August 15, 2005

George Porter on PLoS

.: PLoS, the Public Library of Science, is continuing to expand its Open Access publishing program. Following on the tremendous success of the first two PLoS journals, PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine, an announcement was made in January 2005 of the launch of three more titles from PLoS during 2005: PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics, and PLoS Pathogens.

PLoS, although not a LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) participant, deposits copies of all of the PLoS journals in PubMed Central helping to ensure the long term preservation and accessibility of the content.

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June 27, 2005

PLoS Computational Biology Debuts

:: As posted by George Porter on a number of listservs today:

PLoS, the Public Library of Science, launched their third Open Access journal this week. PLoS Computational Biology joins PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine.

PLoS Computational Biology is the first journal to launch of the three new titles announced for introduction in 2005. PLoS Genetics has a preview available of some of the articles which will appear in the debut issue. PLoS Genetics will go live on July 25. PLoS Pathogens is slated to debut in September 2005.

PLoS Computational Biology
Fulltext v1+ (2005+)
Print ISSN: 1553-734X | Online ISSN: 1553-7358

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January 7, 2005

New Journals from PLoS - Public Library of Science

:: George Porter, writing on various listservs, reports the following:

PLoS has posted a press release with additional details about the three new journals to be introduced in 2005.

PLoS Computational Biology
Fulltext forthcoming June 2005
Print ISSN: 1553-734X | Online ISSN: 1553-7358

PLoS Genetics
Fulltext forthcoming July 2005
Print ISSN: 1553-7390 | Online ISSN: 1553-7404

PLoS Pathogens
no start date or website yet at PLoS
Ulrich's indicates September 2005 -- Print ISSN: 1553-7366

December 15, 2004

ACS Division of Chemical Information - Highlights from 228th Meeting, Philadelphia, August 2004, Of Interest to Librarians

:: The 228th ACS National Meeting was held in Philadelphia in August, 2004. A selection of slide presentations from some of the 98(!) sessions of the Division of Chemical Information are available for viewing on the web site. On the ReedElsevier discussion list, Joe Kraus noted that Karen Hunter of Elsevier gave a presentation on open access:

CINF 31: Elsevier: A commercial publisher's perspectives on Open Access Karen Hunter, Elsevier, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010, k.hunter AT

Abstract: The publishing industry, academia, and scientific research itself, have gone through a tidalwave of change since the emergence of the internet. During the early days of the transition to online publishing, many perceived a revolution of science in the making. Today, usage of scientific journals online has doubled year on year, indicating that scientific information is reaching users like never before. At the same time, library budgets continue to be reduced and libraries are forced to make difficult decisions about collection development and access. Various forms of "pay to publish" models are surfacing, as well as alternative distribution models. Now once again, revolution is in the air. This presentation will include proprietary Elsevier research and focus on Elsevier's view, as a commercial publisher, on Open Access and related activities, such as Open Archiving and institutional repositories, as well as the general outlook for the future.

Dana Roth commented on Hunter's presentation:
Thanks to Joe for this 'heads up'. It is interesting to see the cost/article for varying from $10K down (Science) to $3.8K (estimated STM mean cost).

One suspects that Science is dividing their total cost of production by the number of research articles.

The AIP is offering 'open access' for $2K (in 2005 for J. Math. Phys., Rev. Sci. Instrum. & Chaos), in contrast with Springer's charge of $3K.

Acta Crystallography is offering it at $800 (450GBP), which includes "editorial and production costs of editing, markup, hyperlinking, validation and assembly of an article and any associated supplementary materials".

Optics Express is charging $450 (for 6 pages or less)and $800 (for 7-15 pages), but is specifically not offering copy editing.

**It would be nice to have a tabulation of journals and 'open access' charges so, if you have info on others, please post.

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May 19, 2004

Cites & Insights and The Open Access Debate

:: The v4 n7 June 2004 issue of Walt Crawford's Cites & Incites: Crawford at Large, is worth a look (for that matter, so is every issue, but I digress...) Walt provides coverage and analysis of the continuing debate on open access. In "Library Access to Scholarship", he brings us up to date on the latest developments at U Maryland, Stanford U, and Indiana U Bloomington, and comments on H.R. 2613, the Public Access to Science Act, aka the Sabo Bill, (which would exclude copyright for the publication of results of US-federally funded research) and PLoS. Also covered, in "The Empire Strikes Back", Walt discusses the investigations into the state of scientific publishing currently underway in the UK, providing analysis and commentary on Elsevier's position paper, responses from BioMed Central (including its (Mis)Leading Open Access Myths, and The Open Society Institute, and more.

May 13, 2004

Charleston Advisor Reviews

:: The Charleston Advisor publishes reviews of web-based electronic resources. Recent reviews of interest include:

An active subscription may be required to view some of these reviews.

April 5, 2004

Scientific Societies' Publishing Arms Unite Against Open-Access Movement

:: Interesting piece from the 26 March 2004 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. As reported earlier, the Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science was announced on 16 March 2004. The Chronicle's take is that the DC Principles represents the 48 nonprofit groups as forming "a united front against the increasingly popular open-access movement.":

"It feels good to say everything should be free," says Martin Frank, executive director of the American Physiological Society and one of the organizers of the new coalition, in an interview. "But we'd rather get there using a business model different than the one used by PLoS and the open-access advocates. It's our contention that there's nothing wrong with that, that it makes the literature available to the community of individuals who need it, in a timely manner."

In their statement, the society publishers vowed to improve the efficiency and accessibility of the scientific literature. But they also argued that "publication fees should not be borne solely by researchers and their funding institutions, because the ability to publish in scientific journals should be available equally to all scientists, no matter what their economic circumstances."

March 25, 2004

PLoS Wins a 2004 Wired Rave Award

:: The Public Library of Science has won a 2004 Wired Rave Award, "For cracking the spine of the science cartel." PLoS "is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource." Their flagship journal, PLoS Biology, has reached v2 issue 3, March 2004. PLoS Medicine will begin publishing in the fall of 2004.

The complete list of the 2004 Wired Rave Awards is here. (via GP.)

March 10, 2004

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.

February 2, 2004

Suber, SPARC Open Access Newsletter, 2/4/04

New issue: SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #70February 2, 2004 is available now. Of note: an interesting report back on PLoS's first month of publication.

December 23, 2003

PLoS Biology -- December Issue Now Out

:: Vol 1(3) is here! Please let your friends and colleagues know that a new issue of PLoS Biology is up and running, and invite them to read it for free at

PLoS has just announced [last week] that individuals can become members of our organization. For a small donation (tax deductible in the US), you can be part of PLoS! For more information or to donate online, visit and click beneath "Become an Individual Member."

November 10, 2003

SPARC and PLoS Partner to Advocate for Open Access Publishing - Press Release

"SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources
Coalition), an academic and research libraries initiative, today announced
its partnership with the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the
groundbreaking organization of scientists and physicians committed to
making scientific and medical literature freely available on the public
Internet. The alliance aims to broaden support for open-access publishing
among researchers, funding agencies, societies, libraries, and academic
institutions through cooperative educational and advocacy activities."
[Press release posted to Liblicense-L]

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October 28, 2003

PLoS Interview

:: Laura Lynch of Creative Commons interviews Michael Eisen about the launch of the new open-access peer-reviewed journal, PLoS Biology.

October 21, 2003

U Alberta Mech Engineers Make Important Energy Breakthrough, More on PLoS Biology

:: University of Alberta mechanical engineering professors Dr Daniel Kwok and Dr Larry Kostiuk (additional information here), working with two graduate students, Fuzhi Lu (L) and Jun Wang (R), have discovered a new way to produce electricity, the first such discovery in 160 years.

Their research was the front page story in today's Edmonton Journal, and received coverage elsewhere on the Internet.

More information is available on the University of Alberta Express News site. The news of this discovery was also of personal interest to me, as I am the librarian responsible for mechanical engineering here at the U of Alberta.

Their research appears in the November 2003 issue of Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering:

    Research published today by the Institute of Physics journal, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering reveals a new method of generating electric power by harnessing the natural electrokinetic properties of a liquid such as ordinary tap water when it is pumped through tiny microchannels. The research team from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, have created a new source of clean non-polluting electric power with a variety of possible uses, ranging from powering small electronic devices to contributing to a national power grid.

    The research was led by Professor Daniel Kwok and Professor Larry Kostiuk from the University of Alberta. Professor Kostiuk said: “This discovery has a huge number of possible applications. It’s possible that it could be a new alternative energy source to rival wind and solar power, but this would need huge bodies of water to work on a commercial scale. Hydrocarbon fuels are still the best source of energy but they’re fast running out and so new options like this one could be vital in the future”.

Reference: Yang J, Lu F, Kostiuk LW, Kwok DY J Micromech Microeng 13 (November 2003) 963-970.

:: Expanding coverage of PLoS Biology: articles have appeared in EContent and CNET

October 18, 2003

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.

October 15, 2003

PLoS Biology Is In The House, China Is In Space

:: PLoS Biology, "the premier open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science", made its debut yesterday. PLoS "is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource." The first issue is v1 n1, October 2003. What's cutting edge about PLoS Biology, of course, is that all works published within are open access, available without cost to anyone, anywhere, who wishes to read or download for their own use. The PLoS Open-Access License provides more detail.

The appearance of this peer-reviewed, scholarly journal marks the beginning of a new era in scholarly publication, one in which a research journal of the highest quality and standards is made available without cost to the reader. It remains to be seen what the long term effects will be, and whether or not any impact will be felt in the for-profit scholarly publishing business.

:: China became the third country to send a human into space, as it launched its first manned mission this evening (9:00 pm EDT). The "taikonaut" is named Yang Li Wei, and he will be in space for 21 hours.

June 27, 2003

Public Library of Science

:: PLoS is in the news. Geoff reported on their new marketing blitz, a 30-second commercial, called "Wings", "...which humorously portrays the scientific progress that could be made if research and discoveries were openly and freely shared. The spot features a man leaving his house on his way to work." What's also of interest is the placement of the ad, to be shown during shows such as The Simpsons, Letterman, Leno, The Daily Show, and Discovery Sunday, in Boston, DC, and San Francisco.

"The campaign is linked to the October launch of PLoS Biology, a new peer-reviewed scientific journal that will compete with prominent publications such as Science, Nature, and Cell to publish the most significant works of biomedical research. Unlike these established journals, all works published by PLoS Biology will be immediately and freely available." PLoS argues that publically funded research should be freely available to all taxpayers, rather than at large universities and research institutions, which can afford to pay for the access.

Congressman Martin Sabo of Minnesota "is drafting legislation that would put publications describing research substantially funded by taxpayer dollars into the public domain." Coverage of the campaign has appeared in the NYTimes and the Wall Street Journal, among others. (Registration may be required)

May 12, 2003

1) Academic Fraud; 2) New journal from Public Library of Science

:: An interesting article in The Education Guardian weekly discusses about academic fraud, and cites a U Minnesota study of 4,000 researchers in >100 faculties. The study "found that one in three scientists plagiarised, 22% handled data "carelessly" and 15% occasionally withheld unfavourable data." I'm still looking for the study. Does anyone have any information about it?

:: The Public Library of Science has announced its first journal: PLoS Biology. Online and print editions will appear in October 2003. (Thanks, Catherine.)