The BMC series is a collection of 64 open access journals that cover many specialized areas of biology and medicine. Two of the BMC-series journals, BMC Systems Biology and BMC Medical Genomics, have operated with the assistance of academic Associate Editors since their launch in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The Associate Editors help us by using in-depth knowledge of their specialized field to recommend suitable peer reviewers, and then assess the reports of these reviewers. The burgeoning success of these two journals in their respective fields is due in part to the close connections our Associate Editors have with their research communities and the valuable advice that the Associate Editors have provided.
We have learned from the success of these new journals: the remaining BMC-series specialty journals have already begun recruiting Associate Editors. Our Associate Editors
range from researchers with newly established laboratories to well
established opinion leaders in their field, and it is their
well-informed perspective that will guide us as the BMC series
continues to grow. The process of recruiting Associate Editors started in March 2008. Recruiting is still underway for some
journals, but 33 of the 64 BMC-series journals are now operating
with the help of Associate Editors.
We are deeply indebted to our Associate Editors for their help. It is our expectation that the aid of our Associate Editors will increase the speed with which we can assess our submissions and will enhance our service to authors. Although it is early days, we are indeed finding that both our speed of publication and our author satisfaction have increased with the use of Associate Editors.
Our Associate Editors are aided in their work by other members of the Editorial Board, who give guidance on policy matters, provide advice on difficult decisions, and may also review manuscripts. All of our Editorial Board Members are assisted by our in-house staff, who continue to provide technical and editorial support for the journal.
This change in our processes, in addition to improving our service to authors, will also allow our in-house staff to focus more on developing the profile of our journals and ensuring that the articles we publish remain sound and relevant to the field. Through all of these changes, the BMC-series journals remain committed to their founding principle: they will continue to consider all work deemed by peer review to be coherent and
scientifically sound, regardless of interest level, provided that the research
constitutes a contribution to the field.