PLoS One - Open Access 2.0

I found the prototype page of the upcoming PLoS One. It goes by the subtitle of Open Access 2.0 and according to the webpage it will try to change a lot of things about science communication.

Later this year, PLoS will launch PLoS ONE.
* A peer-reviewed publication that publishes all rigorously performed science
* A vibrant online forum that encourages scientific dialogue and debate
* A "hassle-free" process that gets your work online within weeks

The details are not obvious from the webpage but it looks like there will be a fast formal peer review followed by a community discussion. There will be a continuous revision process (interactive papers) and some tools to personalize your content, to find the stuff that interests you within the things published in One. The name itself is promising since it almost states that One will be the new flagship for PLoS.

There is also a link to a PLoS blog but it looks like it is not available yet. I am happy to see PLoS picking up the science 2.0 meme and putting some of it's weight behind it.


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The official announcement for PLoS One

There is an announcement for PLoS One in the PLoS website. It adds a little bit to what is already in the home page:
Papers submitted to PLoS ONE will be held to rigorous standards of scientific quality by relatively conventional peer review. However, subjective considerations like "likely impact," "degree of advance," or "interest to a general reader" will not play a role in deciding whether an article should be published or not. Instead, published papers will be exposed to peer review in its fullest sense. All readers will have the tools to add comments, annotations, and ratings to each article, so that post-publication review forms an integral part of the review process.


PLoS One

There is an interview with Harold Varmus on wired, outlining the proposed process of PLoS One, which I commented on via my blog (shameless plug)


We only accept shameless

We only accept shameless plugs :) Please add your blog to the wiki page.

I also discovered that Richard Poynder has just posted an excellent interview with Harold Varmus. This is part of his Basement Interviews series which was going to be a book project but amazingly wasn't accepted ? There is another interview with Vitek Tracz the guy behind Biomed Central.


Okay, so maybe I take back

Okay, so maybe I take back my comment suggesting that the scientific community is just too drab. Or maybe the plos people got some marketing advice: PLOS One ? Open Access 2.0 ?

Regardless, this is certainly encouraging, making the publishing process more dynamic and responsive to the online environment. It will be interesting to see how they manage to come up with a vibrant online forum that encourages scientific dialogue and debate. It seems straight forward, install phpBB and let the blood run free. Maybe. I think Biomedcentral's e-letters was a nice compromise between free form comments and formal letters. Maybe the PLOS people will remove editorial control and let the community police itself :)

Ultimately the launch of journals like this is giving more credibility to the web as a primary medium for publishing and discussing science (cf. Neil's comment on BMC). There will be a transition. Of course those that are in charge of funding science don't comment on science in a *textarea*, they write letters to Nature. That was Nature if you didn't get it the first time. I should point out that Nature is quite keen on Science 2.0.


Speaking of Nature

3 months

So , for the next 3 months anyone can be a referee for a Nature paper. It will be surely interesting to watch. I guess the worse scenario is no participation at all but even if in just one case it is useful for them, then they will likely make this permanent. I wonder if 3 months will be sufficient to get enough people aware of this so that they get useful contributions.


Open peer review, now at Biology Direct

Biology Direct is an open peer review journal. Its publishing model is presented in a Nature article entitled Can 'open peer review' work for biologists? Biology Direct is hopeful.

Biology Direct considers original research articles, hypotheses and reviews in selected subject areas, and will eventually cover the full spectrum of biology. Subject areas already launched include Genomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology.


The future?

Shame about the broken blog link - the cardinal sin of web publishing is to go live before your content is ready. Hope they fix that soon.

This is exciting stuff. I'd love for this to be the future of science publishing, but suspect that it will be a long battle for acceptance. I predict that the "establishment" will refuse to take open-access publishing seriously for several years and even attempt to discredit it. Recall when the BMC journals were launched - for a time many people would not take them seriously just because they lacked an official impact factor. Discussion of this problem in BMC Bioinformatics 5:93 and again in 6:140. Five years down the line, said journal impact factor is 5.42 and the BMC series is highly respected.


The future came early

Boy, you are fast at finding out stuff.
We didn't plan to put that site live until Monday and anyway the version you found was a draft and had some very small inaccurcies. I still can't quite work out how Pedro found it. Anyway, sorry for the dead links but you rushed us. They are tidied up now or taken out. Still won't get the blog up and running until Monday though, at which point please come and see. I mean to use it to talk about the ideas we are trying to employ on PLoS ONE and the future directions of scientific publishing as a whole, though there will no doubt be other stuff to talk about as well.
I'd love to talk more but now I have three days work to get done before noon.
Thanks Pedro!


Aha, not live

Sorry, had I read Pedro's post properly I'd have realised that the site isn't live yet! Best of luck for Monday.


We are scientists, we are

We are scientists, we are *trained* to find stuff out :)

The explanation as to how Pedro found is on his blog here.


Actually here :)

That link is the Varmus interview. Pedro's link is here.



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