I just had a conversation with Matt Hodgkinson, Senior Editor of the BMC series, which was worth the trip to Vienna all by itself….Matt Hodgkinson will be familiar not only as an editor at BMC, but also as the author of the blog Journalology (”Science publishing trends, ethics, peer review, and open access”)….
The bottom line: BMC has no hesitation considering research which has been previously posted to personal websites, blogs, wikis, and pre-print servers (as part of Open Notebook Science or otherwise), as long as it has not also been published in some formal way.
The details: Formal publishing is of course slightly difficult to nail down (they used to say “anything with a DOI”, but now Nature Precedings has a DOI without being considered a formal publication). A rule of thumb may be “anything with an ISSN.” Peer-review, or being indexed by PubMed, are not relevant to BMC when ascertaining prior formal publication status. Posters and abstracts are ok, conference proceedings are usually considered formal publications. Again, pre-print servers (Nature Precedings, arXiv) are fine.
Our conversation also touched on publishing clinical trial data and protocols, negative results, the fact that publishers can and do help recover data from authors who don’t respond to reader requests, the BMC policies for data sharing relative to that of other journals, and the potential for publishing about ONS….
Peter Suber at 7/24/2007 10:36:00 AM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.