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BioMed Central is NOT an Elsevier enterprise

Dear Readers of Liblicense,

Most unfortunately we still regularly hear comments of which the following
is an example:

"...discussion at our meeting revolved around the firm presence of
Elsevier behind the creation of BioMed Central. If the pattern of recent
history were to repeat itself in an author-payment dominated model of
commercial publishing, smaller research organisations might find
themselves lacking sufficient cash even to publish their research
externally, let alone subscribe to collected output..."

Let me state clearly and categorically that BioMed Central and Elsevier
have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with one another. Sure enough, BioMed
Central is a commercial enterprise and part of the Current Science Group (
www.current-science-group.com <http://www.current-science-group.com> ),
but the business model chosen for the publication of primary papers
practically guarantees profits to be fair (and much smaller than the
roughly one third or more of turnover that some traditional STM publishers
have realised for decades; we certainly don't expect our profits - when we
reach profitability - to top 10%). This is not because we decided that we
want to change human nature, but because the BioMed Central model will be
truly open to substantial and widespread competition (unlike the
traditional STM model) with relatively low entry barriers, and so the
profit margins will stay low. That is the real guarantee to the scientific
community of the huge financial savings that will result if the model of
publishing primary data will move from charging users (where the
publishers have an effective monopoly on the actual papers they publish,
leading to a severe limitation of choice for the libraries and to the high
prices so common in traditional STM publishing) to charging authors (where
many service providers can compete for the authors' business, thus keeping
the prices low). If the model of charging at the input side (authors)
gains wider currency, we expect that the world wide publishing cost (read:
publishers' turnover) per primary paper will drop by a factor of 10 or
thereabouts compared to what it is now.

With regard to publishing science information that is not primary (in
other words, outside the 'publish or perish' sphere), there is true choice
for libraries and readers, and BioMed Central will price its products
according to their economic value, success depending directly on the
quality of services offered.

For more information about BioMed Central and its product range see
www.biomedcentral.com <http://www.biomedcentral.com> .

Jan Velterop
BioMed Central
BioMed Central
www.biomedcentral.com <http://www.biomedcentral.com/>