The Health Sciences Libraries has supported open access publisher BioMed Central (BMC) through a membership fee which, until 2006, permitted unlimited waivers of the submission fee for University of Minnesota authors. Many of our faculty have taken advantage of this venue to share their research results with a world-wide audience.
This past year, BMC changed its membership accounting which is now based on the number of published articles. They assess us the entire submission fee, which averages $1350 per article in most categories (some types of non-research articles don’t assess author fees). Our membership for 2006 was for $10,000, which has now been exhausted. Going forward, our membership subscription will not accommodate payment of the submission fee, but rather a 15% discount on the fee; the remainder is the responsibility of the author, similar to page charges of other types of journals. Most of our colleagues around the country have taken a similar step, or did not renew at all, believing that the reporting of results through journal publication is an integral part of research that should be supported by funding sources as just one part of the cost of doing research.
We regret the late notice of this change, and that the transition wasn’t smoother. If you have any questions, please contact Katherine Chew at firstname.lastname@example.org.