The distribution of biomedical information was transfigured over three centuries ago with the introduction of scientific journals. This enabled the widespread dissemination of data to global audiences and greatly facilitated not only the advance of science but amplified the interaction between investigators despite their different locations. This process continued to expand in a linear fashion prior to the emergence of the Internet. The latter system has prompted a phenomenal augmentation of information accessibility, and its ever-expanding use has resulted in an exponential increase in the demand for digital technology and online resources. This technology has achieved unprecedented acceptance in the scientific domain and enabled publishers to expeditiously produce and distribute journal contents online. Such unparalleled access to information has sparked incendiary debate within the scientific community and among journal publishers in regard to numerous issues. It is thus much debated as to who has the right to own or control intellectual property, whether information should be made freely available to the online global community, how to gauge the legitimacy and authenticity of published research, and the need to reexamine the feasibility and profitability of paper journals in consideration of the digital, online formats that continue to gain popularity. To assess the current status of the situation, a meeting of journal editors, research scientists, and publishing executives was held in Constance, Germany, on June 26, 2004, to discuss these issues and formulate strategies and recommendations for the future of biomedical publishing. Herewith we provide a summation (manifesto) of the meeting's proceedings and provide a consensus opinion with the aim of illuminating the subject and also proposing some putative solutions for the major challenges that currently confront the scientific and publishing community.