BioMed Central's policy for protecting your personal information

Privacy is an important concern for internet users, and is something that BioMed Central takes very seriously. What follows is an explanation of BioMed Central's policy for protecting users' personal information.

What personal information does BioMed Central ask users to supply, and why?

Registration on BioMed Central is optional and voluntary. Browsing and viewing articles on BioMed Central does not require any personal information to be submitted from users. Nor do these functions require the user's browser to be set to accept cookies.

Some other aspects of BioMed Central's service and other services published on BioMed Central do require the use of cookies, and the supply of information such as name, email etc. This is necessary for security reasons and also for BioMed Central to be able to assure standards of scientific integrity. Users may submit further personal information (e.g. details of research areas of interest) in order to take advantage of present and future personalization facilities on BioMed Central.

In accordance with European Union guidelines, registrants may decline to provide the information requested. They should be advised, however, that BioMed Central may be unable to deliver its services unless at least the information necessary for security and identification purposes is provided.

What further information does BioMed Central track, and why?

In order to offer the best possible service to users, BioMed Central tracks the patterns of usage of pages on the site. This enables us to identify the most popular articles and services. Where users have provided details of their research areas of interest, this information can be correlated, helping BioMed Central to provide a useful service for scientists, offering them the most relevant information based on their areas of interest.

What is BioMed Central's policy on sharing email addresses with third parties?

User information will only be shared with third parties with the explicit consent of the user. If the user has explicitly opted to receive special offer and product information emails from BioMed Central partners, then BioMed Central may from time to time email the user on behalf of these partner companies. However, these companies will not be given the user's details without that user's explicit consent.

What is BioMed Central's policy on emailing its registered members?

BioMed Central may contact members from time to time to draw the member's attention to information that may be of interest. Members may opt out from receiving such email when registering as a member, or at any time thereafter by responding to such an email or contacting customer services.

What is BioMed Central's policy on using demographic information about users for online advertising purposes?

Support from advertisers is important to BioMed Central's model of free access to research articles. Statistical demographic information about the BioMed Central membership may be supplied to advertisers. BioMed Central may target online advertising to specific users on the basis of this demographic information, or on the basis of their past behavior on the site, but information about an individual user will not be passed on to an advertiser without the users' express consent.

What is BioMed Central’s policy on Dryad and data protection?

We encourage you to submit your data to the repository Dryad as part of the submission process. Benefits to publishing your data may include:

  • Discoverability. Making your data available online (and linking it to the publication) provides increased visibility for your work, generating a new pathway for others to learn about your work.
  • Citability. Obtaining a persistent, resolvable, identifier that can be used in a citation as well as listed on your CV will help to bring you credit for your data.
  • Workload reduction. If you receive individual requests for data, you can simply direct them to the files in your chosen repository.
  • Preservation. Your data files will be permanently and safely archived in perpetuity, fulfilling many funder data management requirements.
  • Impact. You will be more likely to garner citations through the reuse of your data.

Note that Dryad is a third party, and we do not have any control over the services provided by Dryad. Any services by Dryad will be solely based on an agreement entered into between you and Dryad. The text below is for information purposes only, and the descriptions may not be correct. For all relevant information about the services of Dryad please visit http://datadryad.org/.

Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences, governed by a consortium of journals. Dryad is a safe, sustainable location for data storage, and should you choose to publish your data, it will increase the likelihood of your article being used in further studies. Additionally, there are no restrictions on data format; Dryad seeks to archive sufficient data to support the findings described in the publication. For more information on Dryad or data archiving, please visit http://datadryad.org/.

Upon submission of a manuscript to the journal, an email is automatically sent to Dryad with the following metadata details:

  • Journal Name
  • Journal Code
  • Online ISSN
  • MS Reference Number
  • Article Status: Submitted
  • MS Title
  • MS Authors
  • Contact Author
  • Contact Author Email
  • Keywords
  • Abstract

When the manuscript is accepted/rejected for publication, another email is automatically sent to Dryad with the same fields, except that the Article Status becomes ‘Accepted’/’Rejected’.

This article metadata contains identifiable information and is stored by Dryad in a secure holding area where it is not viewed or accessed until an author submits data to Dryad. This data is only accessed by staff in relation to services provided. Dryad never shares the information in the automated metadata notices with any outside party except the publishing organization that provided it, in this case BioMed Central. After one year, if the author has not submitted his or her data, the metadata related to that dataset and article are deleted. You can find the complete Dryad terms of service, including privacy policy here: http://datadryad.org/themes/Mirage/docs/TermsOfService-A4-2013.08.22.pdf

Please note that any use, storage or processing of such data submitted to Dryad is subject to the respective terms and conditions of Dryad, as any relationship regarding such will be solely between you and Dryad.

Access for journalists

Articles on BioMed Central will be published electronically immediately upon acceptance. So, the issue of having an 'embargo' on controversial or publicity-sensitive material in the temporal gap between acceptance and publication is not an issue for BioMed Central. Journalists, like everyone else, will have access to published material immediately upon acceptance.

How does this privacy policy relate to authors of research articles published through BioMed Central

Publishing a scientific manuscript is inherently a public (as opposed to anonymous) process. The name and email address of all authors of a BioMed Central manuscript will be available to users of BioMed Central. These details are made available in this way purely to facilitate scientific communication. Collecting these email addresses for commercial use is not permitted, nor will BioMed Central itself send unsolicited email to authors, unless it directly concerns the article that they have published on BioMed Central and/or the journal in which the article was published.

Legal responsibilities

BioMed Central reserves the right to disclose members' personal information if required to do so by law, or in the good faith and belief that such action is reasonably necessary to comply with legal process, respond to claims, or protect the rights, property or safety of BioMed Central, employees or members.

Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns about my privacy?

If you have any questions or concerns about your privacy and BioMed Central please contact our customer services team.

Online Tracking

We may use third-party web analytics services on our Site, such as Google Analytics. These service providers help us analyze how users use our Site. The information collected for this purpose (including your IP address and other information collected by automated means) will be disclosed to or collected directly by these service providers. These service providers may retain and use anonymised, aggregated data collected from users of our Site in connection with their own businesses, including in order to improve their products and services. To learn more about opting out of data collection through Google Analytics, click the link below:

Google Analytics

You can de-activate Google Analytics by installing a browser add-on that can be downloaded at tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

On the Site, we may collect information about your online activities for use in providing you with advertising about products and services tailored to your individual interests. This section of our Online Privacy Notice provides details and explains how to exercise your choices

You may see certain ads on other websites based on your visits to our Site because we participate in advertising networks administered by third-party vendors, such as Google Adwords. Ad networks allow us to target our messaging to users considering demographic data, users’ inferred interests and browsing context. These networks track your online activities over time by collecting information through automated means, including through the use of cookies, web server logs and web beacons. The networks use this information to show you advertisements that are tailored to your individual interests, to track your browser across multiple websites, and to build a profile of your web browsing. The information our ad network vendors collect includes information about your visits to websites that participate in the vendors’ advertising networks, such as the pages or advertisements you view and the actions you take on the websites. This data collection takes place both on our Site and on third-party websites that participate in the ad networks. This process also helps us track the effectiveness of our marketing efforts.

We may use features of Google Analytics for Display Advertisers. That includes obtaining specific visitor cookie data, such as the source, medium and keywords used to visit our Site.

US: To learn more about how to opt out of ad network interest-based advertising, click here.

EU: To learn more about how to opt out of ad network interest-based advertising, click here.

This Site is not designed to respond to "do not track" signals received from browsers.

Information We Share

We may share the information you provide with companies that are related to BMC through common ownership. We may also share the personal information we obtain with our publishing partners.

We share personal information with third parties who perform services on our behalf. For example, when you make a purchase we may share information about you and your transaction with other companies for the purpose of processing your transaction. In addition, we may retain third party service providers to manage our customer databases or distribute e-mail offerings.

Our Site may feature blogs, forums and discussion groups. Please be aware that some or all of the information you provide (including personal information) in connection with these activities may be made publicly available.

We also may disclose information about you (i) if we are required to do so by law, regulation or legal process (such as a court order or subpoena), (ii) in response to requests by government agencies, such as law enforcement authorities, or (iii) when we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to prevent physical harm or financial loss or in connection with an investigation of suspected or actual illegal activity. We reserve the right to transfer any information we have about you in the event we sell or transfer all or a portion of our business or assets (including in the event of a reorganization, dissolution or liquidation).

Our Site may contain links to other websites for your convenience and information. These may include, for example, some of the blogs and forums you may access through this Site. These websites may be operated by companies not affiliated with us. Linked websites may have their own privacy policies or notices, which we strongly suggest you review if you visit any linked websites. We are not responsible for the content of any websites that are not affiliated with BMC, any use of those websites, or the privacy practices of those websites.

Children’s Privacy

Our Site is not directed to children under the age of 13 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 13 on our Site. If we become aware that we have inadvertently received personal information from a visitor under the age of thirteen on our Site, we will delete the information from our records.

How We Protect Personal Information

We maintain administrative, technical and physical safeguards designed to protect the personal information you provide against accidental, unlawful or unauthorized destruction, loss, alteration, access, disclosure or use.

Your Choices

We give you the option of requesting that we not use your information for marketing purposes, or share your information with related companies for their own marketing purposes. Click here to send us an e-mail with your name and e-mail address, if you do not want us to use your information for marketing purposes, or share your information with related companies for their own marketing purposes.

Please be aware that we are able to process an opt-out request only for a specific e-mail address. So, if you have more than one e-mail address or if you have changed your e-mail address, your opt-out request may not be processed properly. If you believe you have opted out, but continue to receive e-mails from us, please contact us by one of the means listed under "How to Contact Us" below, and we will endeavor to resolve the issue.

Notice to California Residents

California’s "Shine the Light" law, Civil Code section 1798.83, requires certain businesses to respond to requests from California customers asking about the business' practices related to disclosing personal information to third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes. In the alternative, such businesses may have in place a policy not to disclose personal information of customers to third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes if the customer has opted out of such information-sharing. We have such a policy in place. As discussed above in the section entitled "Your Choices", if you wish to opt-out of our sharing of your information with third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes, please follow the appropriate opt-out link in that section.

Access and Correction

Subject to applicable law, you may (i) have the right to access certain personal information we maintain about you and obtain a copy of that information, (ii) update or correct inaccuracies in that information, (iii) object to our use of your personal information, and (iv) delete your personal information from our database. To exercise these rights, please contact us as indicated in the How To Contact Us section of this Online Privacy Notice. To help protect your privacy and maintain security, we may take steps to verify your identity before granting you access to the information. If you are resident in the EU, a charge may be applicable before we provide a copy to you of any of your personal information that we maintain.

Data Transfers

We may transfer the personal information we collect about you to countries other than the country in which the information originally was collected. Those countries may not have the same data protection laws as the country in which you initially provided the information. When we transfer your information to other countries, we will protect that information as described in this Online Privacy Notice and in accordance with applicable law. Where your personal information is collected in the EEA and we then transfer it outside the EEA, we will ensure that an adequate level of protection is in place to protect your personal information.

Updates To Our Online Privacy Notice

Changes to this Online Privacy Notice will become effective when those changes are posted to the Site. Your continued use of the Site subsequent to any change to this Online Privacy Notice constitutes your acceptance of the change. Please review this statement periodically to ensure you are aware of any changes or updates to this Online Privacy Notice. We indicate the effective date of this Online Privacy Notice (and any updates) at the top of the Notice.

How To Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Online Privacy Notice, or if you would like us to update information we have about you or your preferences, please contact us by:

E-mailing us at info@biomedcentral.com; or Calling us at: in the UK call free on 0800 389 8136 All other customers call +44 (0) 20 3192 2009 (24 hours a day, Monday - Friday) ; or Writing to us at: BioMed Central, Floor 6, 236 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8HB, United Kingdom.
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