BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model, and was acquired by Springer Verlag in 2008. All original research articles published by BioMed Central are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication. BioMed Central views open access to research as essential in order to ensure the rapid and efficient communication of research findings. All research articles in BioMed Central’s journals receive rapid and thorough peer review. The detailed peer-review policy of each journal is the responsibility of the journal editor(s) concerned; for example, some journals operate an open and others a peer review system.