Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Interview with Liz Allen of PLoS

Bora Zivkovic, PLoS, it rhymes with floss: Interview with Liz Allen, A Blog Around the Clock, February 19, 2008.

... You have also given quite a lot of thought to online social networks and how they can be used in organizing scientists, spreading scientific information, etc.., both using the general sites like Facebook and sites specifically designed for science networking. What are your thoughts on this?

Good question. So, PLoS ONE is a network of scientists that comes together around the articles. The PLoS Facebook group on the other hand comes together to bond around issues affecting PLoS itself, web technology and the philosophy of open access. From what I can see, folks in both environments still have a fledgling relationship with the articles or with the organization, and less frequently with each other in an open environment. This is understandable given the competitive culture of science and the grip of academic tenure. Researchers who build successful relationships often do so within international collaborative project groups and for that they might use their lab pages, project wikis, or email but they aren't yet using these forums. I could see this changing over time if tools were introduced to facilitate that. At the end of the day though, I still see researchers bonding as a group around the science itself, and with each other because of their shared passion for the work and the associated career opportunities. ...