Open access

All articles published in BioMed Central’s independent journals are open access. This means:
Articles are universally and freely accessible via the Internet.
Articles are immediately deposited and permanently archived in PubMed Central, the free access repository of peer-reviewed research in the life sciences run by the USA National Institutes of Health, and other national archives.

Authors retain copyright of their research articles and license the article under a Creative Commons license whereby they grant any third party the right to use the article as long as its integrity is maintained and the original authors, citation details, and publisher are identified.

Benefits of open access publication

Open access publication benefits the scientific community by making results of research immediately and freely available to all.

Authors benefit as articles are highly visible compared with articles published behind subscription barriers.

Articles are highly accessed and some studies suggest that on average open access articles are twice as likely to be cited.

Archiving of articles in repositories such as PubMed Central and UK PubMed Central ensures compliance with the policies of a number of funders, such as the Wellcome Trust, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the US National Institutes of Health, and with no action needed by the author.

Retaining the copyright gives authors the freedom to reuse or distribute their article without permission or charges from the publisher, thus allowing authors to re-use figures etc. or print out copies to send to friends and colleagues.

Article processing charges

A standard article-processing charge (APC) is levied on all articles that are accepted for publication.

The APC covers the costs of peer reviewing, editing, publishing, maintaining, and archiving research articles.

BioMed Central defrays the costs of publication from APCs because it does not have subscription charges, believing instead that immediate, world-wide, barrier-free, open access to the full text of research articles is in the best interests of the scientific community.

The APC is a flat charge and no additional costs are incurred, for example, by the inclusion of colour figures.

BioMed Central operates an institutional membership scheme whereby authors submitting from member institutions have their APC covered in full or in part by their institution. An up-to-date list of BioMed Central member institutions is available from the BioMed Central website at:

An increasing number of funding agencies strongly encourage open access publication and explicitly allow the use of grants to cover APCs. Examples include the Wellcome Trust, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the US National Institutes for Health, and a full list is available at:

In cases where neither the authors nor their institution or funder are able to pay the APC, a discount or waiver may be granted. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There is currently an automatic waiver for authors from low or lower-middle income countries (according to World Bank criteria). BioMed Central aims to ensure that a lack of funds is not an obstacle to publishing in a BioMed Central journal. For further information please view our website at: