Breast Cancer Research: the move to publish research articles in full online only
- Peter Newmark1
© BioMed Central Ltd 2002
Published: 1 June 2002
When Breast Cancer Research was launched in 1999 we took the innovative decision to make all primary research articles available to everyone for free through the journal's own website http://breast-cancer-research.com as well as through PubMed Central http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/, the National Institute of Health's repository for biomedical research articles, and through BioMed Central http://biomedcentral.com. This year we have taken the next logical step by deciding to publish research articles in full only online.
Because research articles in Breast Cancer Research have always been free access, and because the main medium of publication of the journal has always been the Internet (the website provides the complete contents of the journal while the print edition contains selected items), many more people already see the articles on the web than in print. Few, we expect, will mourn the fact that only the abstract of each paper now appears in print. We believe that online publishing of research articles will become the norm and see this as an ideal opportunity to develop Breast Cancer Research even further.
Advantages to authors
Publishing research articles in full only online has many advantages for Breast Cancer Research authors:
The current length restrictions, which are tied to the print journal, can be removed allowing all the necessary data to be published as an integral part of the article, instead of as supplementary material that is already only available online.
Papers can be published with their full and final citation immediately with no delay or loss of priority, which happens when a paper has to wait until it is printed for its citation.
Articles, with their full citation, can be sent at an earlier stage to PubMed, meaning that they will be noticed more quickly.
Colour figures can be included without concern for the costs to the author of reproducing them in print.
How will it work?
Each research article is published online as soon as it is ready (i.e. after proofs have been signed off by the author and any corrections have been made). The abstract of each article will be printed in the next issue.
Research articles continue to have a citation that is similar to the current system. The only change is that there is an 'article number' rather than a page range. For example the first research article published in this way had the citation Breast Cancer Res 2002, 4:R1 and the second had the citation Breast Cancer Res 2002, 4:R2. The PDF pages of research articles are numbered in the format 'Page 1 of 7', etc. This pagination system is simply to help readers orient themselves and should NOT be included as part of the citation. We, at BioMed Central Ltd, have unparalleled experience in publishing online and this citation system has been used successfully in all the BMC journals for the past year.
The move to publish research articles in full online only does not affect the permanence of their accessibility, which is assured by their deposition in PubMed Central (and in other repositories in future).
The ISI have assured us that the journal's Impact Factor, which will be published in Journal Citation Reports http://www.isinet.com/isi/products/citation/jcr/ in 2003, will not be affected by having research articles in full online only.
Research papers are available online in both a web and a journal/PDF format with permanent free access, so can be printed locally and distributed as required at no cost. If a higher quality printed version of an article is preferred there is still the option to purchase reprints.
New instructions for authors are available on the website http://breast-cancer-research.com/info/instructions/primaryinstructions.asp and in this issue (Vol 4 no 3). Any questions not answered here or in the instructions can be sent directly to the editorial office firstname.lastname@example.org.