BioMed Central

BioMed Central
Parent company Springer Nature
Status Active
Founded 2000 (2000)
Founder Current Science Group
Headquarters location London, WC1
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 open access publisher. BioMed Central publishes over 250 scientific journals. All BioMed Central journals are only published online. BioMed Central describes itself as the first and largest open access science publisher. It is owned by Springer Nature.


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.[1] The first director of the company was Jan Velterop. In 2002, the company's business model evolved to include article processing charges,[2] and these have since been the primary source of revenue.

In October 2008, it was announced that BioMed Central (along with Chemistry Central and PhysMath Central) had been acquired by Springer Science+Business Media, the second largest STM publisher.[3]

In 2007 Yale University Libraries stopped subsidizing page charges for affiliates of Yale who are using BioMed Central as the publisher of their works.[4]

In November 2008, BioMed Central became an official supporting organisation of Healthcare Information For All.[5]


The flagship journals produced by BioMed Central include Genome Biology (impact factor 10.8)[6], BMC Medicine, and BMC Biology. It also produces the BMC journal series of 68 journals covering the fields of biology and medicine. Chemistry Central and the PhysMath Central 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, such as Arthritis Research & Therapy. 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 (as of 2010) were the flagship journals, which reserved rights on review and commentary content; those articles were available to purchase on a subscription or on a pay-per-view basis, becoming freely available (but not fully open access) to all after six months; however, as of January 2015, "no subscription fees apply to these journals or to any articles published in them."[7]

BMC journal series

The BMC-series of journals is a collection of 68 online research journals published by BioMed Central.[8] Like all other BioMed Central journals, they have a policy of open access to the research articles they publish. Between them, they cover all major subject areas within biology and medicine. Two of the journals, BMC Biology and BMC Medicine, have a broad scope, and aim to publish particularly significant research. A third journal, BMC Research Notes, publishes research from all areas of biology and medicine without making impact or interest criteria for publication, while BMC Proceedings publishes conference proceedings. The other 65 journals specialise on a particular subject area. Due to their free licensing, images from BMC journals can be reused in other places.

Most BMC series journals have an impact factor. For the 53 journals with impact factors, BMC Biology had the highest at 7.98.[6]


The company also has hosted biomedical databases, including Current Controlled Trials, a database of clinical trials.[9] The Biology Image Library and the Cases Database, a database of medical case reports,[10] were closed in 2014.[11] The company also provided hosting for institutional repositories of publications based on the DSpace platform under the brand Open Repository.[12] The Open Repository activity was sold to Atmire in 2016.[13]

See also


  1. "Interview with Vitek Tracz: Essential for Science". Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  2. Quint, Barbara (7 January 2002). "BioMed Central Begins Charging Authors and Their Institutions for Article Publishing". Information Today. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  3. Suber, Peter (2008-10-07). "Peter Suber, Open Access News". Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  4. 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.
  5. "HIFA Supporting Organisations". HIFA2015. Archived from the original on 2014-12-08.
  6. 1 2 "8. Do BioMed Central journals have Impact Factors and are they citation tracked?". BioMed Central. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  7. "Access to articles". BioMed Central. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  8. "The BMC-series journals". BioMed Central. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  9. "Current Controlled Trials - Clinical Trial Search. ISRCTN numbering scheme. Database of Clinical Trials". Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  10. "Home Page". Cases Database. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  11., Notice of Closure, July, 2014, accessed 2015-04-06
  12. "Home". Open Repository. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  13. "Atmire acquires Open Repository". Library Technology Guides. 2016-08-01.

Further reading

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