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PLoS Biology Makes Major Impact On Its First Day

:: On Oct 13, 2003, the first day of online availability to the world, the new open-access journal PLoS Biology had already had a dramatic impact in scholarly publishing. As reported in The Mercury News, a research article by Duke University scientists Miguel Nicolelis, Jose Carmena and seven others, caused a stir:

    Duke University researchers Miguel Nicolelis and Jose Carmena reported that they had successfully trained monkeys with brain implants to move a robot arm with their thoughts -- a key advance by researchers who hope one day to allow paralyzed people to perform similar tasks.
In the hours following the posting of the article, the PLoS servers crashed, with the article having received half a million hits and 80,000 downloads:
    By Monday morning, the Duke paper was rendered inaccessible by a crush of traffic from interested readers that crashed the Public Library's servers. The site received 500,000 hits in the hours immediately after the paper was posted and some 80,000 downloads occurred, prompted by worldwide media coverage.

    "Nothing else has ever argued so strongly for open-access publishing,'' said Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher Michael Eisen, who co-founded the nonprofit organization along with Nobel laureate Harold Varmus and Stanford University biochemist Patrick Brown.

It will be fascinating to see what impact, if any, PLoS Biology will have on the scholarly publishing world. (With thanks to Terry Donovan for bringing this to my attention.

:: BTW, please note the times I've posted recently are incorrect, off anywhere from 6-8 hours into the future. I don't know yet how to fix the problem.

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