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PLoS: Public Library of Science

:: The v65 n3 March 2003 issue of College and Research Library News has an interesting article by Helen J Doyle, entitled The Public Library of Science: Open access from the ground up.

Despite the recent spike in press coverage, conference symposia, and electronic list discussions dedicated to the subject, open-access publishing is not a new concept or a nascent revolution. Both the idea and the practice of providing free access to scholarly literature in widely available; searchable archives have a long, rich history.1 In a sense then, the current spate of international interest in open access might be seen as a number of parallel movements, which are converging and gathering momentum due to a variety of forces, both internal and external to the scholarly publishing system.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS), a relatively new player on the open access scene, is one piece of a dynamic and complex landscape of organizations, policies, beliefs, myths, constraints, and ideals about open access and scholarly publishing. As an open-access publisher and advocacy organization, PLoS is steadfast in its commitment to making the scientific and medical literature a public resource, so that anyone with access to the Internet can read and use the scientific discoveries that are generated through research largely funded with public monies.

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