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. The first director of the company was Jan Velterop. In 2002, the company introduced article processing charges, and these have since been the primary source of revenue.
The flagship journals produced by BioMed Central include Genome Biology (impact factor 10.8), 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."
BMC journal series
The BMC-series of journals is a collection of 68 online research journals published by BioMed Central. 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.
The company also has hosted biomedical databases, including Current Controlled Trials, a database of clinical trials. The Biology Image Library and the Cases Database, a database of medical case reports, were closed in 2014. The company also provided hosting for institutional repositories of publications based on the DSpace platform under the brand Open Repository. The Open Repository activity was sold to Atmire in 2016.
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