Flaw in BioMed Central payment conditions?

I’ve learned today, that – according to BioMed Central (BMC) – not the first or last or corresponding author is responsible for making or arranging (via institutional membership) the payment but the submitting author. That raises some interesting and serious questions in the area of BMC institutional membership:

  • Will authors from BMC non-member institutions invite scientists from BMC member institutions for co-authoring and submitting so they don’t have to pay? Will there be a payment tourism?
  • Who should submit (and pay) the paper, if not the one who will benefit most? Obviously this is the first author.
  • Which reasons could prevent the first author to make the submission himself others than financial?
  • Will this payment condition lead to veiling the true authors and weakening research ethics?
  • How will tough-budgeted membership institutions (like libraries) manage these challenge? Will they pay for papers with first authors from other universities/companies? Will they require there scientists to submit only as first authors if they want the payment waived?

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