The wait is over!

December 20, 2006

Dear Colleague,

PLoS ONE beta, the new web 2.0 site for the rapid publication and discussion of open access peer-reviewed research in all areas of science and medicine is now launched.

Before your first visit, I want to let you know about the inherent challenges of this project and the philosophy that compels PLoS to take them on.

We want to speed up scientific progress and believe that scientific debate is as important as the investigation itself. PLoS ONE is a forum where research can be both shared and commented upon – we are launching it as a beta website so that the whole scientific community can help us develop the features.

What makes the site beta? Not the content, which features peer-reviewed research from hundreds of authors across a diverse range of scientific disciplines. It’s the additional tools and functionality surrounding these papers that will be continually refined and developed in response to user feedback.

Beta means that as soon as new functionality is ready, we will push it live. Users can then tell us what they think and what they want to see next, helping our developers to create a system that the scientific community owns and wants to use.

It is this union of continually evolving user tools provided by the Topaz publishing platform and extensive content that will make PLoS ONE a success.

The first beta release of PLoS ONE features tools that allow users to annotate articles and participate in discussion threads. Our goal is to spark lively discussion online and we’d like to invite you to participate. Future updates will include user ratings for both papers and the comments made about them, personalizable content alerts and much more.

I am pleased to invite you to visit our new site and register so that you can continue as a founding member of this community.

We will be watching with interest to see how our new platform and software responds to high volumes of traffic and encourage you to give your feedback on your first experience via the site itself.

(side box begins, you can place it where you wish on email, needs pic of t-shirt)

The first 100 people (first come, first served) to register for the site from this email will receive a free t-shirt. Signing up is a smart move because it allows you to both receive email content alerts tailored to your specific fields of interest and make use of the interactive tools, like annotation, as they become available.

(side box ends)

To stay involved:

Thanks so much for your early support. It really has made the world of difference to know that you and more than 4,000 of your peers have been behind us from the start.

See you online.

Chris Surridge
Managing Editor