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BioMed Central membership from january 2005

In order to make sure that there is maximum clarity about the BioMed 
Central membership scheme, we have today sent a message to all current 

I do apologise if any undue concern or misunderstanding has arisen and 
I trust that our message to the members takes those away.

On this list, presumably read by many members but also by many non-
members, I would like to give you an insight in our thinking and 

Our publishing model is based on payment per article accepted and 
published, via so-called Article Processing Charges (APCs). In return 
for the APC we 'process' the article from peer-review via mark-up in 
XML to hosting and depositing it in various formats and various 
repositories and archives, incorporating active links from any 
references to other science literature that is available online, and  
finally, coverage by as many secondary services as are appropriate. Our 
membership scheme is following on from the same model. 

The BioMed Central membership scheme aims to:

1. provide institutions with a practical means to show commitment and
support for the creation of a much-needed new, Open Access, publishing 
model and so help us to successfully reform science publishing from
subscription-based toll-access -- with all its drawbacks -- to full Open
Access -- with all its benefits to science and to society as a whole;

2. remove barriers for authors confronted with the need to pay APCs;

3. accelerate reaching a scale of Open Access publishing that makes it
possible to demonstrate real and measurable results for academia at an 
early stage in the transition from toll-access to Open Access.

While we started off with a flat membership fee, based on the number of
potential researchers in a given institution, and thus an estimate of 
the potential numbers of publishable articles, we found, earlier than
anticipated, that the differences in acceptance of Open Access in
institutions and in scientific (sub)disciplines introduces undesirable 
and unfair side-effects. The original flat fees could only ever be 
based on estimates. However, some institutions generated far more 
articles than others in the same FTE-band. Instead of changing the 
membership fees across the board concomittant with the average number 
of published articles per institute of the same FTE-band, we decided to 
link the fees to the past record of publication (the level of service 
enjoyed, if you wish), as a proxy for an estimate of the number of 
articles for the following year, and make the basis for membership fees 
completely transparent.

Excerpt from the message that has been sent today to our members:

Future changes to the pricing model for BioMed Central Institutional
Membership will commence from January 2005.

New pricing for all members renewing in 2005:

$525 multiplied by the number of articles published during the previous 
12 months.  Please note that this is the number of articles published 
by the submitting author. BioMed Central only charges once per article,
irrespective of the number of authors, to the (institute of the) 
submitting author (if authored by several authors from different 
institutes, to the institute of the submitting author only).


>From member University of Anywhere, 10 articles were submitted to a 
BioMed Central journal, and 5 of them accepted and published during the 
last 12 months of their membership.

Price Quotation for Membership Fee for next 12 months: $525 X 5 = $2625 

I thank the library community for its strong support for Open Access.

Jan Velterop
BioMed Central

Quote from a recently joined member: "As an independent library we do 
not have faculty who might publish in your journals but we are 
interested in supporting open access.  We have received approval to go 
forward with a membership."

----- End forwarded message -----