2020 - All Press Releases

Pioneering OA publisher turns 20

First open access publisher, BMC celebrates its 20th Anniversary

London | 13th May 2020

20 years ago BMC launched as the first commercial open access (OA) publisher.  Since then, it has  pioneered a sustainable approach to OA and developed  robust open policies for open research that have guided industry standards for OA.

Over its 20 years, BMC:

  1. has developed a sustainable business model for OA, through the introduction of the ‘OA charge’, now commonly known as an article processing charge (APC), an approach that enabled OA to be seen as a scalable option for the first time. 
  2. was the first publisher to promote a fair and transparent approach to peer review, with the introduction of open peer review practices 
  3. has developed robust policies on data sharing, reuse and text mining which have since influenced wider industry guidelines

Meredith LeMasurier, VP Editorial, Nature Research and BMC Community Journals:

“Twenty years ago, the world of scientific publishing was very different. OA was in its infancy and questions still remained around its viability as a sustainable publishing model. BMC harnessed emerging digital technologies to meet the needs of our community and the   sustainable OA model that BMC pioneered (gold OA) soon became the industry standard for OA publishing. We have now enabled researchers to publish more than 316,000 OA articles, across 316 journals, accumulating more than 5 million citations and over 1.2 billion downloads.

For us, this community led, progressive approach remains at the centre of our publishing ethos, and we're continuing to create and evolve new ways to support authors and enable  high quality scientific research to be available to everyone. We are very proud of our 20-year legacy, and know that we wouldn’t be here without those that have helped make BMC what it is today.  We look forward to our next 20 years, and beyond, and our continued focus on supporting and driving the future of open research.”

Alison Mitchell, Chief Journals Officer Springer Nature further commented:

“We are incredibly proud that  BMC is part of the Springer Nature family.  Its ethos, commitment and innovation in OA has been a major influence on the rest of the business and a key driver in making Springer Nature the world’s most comprehensive OA publisher. Our collective vision for OA continues to drive the way in which Springer Nature is seeking to play an important role in the development of open research and helping to advance discovery. We celebrate BMC’s outreach to this point and look forward to the collective impact that can be had on driving forward open research over the next 20 years”  

More information about BMC can be found here. More information on Springer Nature and OA can be found here.


1. OA articles and citations cover the time period from 1999 - January 2020. Downloads cover the time period from 2012 - January 2020. Data correct as of April 2020.

About Springer Nature

For over 175 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

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Katie Baker | Head of Communications - Publishing and Research Services katie.baker@springernature.com