based, for-profit scientific publisher specialising in open access journal publication. BioMed Central and its sister companies Chemistry Central and PhysMath Central publish over 200 scientific journals. Most BioMed Central journals are now published only online. BioMed Central describes itself as the first and largest open access science publisher. It is owned by Springer Science+Business Media. The Managing Director was Matthew Cockerill[1][2] until end 2013.[3]


BioMed Central was founded in 2000 as part of the Current Science Group (now Science Navigation Group, SNG), a nursery of scientific publishing companies. SNG chairman Vitek Tracz developed the concept for the company after NIH director Harold Varmus's PubMed Central concept for open-access publishing was scaled back.[4] The first director of the company was Jan Velterop. In 2002, the company's business model evolved to include article processing charges, and these have since been the primary source of revenue.

Tracz's SNG also publishes The Scientist (a popular science magazine—the daily news section is free access; the remainder is by subscription), Faculty of 1000 (a subscription-only current awareness service highlighting recent biological and medical research), Global DataPoint, Telmap and People's Archive. Other companies that have been part of SNG in the past include Current Medicine Group, which publish medical books, journals, websites and the Images.MD medical image database (both acquired by Springer in 2005), Current Drugs (acquired by Thomson Reuters), and Current Biology and the Current Opinion journals (acquired by Elsevier).

In October 2008, it was announced that BioMed Central, Chemistry Central, and PhysMath Central had been acquired by Springer Science+Business Media, the second largest STM publister.[5]

In 2007 Yale University Libraries stopped subsidizing page charges for affiliates of Yale who are using BioMed Central as the publisher of their works.[6]

In November 2008, BioMed Central became an official supporting organisation of Healthcare Information For All, a global initiative committed to a future where people are no longer dying for lack of knowledge.[7]


BioMed Central owns and produces in-house six flagship journals: Journal of Biology, Genome Biology, Genome Medicine, Arthritis Research and Therapy, Breast Cancer Research, and Critical Care. It also produces the BMC series of 65 journals covering the fields of biology and medicine, and including the leading titles BMC Biology and BMC Medicine. Chemistry Central Journal and the PhysMath series of journals are also produced by the company. Most of the other journals published by BioMed Central are owned and produced independently by societies and academic editorial boards, with BioMed Central providing the hosting, publishing platform and marketing.

All journals are published online; some of the flagship journals have in the past also been available as print subscriptions, but currently Arthritis Research and Therapy is the only journal to offer this. Publications in BioMed Central journals are, immediately upon publication, released under the Creative Commons "Attribution" license which grants permission to reuse publications and produce derivative work. The only exceptions to this are the flagship journals, which reserve rights on review and commentary content; those articles are available to purchase on a subscription or on a pay-per-view basis, becoming freely available (but not fully open access)[citation needed] to all after six months.

The company also hosts three biomedical databases: Cases Database, a database of medical case reports;[8] Current Controlled Trials, a database of clinical trials;[9] and Biology Image Library.[10] The company also provides hosting for institutional repositories of publications based on the DSpace platform under the brand Open Repository.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Butler, D. (2000). Nature 405 (6785): 384–384. doi:10.1038/35013218.  edit
  2. ^ Hall, D. (1999). "Online research archive will be free to all". Nature 402 (6763): 721–721. doi:10.1038/45366. PMID 10617188.  edit
  3. ^ "Matt Cockerill to leave BioMed Central/Springer: BioMed Central mission and branding to remain unchanged". 2013-09-17. p. 384. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  4. ^ "Interview with Vitek Tracz: Essential for Science". Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  5. ^ Suber, Peter (2008-10-07). "Peter Suber, Open Access News". Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  6. ^ Connor, Elizabeth (2008). "Interview with Harold E. Varmus of PLoS". Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries 5 (2): 149–159. doi:10.1080/15424060802064352. 
  7. ^ "HIFA Supporting Organisations". HIFA2015. 
  8. ^ "Home Page". Cases Database. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  9. ^ "Current Controlled Trials - Clinical Trial Search. ISRCTN numbering scheme. Database of Clinical Trials". Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  10. ^ "Biology Image Library". Biology Image Library. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  11. ^ "Home". Open Repository. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]