BioMed Central’s Editorial Policies – what’s new, what’s not?

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Today, BioMed Central’s Biology and Medical Editors announce the launch of BioMed Central’s new editorial policies, providing authors, editors and peer reviewers with a transparent, convenient, and comprehensive resource for information that applies to all journals published by BioMed Central.

In creating this new resource, we have built on our existing commitment to maintaining editorial policies, reinforcing requirements of particular research fields (see here and here for examples) and upholding community standards and best practice. Policies that were already in place are now clearly displayed, including our policies on authorship, duplicate publication, reporting guidelines, ethics, and consent in line with guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We also provide a more detailed explanation of the peer review models that underpin BioMed Central’s commitment to maintaining a high standard of peer review across all of its journals.

In addition to bringing together this pre-existing information, we’ve outlined new policies too. We include a section on describing new taxa developed in partnership with external academics in the field. We are particularly grateful to Eric Carstens, Sandra Knapp, Frank Krell, George Garrity and Aharon Oren for their advice.

We also provide additional information regarding our policies on confidentiality, misconduct, and image manipulation. We feel it is important to make this information publicly available to ensure that we act in a fair, consistent, and transparent manner.

BioMed Central, like other publishers, is always striving to improve the information we provide for our authors, editors and peer reviewers. We will continue to update this resource as new policies are required. As part of our commitment to providing up to date information on topical and important issues, we recently developed draft guidelines on how to handle text recycling (also referred to as self-plagiarism) which generated a lot of discussion on COPE’s website and in the most recent COPE forum. These were created in response to a request from Peter Lipsky and Ravinder Maini, Editors-in-Chief for Arthritis Research and Therapy, who have provided helpful advice in their development.

We hope that our authors, editors and peer reviewers will find these Editorial Policies to be a useful resource. Please contact BioMed Central and let us know if there are other issues that you would like to see discussed.

BioMed Central’s Biology and Medical Editors

Stephanie Harriman, Maria Kowalczuk, Elizabeth Moylan, Jigisha Patel and Shreeya Nanda