About the Journal

Focus and Scope

The Journal of Biomedical Discovery and Collaboration (DISCO) is an Open Access, peer-reviewed online journal that will encompass all aspects of scientific information management and studies of scientific practice. Currently, many scattered disciplines study aspects of scientific practice, including informatics, computer science, sociology, cognitive psychology, scientometrics, rhetoric, public policy, technology innovation, and history and philosophy of science. The journal will connect these disparate perspectives with each other, and with contemporary scientific practice. The Journal of Biomedical Discovery and Collaboration was published by Biomed Central from 2006-2008.

DISCO considers the following types of articles:

  • Research articles - include scholarly studies of scientific practice, information needs, tool development, scientific rhetoric, bibliometrics, data representation methods, and so forth. Studies of text mining, information management, Bio-NLP and literature-based discovery are especially encouraged. Researchers are also encouraged to submit 'discovery notes', which describe literature-based discovery or data mining findings that follow systematic methodology and that make clear, testable, nontrivial experimental predictions that deserve the attention of a wide community of scientists.
  •  Case studies - describe and critically evaluate individual laboratories, research groups or training programs - for example, how they attempt to foster discovery and collaboration, how they monitor productivity, lessons learned that can be generalized to other programs, and an analysis of factors that determine the rate of progress.
  • Focus articles - short, opinionated, narrowly focused articles on issues of contemporary interest.
  • 'Discovery diaries' - document the "unexpurgated" story behind a specific experimental study that was previously published in the peer-reviewed literature. What really happened, in what order? What were the relative roles of factors such as hypothesis, policy, collaboration, chance, error, rhetoric, critical pieces of information, and new methods?
  • Reviews - comprehensive, authoritative, descriptions of any subject within the scope of the journal.
  • Software articles - describe tools designed to enhance productivity, data mining, creative thinking, data synthesis, collaborative work, and so on. These tools must be available to the public, and need not necessarily be specific to scientific work but should be applicable to scientists. The article must contain some formal evaluation, either of system performance or of user behavior.
  • Inquiries are invited for other article types such as commentaries and debate articles.

Section Policies


 Open Submissions


 Peer Reviewed

Lessons Learned

 Open Submissions


 Peer Reviewed


Peer Review Process

All papers will be submitted online to the main editorial office and pre-screened. Those considered further are sent out for peer review (generally 3-5 reviews are solicited). Authors are asked to submit the names and contact information of five potential reviewers. All authors must have read and approved the manuscript prior to submission, and submitted manuscripts must not be previously published or under review elsewhere. Posting in a pre-print repository such as arXiv or bioRxiv is not considered prior publication. Reviewers, who are asked to provide anonymous reviews within three weeks of receipt, will consider whether the paper is novel, scientifically sound, topically relevant, balanced, coherent, complete and shows adequate literary quality and scholarship. In case of a split decision, another review may be sought or an editorial decision may be made. All papers, regardless of article type, will be peer reviewed and open access and published immediately upon acceptance. Because the journal is directed at a broad multidisciplinary audience, prospective authors should make an attempt to minimize the use of specialized jargon and provide a brief overview or glossary for non-specialists. Articles that are scientifically sound, but judged too narrow in focus, may be declined.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. All articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...

Editorial Policies

Any manuscript submitted to the journal must not already have been published in another journal or be under consideration by any other journal, although it may have been deposited on a preprint server. Manuscripts must not have already been published in any journal or other citable form, with the exception that the journal is willing to consider peer-reviewing manuscripts that are translations of articles originally published in another language. In this case, the consent of the journal in which the article was originally published must be obtained and the fact that the article has already been published must be made clear on submission and stated in the abstract. Manuscripts that are derived from papers presented at conferences can be submitted unless they have been published as part of the conference proceedings in a peer reviewed journal. Authors are required to ensure that no material submitted as part of a manuscript infringes existing copyrights, or the rights of a third party. Authors who publish in DISCO retain copyright to their work. Correspondence concerning articles is encouraged. Submission of a manuscript to DISCO implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content, and that any experimental research that is reported in the manuscript has been performed with the approval of an appropriate ethics committee. Research carried out on humans must be in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration, and any experimental research on animals must follow internationally recognized guidelines. A statement to this effect must appear in the Methods section of the manuscript, including the name of the body which gave approval, with a reference number where appropriate. Informed consent must also be documented. Manuscripts may be rejected if the editorial office considers that the research has not been carried out within an ethical framework, e.g. if the severity of the experimental procedure is not justified by the value of the knowledge gained. We ask authors to complete a declaration of competing interests, which should be provided as a separate section of the manuscript, to follow the Acknowledgements. Where an author gives no competing interests, the listing will read 'The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests'. Any 'in press' articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers' assessment of the manuscript should be made available if requested by the editorial office. Submission of a manuscript to DISCO implies that readily reproducible materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes. Nucleic acid sequences, protein sequences, and atomic coordinates should be deposited in an appropriate database in time for the accession number to be included in the published article. In computational studies where the sequence information is unacceptable for inclusion in databases because of lack of experimental validation, the sequences must be published as an additional file with the article. The Journal endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions.