So we just submitted a new article to Biophys. J. I’ve done online article submission through five different sites now; the ACS paragon system is probably the nicest of the bunch and the Biophysical Journal system, well, it needs some work. There’s the hidden bibtex and latex style sheets that you can only see after you register (we found this out after wasting two hours rolling our own bst file). There’s the fiddly formatting that must be done before the manuscript gets assigned to an editor. You are also made to enter (by hand) suggested reviewer information that they probably already have on file.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the journal. The online submission system needs some work, however.
In related news, the Biophysical Society is one of the signatories of the DC Principles for Free Access to Science which appears to be an attempt by small not-for-profit publishers to find a middle ground between the closed access preferred by the for-profit publishers and the completely open access preferred by many scientists. I’ve said before that journals add tremendous value to science and I understand that the added value costs money. I’m also a taxpayer and I’d like to see the fruits of taxpayer-funded research become publicly accessible in a reasonable period of time. Perhaps the DC principles group is on to something.