Within scholarly publishing, the phrase dark data has been used to describe research outputs that are not usually considered in traditional research journals such as single observations. As a result, these research outputs often never see the light of day and remain hidden in researchers’ notebooks or buried as some extra data to be considered further one day in the future. However, there are many advantages in helping researchers to publish their dark data such as the reduction in duplicating research and the dissemination of fragmented findings or null results potentially useful to the research community.
Our vision for BMC Research Notes is to build a unique, high profile journal focusing on short research notes
BMC Research Notes was launched in 2008 as part of the BMC series with the aim to help free up dark data and provide a home for material that lacked a suitable publication outlet. In 2011, as the journal had begun to receive full-length research articles, both as direct submissions and transfers from other journals, we broadened its remit to include such articles. Whilst there has clearly been a need for BMC Research Notes to consider full-length research articles, doing so has masked the original vision of the journal as something different; a place where short observations, which might otherwise be unknown, can be made available to the global research community.
We are still committed to providing a home for all scientifically valid research outputs across the BMC series. Full-length research articles which would previously have been considered by BMC Research Notes can find a home in the relevant subject specific journals in the BMC series as outlined in a recent blog discussing the editorial threshold for these journals.
The “new” BMC Research Notes
We are bringing the journal back to its roots with a focus on shorter research notes that aim to bring dark data out of the shadows. The journal will once again focus on less conventional research outputs such as updates to previous work, additions to established methods, single observations and null results that are often overlooked. BMC Research Notes will publish articles without bias and will take the focus away from story-telling to making all valid research outputs freely and openly accessible.
To increase clarity and simplicity, we have reduced the number of article types and created ‘Research note’, the journals’ main article format. ‘Research note’ has a word limit making it a true note article, structured in introduction, main text and limitations. We believe our new article type will ensure research is easy to digest for readers while being of maximum benefit by clearly stating the objective of the work presented as well as its limitations.
BMC Research Notes will publish articles without bias and will take the focus away from story-telling
Dark data is being generated by researchers of all disciplines across the world. BMC Research Notes aspires to serve a broad and global research community. As a result, the journal will expand its scope to include all scientific and clinical disciplines, i.e. health sciences and medicine, life sciences, physical sciences including all engineering disciplines, computer science and mathematics as well as related disciplines such as science education, bioethics and research methodology.
Our vision for BMC Research Notes is to build a unique, high profile journal focusing on short research notes that will serve as a dedicated open access forum for research outputs which would otherwise remain unknown. As part of the established BMC series, the journal’s primary goal is to serve the global scientific and clinical research communities.