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Press Release: Open Access journals proven to compete on quality

Of possible interest to the readers of this list. My apologies for
cross-posting. Please feel free to contact BioMed Central if you have any
questions. This announcement is also available at

Kind regards

Grace Baynes
BioMed Central

Press release: 24 June 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BioMed Central journals get new impact factors from ISI*

LONDON and PHILADELPHIA: Open Access journals published by BioMed Central
have received impact factors that compare well with equivalent
subscription titles, it was announced today. The high impact factors, all
for journals that are just a few years old, prove that Open Access to
research literature achieves impact fast and makes quality articles much
more widely visible.

Arthritis Research & Therapy jumped from 3.44 to 5.03, propelling it to
rank second in the rheumatology field in only its 5th year of publication.
Breast Cancer Research also increased its impact factor – moving from
2.81 to 2.93, placing it on even footing with its direct competitor,
Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, which was established more than 20
years ago. Critical Care moved up to 6th in its field, and now has an
impact factor of 1.9.

Four journals published by BioMed Central received their first impact
factors this year. Respiratory Research (5.53) comes in from nowhere to
immediately take second place in the respiratory field. Current Controlled
Trials in Cardiovascular Medicine has an impact factor of 3.12. BMC Cell
Biology (2.61) and BMC Health Services Research (0.67) also entered well.
BioMed Central saw its impact factors go up across the board. BMC Cancer
now has an impact factor of 1.7, while BMC Infectious Diseases (1.25) and
BMC Public Health (0.93) also saw increases in their impact factors from
the 2002 Journal Citation Report.

The impact factors, which are calculated by ISI, look at articles
published in the journals in the period 2001-2002. To BioMed Central, the
excellent performance of its titles answers spurious accusations of low
quality of Open Access journals by some traditional subscriptions

Jan Velterop, BioMed Central's Publisher, said: "It is becoming ever
clearer that BioMed Central's Open Access journals, once beyond their
early infancy, are recognised as superior to their subscription-based
competitors with regard to making their quality articles widely visible
to, and usable by, anyone with an interest in them."

Traditional subscription publishers such as Elsevier have cast aspersions
on the objectivity of Open Access journals' editorial decision-making.
According to CEO of Reed Elsevier Crispin Davis,

The impact and quality of BioMed Central's Open Access journals
resoundingly contradict this assertion. BioMed Central journals are all
thoroughly peer-reviewed and typically reject more than 50% of the
manuscripts that are submitted.

Thomson ISI is expected to publish an update of their citation analysis
shortly, comparing citation counts for Open Access journals and
traditional subscription products. In the press release announcing the
April version of the report, ISI stated that journals published in the new
Open Access (OA)  model are beginning to register impact in the world of
scholarly research. The statement continues, "Using ISI citation metrics
such as impact factor and cited half life, the study focuses on
determining whether OA journals perform differently from other journals in
their respective fields. The study's initial findings indicate that there
was no discernible difference in terms of citation impact or frequency
with which the journal is cited." BioMed Central expects this to change in
favour of Open Access journals as more data become available.


Press Office Contacts:

Grace Baynes for BioMed Central
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7631 9988
E-mail: press@biomedcentral.com