“Two years have passed since I requested release of the PLOS One PACE data, eight months since the Expression of Concern was posted. What can we expect?…
The PLOS One Senior Editors completed the pre-specified process of deciding what to do about the data not being shared. They took no action. …
International trends will continue toward making uploading data into publicly accessible repositories a requirement for publication. PLOS One has slowed down by buying into discredited arguments about patient consent forms not allowing sharing of anonymized data….”
As the new PLOS CEO, I’ve spent my first months assessing the organization and planning for a thriving future. We are in the midst of shaping our next innovative steps in pursuit of maximal openness and transparency in research communication, and assessing what changes we need to make as an organization. Some of these changes will likely go unnoticed outside of PLOS. Others may cause speculation. For clarity and transparency’s sake, I’ve chosen to write an open letter to the communities PLOS serves, so we can encourage open dialogue and so that you can share in our continuing evolution.
“For years, scientists have complained that it can take months or even years for a scientific discovery to be published, because of the slowness of peer review. To cut through this problem, researchers in physics and mathematics have long used “preprints” – preliminary versions of their scientific findings published on internet servers for anyone to read. In 2013, similar services were launched for biology, and many scientists now use them. This is traditionally viewed as an example of biology finally catching up with physics, but following a chance discovery in the archives of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Matthew Cobb, a scientist and historian at the University of Manchester, has unearthed a long-forgotten experiment in biology preprints that took place in the 1960s, and has written about them in a study publishing 16 November in the open access journal PLOS Biology.”
“In 2003, PLOS published its first research article and this month we’re proud to announce that we have now published more than 200,000 research articles across our seven Open Access journals. It has been an amazing journey to reach this milestone….”
“Someday, I hope that all journal articles in my field are available to researchers around the world and the public at large, and not hidden behind pay-walls. After all, scientific research is heavily supported by tax-payers, so members of the public should be able to see, enjoy and learn what is being accomplished in the ever-expanding, and exciting field of human evolutionary studies.”
“PLOS is pleased to announce the appointment of Alison Mudditt as its Chief Executive Officer, effective June 19, 2017.
For the past six years Mudditt served as Director of University of California Press (UC Press) where she ushered in new strategies to lead the company into the digital age, including the innovative journal and monograph Open Access programs Collabra and Luminos.
Prior to UC Press, Mudditt was Executive Vice President at SAGE Publications, Inc., leading publishing programs across books, journals and digital platforms. Her 25 plus years in the publishing industry include leadership positions at Blackwell Publishers in Oxford, UK, and Taylor & Francis Inc., in Philadelphia, US. Mudditt received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Bath and her Masters in Business Administration from The Open University.”
“I know first-hand just how thorough peer review is at PLOS ONE as I published one paper there and had another rejected because of flaws that we initially missed. Some scientists even complain that PLOS ONE actually rejects too much.
How much to reject is a tricky balancing act for a megajournal. Accept too much, and you are a “dumping ground”; reject too much and you’re an ‘evil gate-keeper’. The solution seems to be precisely what PLOS ONE does – aim for rigorous peer review and publish works that pass it. A week ago, Editor-in-Chief Joerg Heber told me that PLOS ONE publishes 50% of the submitted manuscripts….”
“Dee Carter‘s lab at the University of Sydney, Australia focuses on eukaryotic microorganisms, in particular disease-causing pathogens. Since these organisms are more closely related to humans than bacteria or viruses for instance, it is challenging to find treatments that don’t damage the host at the same time. Her research revolves around understanding pathogen diversity using population and evolutionary genetic analysis, and on understanding cellular responses to toxins and stresses using transcriptomic and proteomic approaches. Dee graduated from the University of Otago, New Zealand, with a BSc and undertook her PhD at Imperial College London, UK, where she worked on the plant pathogen Phytophtohora infestans. She then did postdocs at the Faculte de Medicine de Montpellier, France and in the US at Roche Molecular Systems, Alameda, California and the University of Berkeley, under the combined mentorship of Dr Thomas White and Professsor John Taylor. She has been at the University of Sydney since 1995. Dee joined the PLOS ONE Editorial Board as Academic Editor at the launch of the journal in 2006.”
“Ambra is an innovative Open Source platform for publishing Open Access research articles. It provides features for post-publication discussion and versioned articles that allows for a “living” document around which further scientific discoveries can be made. The platform is in active development by PLOS (Public Library of Science) and is licensed under the MIT License….”
“PLOS journals require authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception.
When submitting a manuscript online, authors must provide a Data Availability Statement describing compliance with PLOS’s policy. If the article is accepted for publication, the data availability statement will be published as part of the final article.
Refusal to share data and related metadata and methods in accordance with this policy will be grounds for rejection. PLOS journal editors encourage researchers to contact them if they encounter difficulties in obtaining data from articles published in PLOS journals. If restrictions on access to data come to light after publication, we reserve the right to post a correction, to contact the authors’ institutions and funders, or in extreme cases to retract the publication.
Methods acceptable to PLOS journals with respect to data sharing are listed below, accompanied by guidance for authors as to what must be indicated in their data availability statement and how to follow best practices in reporting. If authors did not collect data themselves but used another source, this source must be credited as appropriate. Authors who have questions or difficulties with the policy, or readers who have difficulty accessing data, are encouraged to contact the relevant journal office or email@example.com.
The data policy was implemented on March 3, 2014….”