"Scientists are eager to apply the awesome power of the Internet revolution to scientific communication, but have been stymied by the conservative nature of scientific publishing," said Michael B. Eisen, co-founder of PLoS and an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley. "PLoS ONE redefines what a scientific journal should be - eliminating needless barriers between authors and their audience and transforming the published literature from a static series of articles into a dynamic, interconnected, and constantly evolving resource for scientists and the public."
At a time when the boundaries between different scientific disciplines are becoming more and more blurred, the scientific literature has become increasingly fragmented, with journals of narrow scope accessible only to a limited audience of subscribers. Rather than perpetuate these arbitrary and often meaningless divisions, PLoS ONE will be an open public venue for all rigorous scientific research from every discipline. To enable the exploration of diverse content, PLoS ONE will employ powerful search and personalization tools. Users will be able to share their views on papers with the broader community through annotations and discussion threads, adding value to published material and creating powerful new ways for other readers to navigate and understand the literature.
Papers published by PLoS ONE will be held to rigorous standards of scientific quality. 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 will empower the scientific community as a whole to engage in an open discussion on every piece of published work, capturing the varied and extremely valuable assessment of published papers that occurs after the work has been published.
With PLoS ONE, papers need no longer be static markers in an ongoing process of scientific discovery, but the beginning of a conversation between authors and readers alike. Authors looking back on papers written 6 months or a year ago may see things that they would have written differently; new data may have arisen to strengthen or alter some of the conclusions. PLoS ONE will provide authors with opportunities to make those changes and so acknowledge the evolution of their ideas. This will not alter the scientific record--the original paper is still the original paper--but authors and readers can build upon it. And anyone with an interest can read and benefit from this.
PLoS ONE is the next step in PLoS's open-access publishing program, to ensure that all articles can be published in an open-access venue, the foundations of which were laid by journals such as PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine. PLoS ONE will launch later this year and will be accepting submissions from the beginning of August.
The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical research a public resource. PLoS publishes open-access journals of original peer-reviewed research including PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine, available at no cost to anyone in the world with a connection to the Internet. More information can be found at www.plos.org and www.plosone.org
Christopher Surridge, PhD
Managing Editor, PLoS ONE
Public Library of Science
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