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PLoS ONE launches Synthetic Biology Collection


PLoS ONE announces the launch of the Synthetic Biology Collection. The new Collection contains an unprecedented number of articles illustrating the many facets of this dynamically evolving research area.

The field of synthetic biology interconnects many engineering and scientific disciplines including biology, chemical engineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, and computer science. PLoS ONE has published more than 50 articles covering all aspects of synthetic biology. The journal aims to help increase the visibility of this growing transdisciplinary field by assembling the articles into a Collection.

"When working at its best, science should be an active conversation that keeps refining ideas," said Damian Pattinson, PLoS ONE's Executive Editor, "We believe that PLoS ONE provides the ideal venue to achieve this and we hope that the Collection will inspire further progress in synthetic biology."

PLoS ONE's innovative editorial policy has made it possible for synthetic biologists to publish research that may not be the proper fit for a classical journal.

"The collection includes several articles from engineers and computer scientists who traditionally publish their work in conference proceedings rather than the journals available to life-scientists," said Dr. Jean Peccoud, an Associate Professor at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. "PLoS ONE's breadth of subject matter made it possible to publish an unprecedented body of articles that reflects the multifaceted nature of synthetic biology."

A key feature of PLoS ONE is the inclusion of article-level metrics (ALMs) that are published alongside each paper and can be used to assess the impact of the research.

"Two articles now included in the Collection, were published in 2006, and to date have been cited 70 and 84 times, respectively," said Dr. Mark Isalan, Group Leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation. "Metrics such as social bookmarking or number of views lead us to believe that articles published more recently will also have a lasting impact on the field."

The Collection highlights selected synthetic biology articles published in PLoS ONE since 2006. It will be updated regularly with appropriate new papers, as a growing resource. "Ultimately, we hope that having a dedicated repository in PLoS ONE will further increase the journal's attractiveness to researchers publishing synthetic biology," said Pattinson.


The collection was edited by Jean Peccoud, Associate Professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) and by Mark Isalan, Group Leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona, Spain).

Collection Citation: PLOS Collections: Synthetic Biology Collection (2012)

Citation: Peccoud J, Isalan M (2012) The PLoS ONE Synthetic Biology Collection: Six Years and Counting. PLoS ONE 7(8): e43231. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043231

Financial Disclosure: JP is supported by National Science Foundation Awards 0850100 and 0963988 and by grants R01-GM078989 and R01-GM095955 from the National Institutes of Health. MI is funded by FP7 ERC 201249 ZINC-HUBS, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion grant MICINN BFU2010-17953 and the MEC-EMBL agreement. The funders had no role in the preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


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