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RE: BioMed Central announce new publishing initiative

Let me expand on the background of my original question, since Jan's
referral to the FAQ doesn't specifically answer it.

There has been some confusion among medical librarians since the
introduction of PubMed about its content.  Many librarians initially
assumed that it was simply another interface to MEDLINE and were not aware
that it actually searches a superset of MEDLINE.  I infer from the FAQ
that the BioMed Central citations will NOT be in MEDLINE (at least, not
initially) and therefore will not be retrieved in searches done on the
MEDLINE database as supplied by the many other vendors who lease it (e.g.,
OVID, Aries, EBSCO, etc.).

The question about who will be doing the indexing (which is not addressed
in the FAQ) is also relevant to retrieval.  Articles included in MEDLINE
continue to be indexed by individual human indexers applying the MeSH
controlled vocabulary.  Search strategies developed using MeSH headings
may also miss BioMed citations, even if the search is performed in PubMed,
if those articles are indexed only as textwords drawn from the titles
and/or abstracts.

One hopes that the recent Hopkins flap has highlighted for many
researchers the importance of understanding exactly what is contained in
various databases and how they are indexed.  I expect the BioMed Central
journals to be a very important vehicle for scholarly communication, and
librarians (and researchers) will need to be sure that their search
strategies are developed in such a way that they do not miss important

T. Scott Plutchak
Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham


-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Velterop [mailto:jan@biomedcentral.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 6:07 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: BioMed Central announce new publishing initiative

I would like to refer you to the FAQs on our site (www.biomedcentral.com)
and specifically question and answer 8, which is as follows:

Q. Are BioMed Central articles indexed in PubMed and other bibliographic

A. All research articles published by BioMed Central are indexed
immediately in PubMed, the most widely used biomedical bibliographic
database service. PubMed is the National Library of Medicine service that
provides access to citations from MEDLINE and additional life science
journals. We expect indexing in other bibliographic services to follow, as
BioMed Central journals become more established. Note that because the
full text of all BioMed Central research articles is available without
registration or subscription, search engines such as Google also index a
large amount of the research published on BMC, greatly increasing its
I can add to that that articles published by BioMed Central journals are
now also indexed in Scirus (www.scirus.com)

Jan Velterop
BioMed Central