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Longtime readers may remember a couple years ago when I did a post subtly criticizing the relatively new journal PLoS ONE, saying that it was not much more than a repository for rejected papers from the more selective PLoS journals, such as PLoS Biology and PLoS Genetics. Immediately after, I took flack some of the more senior people in the lab, saying I was probably premature to cast judgment on such a young journal. And furthermore, some people suggested that I should keep my big mouth shut, as I was a lowly undergrad and, furthermore, this is how things work in academia.
I’m not about to take back what I wrote back then, because I think it was spot on at the time and was a reflection of what the journal’s product was at the time. But that doesn’t mean that it necessarily holds true today.
PLoS ONE has gained remarkable popularity in such a short time because they avoid one of the major issues that costs many researchers a ton of time and, in many cases, grants: reviewer bias. I’ve seen it many times in the short time that I’ve been a part of the lab here at WSU, and I’ve come to realize how much of an impact that it has on the ability of a researcher to get a reasonably justified and supported article published (and included with a grant submittal).
In addition, I’ve seen other researchers starting to understand the advantages of publishing in PLoS ONE, and as a result I think the article quality overall has gone up.
Last year I recommended to my lab that they take a look at the journal as a possibility for a future article submission, as it has the tremendous advantages of quick turnaround times for publication (which can be of tangible importance during close grant deadlines) and open access for wider dissemination of your work.
This comes up now as PLoS ONE last week launched a new blog, everyONE, where they’ll be highlighting articles from the journal and trying to stimulate more conversations around their core content.
And I hope they continue to grow, as it provides a nice template for future academic journals to follow their lead with a more interactive approach.
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