Free Science Journal Offers Online Preview

Free Science Journal Offers Online Preview

SAN FRANCISCO

The nonprofit, online publisher, the Public Library of Science (PLoS), has released a preview of the research papers it will be publishing for free beginning this October. Its first publication, PLoS Biology, will be a monthly, peer-reviewed journal expected to compete directly with prestigious paid-for journals.

“I’m delighted with the quality of the papers we’re publishing. I think Nature and Science will look at some of these papers and wish they had them,” said PLoS executive director Vivian Siegel in a news report.

PLoS released two papers last month as part of the sneak preview. One paper contends that Borneo elephants are genetically distinct from other Asian elephants and argues they should be protected. The other document includes details about the parasite that causes malaria. A list of authors with papers in upcoming issues includes a number who have previously published work in top journals.

The PLoS started in 2000 with a petition demanding that publishers upload their research to a public online database within six months of publication. The petition argued that publishers were selling access to research that in most cases had been funded with public money and should therefore be freely available.

When most top journals failed to comply, PLoS announced it would publish its own journals making first-rate research available for free, online. PLoS will publish another title, PLoS Medicine, in 2004, and is considering others.

Readers can access for the PLoS Web site.



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