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What Springer can learn from BioMed Central Matthew Cockerill Managing Director, BioMed Central.

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Presentation on theme: "What Springer can learn from BioMed Central Matthew Cockerill Managing Director, BioMed Central."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Springer can learn from BioMed Central Matthew Cockerill Managing Director, BioMed Central


3 What can I tell you? How is open access publishing different from traditional publishing? How is it similar? What are the challenges? How has BioMed Central sought to overcome them?

4 Traditional research publishing The research community transfers the rights to the research to the publisher The publisher covers costs by selling access to the content

5 Open Access research publishing No barriers to access No exclusive rights retained by publisher Articles are openly licensed Publisher is paid for the service of publication

6 About BioMed Central Largest publisher of peer-reviewed open access research journals Launched first open access journal in 2000 Acquired by Springer in October 2008 Now publishes 199 OA titles >57,000 peer-reviewed OA articles published All research articles published under Creative Commons license Costs covered by 'article processing charge' (APC)

7 Comparison of BMC and Springer journal publishing business

8 Whats the same? Editorial and production processes very similar But BMCs systems are optimized for fully online continuous publication As with traditional journals, authors care most about: –Prestige –Rapid publication –Visibility/ readership

9 Whats different? Our primary customers are authors (i.e. researchers), not librarians Our marketing focuses on benefits to authors Librarians are our partners in advocacy We monitor author satisfaction closely via author surveys Top reasons authors submit: –Recommended by a colleague –Previous good experience publishing in the journal –Read a paper in one of our journals

10 BioMed Centrals 3 types of journal 1.BMC-series (~60 titles) –e.g. BMC Cancer, BMC Genetics, BMC Infectious Diseases –In-house editorial process –Systematic coverage of biology and medicine –Aims to publish all scientifically sound research –BMC Biology and BMC Medicine highlight best research –BMC Research Notes publishes incremental results, datasets etc.

11 BioMed Centrals 3 types of journal 2.Independent journals (~135 titles) –e.g. Malaria Journal, Molecular Cancer, Retrovirology –External Editors-in-Chief –External editorial process (with option of in-house support) –Some are very broad, some focus on a specific niche –Often society-affiliated

12 BioMed Centrals 3 types of journal 3.Hybrid journals (~6 titles) –e.g. Genome Biology, Breast Cancer Research –Some of BMCs most established titles –In-house editorial support –All research is open access –Commissioned content available only to subscribers

13 BioMed Central revenue streams Publication fees (80-90% of revenue) –From authors –From meeting organizers –From sponsoring organizations Subscription content (e.g. reviews) Additional services (e.g. Open Repository) Advertising / sponsorship

14 What do OA publication fees cover? Open access publishing has much the same costs as the traditional system: –Editorial –Technical –Production –Customer services –Marketing (e.g. conference attendance)

15 Typical OA publication fees ($US) BioMed Central $915-$2265 Public Library of Science $1300-$2850 Company of Biologists $2560 Oxford University Press $3000 Royal Society$2550-$4420 Springer$3000 Taylor & Francis$3250 Wiley$3000

16 How do OA publication fees get paid? Authors may pay out of grant funds Some funders provide dedicated funds for open access publishing costs Institutions may cover costs centrally (via open access funds and/or membership arrangements with OA publishers) Some journals are run by organizations which cover costs themselves

17 Handling APC payments efficiently BioMed Central handles tens of thousand of APCs each year Article payment data flows directly from BioMed Centrals systems to SAP Credit card payment and prepay membership accounts reduce number of APC invoices If invoice is requested, an admin fee is charged 1 FTE dedicated full time to credit control

18 BioMed Central membership Institutional membership scheme aims to: –Reduce barriers for authors –Increase visibility of BioMed Centrals journals Prepay membership –Institution pays funds into a deposit account –Article Processing Charge is covered by funds from account –Discount depending on deposit amount –Author does not have to pay –Simplified administration/reporting Supporter membership –Institutions pay a flat fee –Authors pay a discounted Article Processing Charge


20 Membership account reporting


22 Summary of APC payments (last 12 months)

23 Trend in method of payment of APC

24 Not all BioMed Central journals charge author fees Chinese Medicine Chiropractic & Osteopathy Italian Journal of Pediatrics Journal of Biomedical Science Journal of Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injury Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research Journal of the International AIDS Society Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology

25 Rejection rates and the open access model High prestige journals tend to have a high rejection rate Lots of submissions, relatively few publications How to make economically viable under Open Access? –Higher APC? –Submission fee? –Waterfall model?

26 Journal peer review cascade High rejection rate Moderate rejection rate Low rejection rate

27 Rejected authors may be offered consideration in another title Avoids delays for authors Avoids wasting the time of peer reviewers Separates scientific soundness of research from level of interest BioMed Central also participates in Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium

28 Drivers of BioMed Centrals growth

29 Annual manuscript submissions

30 Drivers of growth High visibility of articles Providing an excellent author experience Institutional and funder OA policies Building off success in key disciplines Effective marketing to authors Impact Factors

31 Visibility

32 Google pagerank Similarly: Cell Biology Molecular Biology Systems Biology Bioinformatics Developmental Biology All on first page of Google results

33 Fields that helped to get BioMed Central off the ground Bioinformatics Genomics Public Health Cancer

34 Institutional and funder open access policies Mandatory OA-deposit policies from research funders E.g. NIH, HHMI, UK PMC funder group Institutional OA-deposit mandates E.g. Harvard, MIT, UCL Central institutional open access funds E.g. Nottingham, Newcastle, Calgary, Berkeley, Harvard

35 Many institutions now have OA repositories in place Populating the repositories is often proving a challenge Open Access journals can provide immediately available OA content BioMed Central is automating feeds to repositories using the SWORD protocol Institutional repositories can help encourage OA publication

36 Marketing to authors

37 Email marketing

38 Frontiers

39 Facebook

40 Twitter

41 Impact Factors

42 Official Impact Factors

43 BioMed Central journals with official Thomson Reuters/ISI impact factors

44 Established titles are moving to OA with BioMed Central

45 Increasing visibility and increasing impact for a society journal Moved to BioMed Central and became Open Access

46 The end of print?



49 BioMed Centrals experience Most BioMed Central journals have been e-only since launch Two that started with print: –Critical Care launched 1997 –Breast Cancer Research launched 1999 Both publish Open Access research articles and also commissioned subscription content Both dropped print in Jan 2006

50 Print edition dropped No negative effect on impact factor

51 Print edition dropped No negative effect on impact factor

52 Print edition dropped No negative effect on manuscript submissions

53 Subscription revenue also maintained

54 Whats next at BMC?

55 Website design: Old



58 Website design: New







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