The journal, available online at www.biology-direct.com, launches with publications in the fields of Systems Biology, Computational Biology, and Evolutionary Biology, with an Immunology section to follow soon. Biology Direct considers original research articles, hypotheses, and reviews and will eventually cover the full spectrum of biology.
Biology Direct is led by Editors-in-Chief David J Lipman, Director of the National Center Biotechnology Information (NCBI) a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at NIH, USA; Eugene V Koonin, Senior Investigator at NCBI; and Laura Landweber, Associate Professor at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA. Lipman has long been interested in open access and has been central in the development of PubMed, GenBank and PubMed Central, the NLM's open access repository for literature in the life sciences.
Lipman and Koonin, speaking on the eve of the journal's launch, explain the motivation for establishing Biology Direct:
"We were compelled to launch this experiment because, while scientific publishing cannot be effective without peer review, we saw flaws in the current, predominantly, anonymous review system that run too deep to be rectified without a radical departure from the standard practices. It is our hope that the open peer-review system of Biology Direct, which allows a direct relationship between authors and reviewers, will be a major advantage for everyone involved - authors, readers, and reviewers alike."