by Vicky Ludas Orlofsky
To mark Open Access Week 2015, this week you’ll see a series of posts about different aspects of the Open Access movement in publishing.
PLOS, established in 2001, has emerged as a strong proponent of OA publishing for scholarly material through its range of gold OA journals (all published under the CC BY license; see more about Creative Commons licenses in part 2). While PLOS ONE is their “megajournal,” in that they do not limit themselves to one discipline but instead publish whatever scholarly work they feel is important and should be published, PLOS has a number of more discipline-specific journals:
All PLOS journals are peer-reviewed.
To publish in a PLOS journal, authors must pay an Article Processing Charge (APC), which range from $1,495 for PLOS ONE to $2,900 for PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine. They do offer assistance for scholars from developing countries as well as authors who show financial need.
PLOS has been a big proponent of altmetrics, which track the impact of a work through means beyond citations. Every article published in a PLOS journal includes Article-Level Metrics, which shows how the article has been Viewed (on PLOS and PubMed, in which all PLOS articles are deposited), Cited (as pulled from Google Scholar), Saved (on Mendeley and CiteYouLike), and Discussed (Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, and others). For an example of Article-Level Metrics, see Walking Like Dinosaurs: Chickens with Artificial Tails Provide Clues about Non-Avian Theropod Locomotion*, one of PLOS ONE’s most viewed articles of all time.
Finally, as mentioned in part 2, PLOS and SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) have created the How Open Is It? Open Access Spectrum guide by which you can determine how open a particular journal is based on its author and reader policies:
Questions? Comments? Contact Vicky Ludas Orlofsky.
* Grossi B, Iriarte-Díaz J, Larach O, Canals M, & Vásquez RA. (2014). Walking like dinosaurs: Chickens with artificial tails provide clues about non-avian theropod locomotion. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88458. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088458