BMC is a pioneer in open-access publishing and a champion of open science. Since its founding over 20 years ago, BMC has never wavered from its commitment to transparency and openness. At the time, open access publishing was far from the mainstream concept it is today. But we have always believed that the community should have free access to the published literature, and that the path to publication should be clear and transparent. We also know that as publishers, we serve the research community and we have always aimed to pioneer innovative approaches to peer review and publication, promote transparency and open research and deliver a fair, efficient and transparent peer review process. The ideals that have guided us throughout the years have become rallying points for the research community today, and we are proud of our history of openness.
At BMC, we are dedicated to publishing the best open access journals across our portfolio of over 250 titles and are always striving to drive progress in biology, health sciences and medicine. With over 20 years of expertise in pioneering open access, you can trust our extensive experience to deliver high quality, impactful research and provide a supportive publishing experience for authors. And once your research is published, it will be available to anyone who wants to access it. This increases your work’s reach and visibility, and helps advance discovery.
We’ve always believed in adapting with the times, and in keeping with that spirit, we are delighted to welcome our newest title to the BMC Series: BMC Digital Health. This exciting new journal is devoted to an emerging field that is transforming healthcare, and it will consider research on all aspects of the development and implementation of digital technology in both medicine and public health. This launch is a reflection of our commitment to evolving to serve the community’s needs, and we will continue to seek opportunities to serve researchers in new ways.
We are proud of our history as pioneers in open peer review, where the peer reviewers’ reports are published alongside their identities. We championed this approach as a manifestation of our commitment to transparency. Yet, even when aims are noble, they can have unanticipated consequences. In April 2020, we made the decision to commit all of our BMC Series titles to transparent peer review. This decision was taken in response to feedback from the community and was a step to promote diversity in our reviewer pool, increase transparency and accountability and enable us to provide an improved author service.
With transparent peer review, all papers are published with their peer review reports and the reviewers have the choice of whether to include their names with their comments. With our experience across the BMC Series journals over the past two years, we have found this to be the optimal balance between delivering transparency (providing readers with context from peer review) and supporting inclusivity (not creating barriers to participation in peer review for those researchers who might not feel comfortable being named or being candid in a scenario where their identity is known). This has also helped us support author service by engaging a broader pool of researchers in our peer review process. We are now ready to adopt this approach across all of the BMC journals, allowing us to respond to the increasing desire amongst the research community for transparency in the peer review process while also creating an environment where reviewers feel supported and able to provide honest and constructive feedback.
When you are considering the best home for your next paper, we hope that you will consider BMC. If you believe, like we do, that openness, transparency and community focus should be at the heart of research publishing, then we would like to welcome you to the BMC family of journals.
Meredith is the VP of the Springer Nature open access journal portfolio. She has been with Springer Nature since 2014 and has held a number of editorial and publishing roles. She initially worked at the Nature research journal portfolio before moving into exclusively open access publishing. She has a passion for supporting access to the research literature and building journals that suit community needs. While not native to the BMC brand, she is delighted to be now working with this portfolio of progressive, researcher-focused journals.