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Frequently Asked Questions

Many of our customers prefer seeing if an answer is already available online before getting in touch so we have created pages addressing the most common queries we receive from our customers.
Areas covered include general questions about open access, login, how to check the status of a manuscript and paying an article-processing charge. 

If you can’t find what you are looking for on our Support FAQ pages below please feel free to contact us directly using the options available here.

FAQs list

Open access 

Login 

Article-processing Charges 

Payments 

Pre-submission 

Editorial 

Production 

Post-publication 

What does open access mean?

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Every article appearing in any journal published by BioMed Central is open access, meaning that:

  1. The article is universally and freely accessible via the Internet, in an easily readable format and deposited immediately upon publication, without embargo, in an agreed format - current preference is XML with a declared DTD - in at least one widely and internationally recognized open access repository (such as PubMed Central).
  2. The author(s) or copyright owner(s) irrevocably grant(s) to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the research article in its entirety or in part, in any format or medium, provided that no substantive errors are introduced in the process, proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given, and that the bibliographic details are not changed. If the article is reproduced or disseminated in part, this must be clearly and unequivocally indicated.


BioMed Central is committed permanently to maintaining this open access publishing policy, retrospectively and prospectively, in all eventualities, including any future changes in ownership.

For a more information please read our Open Access Charter.

Can I use a figure or table from a BioMed Central journal?

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Yes you can. Reproduction of figures or tables is permitted free of charge and without formal written permission from the publisher or the copyright holder, provided that the figure/table is original, BioMed Central is duly identified as the original publisher, and that proper attribution of authorship and the correct citation details are given as acknowledgement.

To learn more about this topic, please visit BioMed Central License Agreement.

Can I use an article from a BioMed Central journal?

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The open access articles published in BioMed Central's journals are made available under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license, which means they are accessible online without any restrictions and can be re-used in any way, subject only to proper attribution (which, in an academic context, usually means citation). 

The re-use rights enshrined in our license agreement include the right for anyone to produce printed copies themselves, without formal permission or payment of permission fees. As a courtesy, however, anyone wishing to reproduce large quantities of an open access article (250+) should inform the copyright holder and we suggest a contribution in support of open access publication.

Please note that the following journals have published a small number of articles that, while freely accessible, are not open access as outlined above: Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, Arthritis Research & Therapy, Breast Cancer Research, Critical Care, Genome Biology, Genome Medicine, Stem Cell Research & Therapy
You will be able to find details about these articles here

My BioMed Central login details are not accepted when I try to log in to Editorial Manager

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Your BioMed Central and Editorial Manager login details are not the same.
If you are trying to access the Editorial Manager website of a journal for the first time, please click the "Register Now" link on the homepage.

After registering, you can, if you would like, make your registered BioMed Central email address your Editorial Manager Username in order to avoid using two sets of login details. To do this, once logged in to Editorial Manager, please click on Update My Information.

Please note that changing your registration details on a journal's Editorial Manager website will only update your profile for this journal. If you wish to update your details on any other journal's Editorial Manager website or on BioMed Central's website, you will need to do so there directly.

I have lost my Editorial Manager username, password or both

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If you have forgotten your Editorial Manager username and/or password, please access the Editorial Manager website of the journal and use the Send Login Details function. Please complete the form and select Reset and Send Login Details.

You will receive a notification with a temporary set of login details. If this does not arrive, please contact our Global Open Research Support Team for assistance.

How do I update my Editorial Manager registration details?

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In order to update your Editorial Manager's registration details for a journal, simply go to the journal’s Editorial Manager website and enter your original username and password.  Once logged in, click on Update My Information and update any relevant field.

Please note that changing your registration details on a journal's Editorial Manager website will only update your profile for this journal. If you wish to update your details on any other journal's Editorial Manager website or on BioMed Central's website, you will need to do so there directly.

What does APC stand for and what are they for?

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APC stands for article-processing charge. As you may be aware, publishing open access is not without costs. BioMed Central defrays those costs from APCs, because it does not have subscription charges for its content, believing instead that immediate, world-wide, barrier-free, open access to the full text of articles is in the best interests of the scientific community.

For more information, please visit our APC FAQ.

How much are your APCs and what do they cover?

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Our article-processing charges vary by journal and, in some instances, by article type.  These charges relate to any individual article accepted in-principle for publication; there is no charge just to submit. 

The APC includes an unlimited (unless otherwise required by the journal, which can be checked in its Submission Guidelines) number of words, photos, graphs and tables and is a flat charge; no additional costs are incurred, for example, by the inclusion of colour figures or a longer manuscript.

For more information, please visit our publication costs and funding pages.

Can I request a discount for my submission?

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You will be able to request a discount at the "APC Agreement" stage of the submission process.

You will be able to either:

  1. Agree to pay the full amount of Article-processing Charge (APC)
  2. Request a waiver
  3. Indicate the name of the institution you are affiliated to in order to request an institutional discount (depending on the institution's membership type and its own internal criteria)

If you submit a request for a waiver or institutional discount, you will receive an email informing you that your request has been received and that the submission cannot be completed until we make a decision. You are not required to respond anything to this email.

We aim to make a decision on your discount request within two working days. Once that decision is made, you will be contacted by email to complete your submission.

Can I have a discount for a shorter manuscript?

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Article-processing charges are the same regardless of the article’s length. As an online publisher the number of words, or the inclusion of figures does not affect the cost of producing an article. While this means that we do not charge extra for longer articles and place no limit on the number of figures, it also means that we cannot offer discounts for shorter pieces.

More information about our APCs can be found here.

Is my institution is a BioMed Central Member?

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Please visit the list of BioMed Central Members to determine whether your institution is a Member.

For further information on specific authors’ eligibility or the discount applicable, please contact our Global Open Research Support Team.

Can I request an institutional discount based on a co-author’s affiliation?

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Only the corresponding author's affiliation is taken into account when granting institutional discounts.  If you wish to take advantage of your co-author's membership status, you will need to make this co-author the corresponding author.

When will I have to pay the article-processing charge (APC)?

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Payment of an APC is required once a submission has been editorially accepted. There is no charge just to submit, but you will be asked to confirm how you intend to pay for the APC during the submission process.

Once the submission has been editorially accepted, you will receive an automated email advising how to complete the payment and including a link to a secure payment page. All charges can be paid online by credit card, although offline invoice payments (by credit card, cheque or bank transfer) are also available.

How do I pay for my article-processing charge (APC)?

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To pay for the article-processing charges, you will need to access the secure payment link received upon acceptance.

Here you can select payment method; online credit card payment or offline invoice payment. 

Online credit card payments will be acknowledged with an online receipt immediately and will also produce an invoice (free of administrative charge) for reimbursement purposes. 

If you wish to pay offline, you must first request an invoice. Offline invoice payments incur an additional administrative charge of £50.00 / €55.00 / US$75.00. 

Your invoice will be sent by email to the corresponding author of the article within 48-72 working hours. If it does not arrive within this time-frame please let us know

Please note that the invoice can only be sent to the corresponding author. If you are not the corresponding author but require a copy of the invoice, please contact us.

What options do I have for paying my invoice?

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You have three options for paying your invoice; credit card, bank transfer, or cheque.

Please refer to the instructions on making a payment below:

  1. To pay your invoice by credit card, please contact our Credit Card team let them know the number of the invoice(s) you intend to pay for. They will provide you with a secure payment link which will forward you on to the payment page of our credit card service provider Worldpay.
  2. To pay for your invoice by bank transfer, use the bank details which are located at the bottom of the invoice.  Once payment is made simply email the invoice and your remittance slip to our Accounts Department.
  3. If you wish to pay by cheque, simply post your invoice and cheque to:
    BioMed Central Ltd.
    Postfach 20 01 55
    60605 Frankfurt
    Germany
    We will then match this payment to the invoice within our accounting system and your balance will be cleared.

I requested an invoice for offline payment but would like to revert to online credit card payment

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Unfortunately, we are unable to change the payment option; once an invoice has been requested it cannot be reversed. However, you will be able to pay for your invoice by credit card.

To do this, once you have received your invoice, please contact our Credit Card team, providing the number of the invoice you would like to pay for. They will then get in touch to organise the credit card payment with you. 

I’m getting an error message when I tried to pay by credit card

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Please stay on the error page returned when you attempted to submit your payment and copy its URL.

Simply send us this URL (please paste the complete URL rather than attach a screenshot) and we will investigate why the payment was not successful.

Can we split payment between multiple people or parties?

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You will be able to split the payment between multiple individuals/parties by simply requesting an invoice for offline payment after accessing the secure payment pages.

Please note that offline invoice payments incur an additional administrative charge of £50.00 / €55.00 / US$75.00 and that the invoice can only be sent to the corresponding author. If you are not the corresponding author but require a copy of the invoice, please contact us.

Once you received the invoice, please print out as many copies as you need and hand a copy to each payee.  Each payee will have to follow the instructions for payment located at the bottom of the invoice. Please note that we cannot provide you with two invoices for a single article processing charge. The invoice can only contain one set of details and will be for the full amount due.

Can you amend the invoice I just requested?

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We are unfortunately unable to amend an invoice while the request is being processed. To make these changes, once you have received your invoice, please send it back to our Accounts Department highlighting the details you need to be amended.

Is my manuscript suitable for this journal?

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To establish whether your article falls within the scope of a particular journal, please access our Journal Suggester. You will be able to enter your manuscript's general details and our system will suggest what journal(s) would be suitable for submission of your manuscript.

Alternatively, to see the range of journals within a broad subject area, please visit our journals' list.

Is there a word or page limit for submissions made to your journals?

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As an online publisher, we do not have restrictions on the size of manuscripts submitted to our journals (unless otherwise required by the journal, which can be checked in its Submission Guidelines). Submissions can include an unlimited number of figures, tables and additional files but the abstract of the manuscript should not exceed 350 words. 

However, please remember that for the benefit of peer-reviewers and readers articles should be as concise as possible.

How do I submit my manuscript?

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You can submit through our electronic submission system.

  1. Access our journals’ list
  2. Choose which journal to submit to.
  3. Click on 'Submission Guidelines', to read information on the submission process and how to prepare your manuscript.
  4. Once you have reviewed the submission guidelines and are ready to submit, click on the 'Submit A Manuscript' button and you will be taken to our submission and peer review system in order to start your submission.

How can I check the status of my submission?

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You can check the status of your submission by logging in to your author account on the journal’s Editorial Manager website.

Once logged in, you will be able to access your submission under one of the following sections (depending on its status):

  • New submissions (for initial submissions)
  • Revisions (for revised submissions)
  • Completed (for submissions with a decision)

How long will it take to peer-review my submission?

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BioMed Central makes full use of web technology to speed peer review, and aims to provide a service that is as fast, or faster, than the quickest traditional journals, without compromising the thoroughness of the peer-review process. 

The exact time taken depends on many factors, such as how quickly peer-reviewers can be found, and how promptly those peer-reviewers submit their reports. 

The editorial team at BioMed Central make every effort to ensure that peer-reviewers respond promptly, and that submissions move through the system smoothly. The usual length of the peer-review process (from submission to a first decision) is 6 to 8 weeks. 

However, in cases where major revisions are required, it may take longer.

How long will it take for my article to be available in its final form?

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Within a few days of editorial acceptance, a PDF version of the article will be made available to the authors for proofing. After any mark-up errors have been corrected, a final PDF will be created for publication.

The time lag between acceptance and the publication of the final version depends on how quickly authors provide their corrections, but is usually around 3 weeks.

Can I make corrections to my published article?

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Unfortunately, once an article has been published it cannot be changed. All corrections must be done prior to publication. If you require a major correction that will affect the content of your article, please send your corrections to us and we will forward them to our Quality & Assurance team for consideration. 

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