ISSUES IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION:
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June 7, 2006
PLoS Open: an Open Access alternative to Science and Nature?
As reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Blog, and Peter Suber's Open Access Blog, the Public Library of Science appears poised to start the publication of PLoS OPEN. It will be "a peer-reviewed publication that publishes all rigorously performed science, a vibrant online forum that encourages scientific dialogue and debate, and will offer a hassle-free process that gets your work online within weeks." It will "offer multidisciplinary scope, rapid turn-around, open review, and powerful personalization and discussion tools." Additional characteristics (from the PLoS site):
- Inclusive scope. The boundaries between different scientific fields are becoming increasingly blurred. At the same time, the bulk of the scientific literature is divided into journals covering ever more restrictive disciplines and subdisciplines. In contrast, PLoS ONE will be a venue for all rigorously performed science, making it easier to uncover connections and synergies across the research literature.
- Objective peer review. Peer reviewers are routinely asked to comment on whether papers are sufficiently novel or immediate to justify publication. Such subjective judgements can seriously delay the publication of good science. PLoS ONE will concentrate on identifying those papers that are rigorously and technically sound. Such work will be rapidly published and presented for open and continuous review so that the whole community can be involved in judging impact....
- Interactive papers. A paper in a traditional journal is a static marker in an ongoing process. Authors looking back on papers written 6 months or a year ago will see things that they might now have written differently. New data may have arisen to strengthen or alter some of the conclusions. We will provide authors with ways to make those changes and so acknowledge the evolution of their ideas. This doesn't alter the scientific record—the original paper is still the original paper—but authors and readers can build upon it.
- PLoS ONE will offer a new approach to the way that scientific research is communicated. Like all revolutions, this will take time, and the launch of PLoS ONE will only be the first step. New features and functionalities will be continually added to PLoS ONE while existing ones will be applied to an ever-increasing body of literature. We cannot do this alone and want to invite all members of the scientific community to help us shape the development of PLoS ONE and the future direction of scholarly publishing.
Take a look at the prototype and learn more about this new journal at: http://www.plosone.org/
Posted by Katie Newman at June 7, 2006 10:55 AM