Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 29, 2008

First editorial from the new editor of PLoS Biology

Jonathan A. Eisen, PLoS Biology 2.0, PLoS Biology, February 26, 2008. (See also the announcement of Eisen's appointment.)

... First, I want to work to preserve and improve upon the partnership between academic and professional editors that makes PLoS Biology different from other top-tier journals ... This partnership presents many difficulties in running the journal and plotting its future, as unlike society journals or other specialty journals, PLoS Biology Academic Editors are from all over the map, literally and figuratively. But what can unite the Academic Editors is OA itself, and I believe that OA provides a powerful bridge to get the Academic Editor community more involved in the journal beyond just shepherding papers.

Second, I want to work with the professional staff at PLoS Biology, the Academic Editors, and anyone else in the community who shares my desire to build new initiatives that will keep PLoS Biology as a top-tier journal. These would include ideas like producing issues dedicated to particular themes, actively recruiting excellent papers in fields where OA is not yet common, producing more outreach and educational material, and engaging bloggers and fully embracing the Web 2.0 world.

Finally, I want to leverage PLoS Biology's position as one of the best and best-known OA journals to energize the OA movement itself. The Creative Commons licenses that PLoS journals use provide a wealth of benefits to users—who are restricted only by their creativity in how they can use PLoS Biology's contents. I am particularly interested in promoting ways for educators to take full advantage of the benefits of unrestricted, free access to scientific publications. ... I also believe that PLoS Biology can help provide more direct benefits to those who choose to publish in OA journals by lobbying university promotion and hiring committees, funding agencies, and others to encourage OA publishing and to reward it. Given that there are various inducements for other aspects of open science (e.g., many funding agencies require open data release and encourage making software open source), why should there not be rewards for OA publishing? ...