BioMed Central now publishes in ePUB format


The eReader and eBook market has seen rapid growth in recent years with high profile launches of devices such as the Nook, Kobo and Apple iPad, and eBook stores such as iBooks. It’s clear that readers increasingly want to be able to view content on different devices to facilitate easier and more mobile access to content.

BioMed Central is therefore pleased to announce that we now publish manuscripts in ePUB format.  This device-neutral format allows readers to view articles on any eReader. ePUB is designed for reflowable content, meaning that an eReader can optimize text for a particular display device. ePUB also supports fixed-layout content.

Our first ePUB files are now available in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. You can view the ePUB files on your eReader, or through freely available software such as Adobe Digital Editions.

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Mike Taylor

Thanks and congratulations — this is an excellent innovation that I hope will be widely copied — PLOS, eLife, PeerJ, are you listening?

But: “we now publish manuscripts in ePUB format.  This device-neutral format allows readers to view articles on any eReader”. As you probably know, Amazon’s very widespread Kindle device stupidly does not support ePUB. Since that’s what I own, I won’t be able to benefit from your new eBook facility.

Do you have plans to support .mobi format, too?


Thank you for your comment Mike, we may also consider
introducing Mobi format in the future if there is a demand from the community
of readers, authors and journals. For readers wishing to access content via the
Amazon Kindle, which does not support ePUB format, there are open source
conversions available for ePUB to Mobi such as Calibre.

Mike Taylor

That would be great.

I am familiar with Calibre, but it’s not really a solution to this problem. The conversion process is cumbersome, laborious and error-prone — the whole value of having articles available in an eBook format would be the near-zero cost of speculatively saying “Oh, yes, I’ll have that, it might be interesting” and shoving it on the reader. Once a conversion’s needed, that’s not true any more.

To be clear, the fault is all Amazon’s for failing to support the standard. It’s terribly unfair that I am asking you guys to do extra work to make up for their bad and selfish decision. But irrespective of “shoulds”, I do think that you’ll get a lot more readers if you support the single most common eBook.

Matthew Cockerill

Mike – I agree – a smooth path to ‘get this to my Kindle’ is what’s needed, and we’re looking at the best way to enable that. As you note, it’s frustrating that Amazon don’t simply support ePub – but no doubt they have their own business reasons for that policy.  Matt


Hello! Another alternative to Calibre program is this free toolkit which can easily convert epub to mobi format, as well as pdf files to mobi or epub formats, when needed. Maybe it’s worth trying!


Just to clarify, BioMed Central has extended its existing suite of publication formats (PDF, XML, HTML) to include ePUB, offering a range of formats to suit our readers varying needs. PDF remains one of our core publication formats, but we wanted to address the growing need for more mobile access to content.

Rotem Segal

In the name of Helicon Books, a member company in the IDPF, I would like to congratulate you for this move. Our company  promotes the EPUB technologies – especially the EPUB3 

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