PLoS E-Newsletter for Institutional Members

Table of Contents

Call to Action

Contact your Senator by October 12th to Support the NIH bill.

As the Senate considers Appropriations measures for the 2008 fiscal year this fall, please take a moment to remind your Senators of your strong support for public access to publicly funded research and – specifically – ensuring the success of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy by making deposit mandatory for researchers.

PLoS Journal IMPACT Factor 2006

The 2006 impact factors were released in June, and PLoS journals once again did extremely well:

  • PLoS Biology, 14.1 (still top of the biology category)
  • PLoS Medicine, 13.8 (a tremendous increase from last year's 8.4)
  • PLoS Computational Biology 4.9 (top of the Mathematical and Computational Biology category)
  • PLoS Genetics, 7.7
  • PLoS Pathogens, 6.0

"Never Read a Paper on PLoS ONE Without Leaving a Rating"

All users can now rate articles in three subjective categories: Insight, Reliability and Style. We have made the tool, now we need you to come and use it.

Why a Rating Tool?

User rating is a common website feature these days, be it for movies, books, blog posts, pretty much anything. What user rating allows is a quick and easy survey of a community's opinion. Despite the obvious advantages to hard-pressed scientists trying to get to grips with a vast literature, this simple system hasn't been much applied to scientific papers up to this point.

The major exception to this is probably Faculty of 1000, which has been providing ratings for papers for many years, but which is based only on the thoughts of a select few rather than the whole community.

What does the new PLoS ONE rating system look like?

Go to any of the 600 or so papers PLoS ONE has so far published and look in the righhand column, where you'll see a little box containing five small stars. These indicate the overall aggregate rating of the paper based on "votes" from individual users.

Here, you can see how many users have rated a paper and expand the box to show the average rating in all three categories. You can also open up a separate page that shows you exactly who has rated a paper, what their ratings were, and what comments they've made.

Rating Guidelines

By far the most important thing in the ratings box is the link marked "Rate This Article." This will open up a box in the window that allows you to give your own opinion as to how important, reliable, and stylish the work described is on a five-point scale: bland to profound, tenuous to unassailable, and crude to elegant. There is also the opportunity to leave a comment along with your rating.

Rating comments are intended to be shorter and pithier than annotation and discussion comments. These are where you can say "great paper, well done" to the authors, or whatever else your opinion of a paper might be. Please remember that rules of civilized behavior apply.

PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials

Why the special heads-up? Because this is much more than a simple name change for PLoS Clinical Trials.

What is the PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials?

It's the first step in the evolution of our first community - a window on content in your field. Interactive tools and open-accesscontent facilitate finding connections between research and individuals like never before, leading to faster scientific progress.

PLoS Hub – Clinical Trials will feature all the articles that were originally published in PLoS Clinical Trials and have recently moved to PLoS ONE. You'll also see all the new clinical trials articles from PLoS ONE and selected content from PLoS Medicine and other open-access journals.

Why is Clinical Trials the first topic for the inaugural PLoS Hub?

The benefits of transparency within this field are well documented. PLoS remains committed to making the results of all clinical trials (regardless of outcome) publicly available and we can now do this better, faster, and cheaper.

To achieve this goal, we have moved PLoS Clinical Trials articles to PLoS ONE, bringing authors and users the added benefits of:

  • quicker turnaround times - acceptance to publication in as little as 3 weeks
  • lower publication fees - reduced 50% from $2500 to $1250
  • tools and functionality - ratings, annotation, and discussion threads to encourage interaction

What content can I see now on the PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials?

The PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials contains all the articles that were originally published in PLoS Clinical Trials and have recently moved to PLoS ONE. You will also see all the new Clinical Trials articles from PLoS ONE and selected content from PLoS Medicine and other open-access journals.

What content will I be able to view on the PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials?

In the future, this new resource will expand to include articles from all the PLoS titles that publish clinical trials, such as PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (launching later this year). It will also feature more content from other open-access publishers plus other user-generated and -led items.

What content will I be able to view on future PLoS Community Portals?

We have plans to include more content from other open-access publishers - open-access is the only publishing model where the copyright rules facilitate full-text content aggregation and permit users to make comparisons between the complete articles to which they have completely free and unrestricted access.

Can I submit a paper to the PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials?

No, the PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials is not a journal. You should continue to submit your work to the PLoS journal that most suits your needs. If you submit your clinical-trial paper to PLoS ONE it will automatically appear in the PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials (and in the future on other relevant portals that are launched in different subject areas).

Is the PLoS Hub - Clinical Trials a work in progress?

Absolutely. It's the first step in the evolution of our first community portal.

We want to add more PLoS content, and we want to add open-access content from other publishers.   Currently we're moderating the site but we're working on features that will let us pass that role to members of the community. These sites will belong to their user communities and it will be up to them to shape them as they wish, and add content that they find useful.

Sneak-Preview Articles from PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

We are pleased to bring you an early "sneak-preview" research article and related commentary that showcases the broad-reaching content that will be featured in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. All PLoS content is freely available online for you to use and share in any way you choose, and the copyright remains where it belongs - with the author.

Research Article: Genetic Selection of Low Fertile Onchocerca volvulus by Ivermectin Treatment by Catherine Bourguinat et al.
Researchers study genetic changes in Onchocerca volvulus following exposure to ivermectin, the primary treatment for onchocerciasis (river blindness). This article shows that long-term treatment selects for the heterozygotic form of β-tubulin, the gene linked to ivermectin resistance.

Expert Commentary: Ivermectin Resistance in Onchocerca volvulus - Toward a Genetic Basis by Sara Lustigman and James McCarter. Two leading experts set the above-mentioned research article in context, explaining the background to the study, its strengths and limitations, and the importance of these findings to onchocerciasis control programs.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (Editor-in-Chief Peter Hotez) will focus on the scientific, medical, and public-health aspects of these forgotten diseases affecting the world's forgotten people. Authors and readers will benefit from:

  • Fast publication - a seamless electronic workflow quickly puts articles online.
  • Wide dissemination - open access democratizes science, making it globally available.
  • Access in perpetuity - automatic deposit in PubMed Central ensures availability forever.

To get involved, simply:

Submit Your Work to PLoS NTDs Today

Read our guidelines for authors, send us your questions, and submit your papers.

The 2007 launch of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases is supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

SciVee: Turns PLoS Article into Video Presentation

Ten Simple Rules for Getting Published
Philip E Bourne
PLoS Computational Biology 2005 1(5):e57

SciVee, a web-based initiative that allows scientists to upload video and audio presentations or commentary about the content of published articles in scholarly journals.  Dubbed the "YouTube" for Scientists, SciVee is not just an innovative means to disseminate science - it is also pure evidence of the power of open access and what can be done when journal content is available in full.

Scientific Research Is an International Endeavor

PLoS Computational Biology begins a series of Perspective articles from computational biologists from a variety of countries

In a series entitled "Developing Computational Biology" PLoS Computational Biology will shed light on the pursuit of scientific endeavors around the world. Each country has unique features in areas from educational programs, types of research being undertaken and the ways that research is funded. For this series, the authors were asked to describe the specific challenges they have faced, their perceived strengths, as well as to discuss the institutions (government and private), opportunities, and difficulties of computational biology in their country as a whole. The series starts with a perspective on Computational Biology in Mexico, followed by contributions about Cuba, Brazil, China and South Africa. 

Open Access News and Resources

Talking Points by ARL to Address the PRISM anti-open access effort

To assist in this conversation, the Association of Research Libraries has prepared a series of talking points that explicitly address each of the PRISM messages listed above.
Not All Publishers Support the Views of PRISM. Some publishers have called for the AAP to post a disclaimer on the PRISM Web site, indicating that PRISM does *not* represent their views on the issues of open access and public access. (See open letter from Mike Rossner, Executive Director of Rockefeller University Press).

Paying for open access publishing - a role for institutions

Nottingham University announced that they have created a fund to help researchers pay for open access publishing fees.

The Challenges of Sustainability: PLoS, BMC, and Hindawi

Hear the Podcast and see the presentation of the SPARC-ACRL Forum on emerging issues in scholarly communication, held during the ALA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Win a Sparky Award and $1,000: Entry Deadline December 2, 2007

SPARC video contest to showcase student views on information sharing. The SPARC Discovery Awards challenges you to illustrate, in a short video presentation, what you see as valuable about sharing information. This is your opportunity to use your imagination to suggest what good things can result from removing barriers to the free exchange of information.

The Internet gives new meaning to the notion that, by sharing ideas, we build a better understanding of the world around us. Sharing can also be a vital tool in helping to address complex problems that challenge society - like disease, hunger, global warming, and economic disparity. The sharing of ideas gives us ways to discover, collaborate, and create in unprecedented ways.

PLoS Out and About

Date Location Event
October 19-24, 2007 Milwaukee,Wisconsin

ASIS&T 2007 Annual Meeting, Joining Research and Practice: Social Computing and Information Science.
Tuesday, Oct. 23: Opening Science to All: Implications of Blogs and Wikis for Social and Scholarly Scientific Communication, Bora Zivkovic, PLos Community Manager

October 23-27, 2007San Diego, California American Society for Human Genetics Annual Meeting
November 4, 2007Washington, DC.View AAHSL calendar (Word doc)
AAHSL will be holding a session: "Transforming Scholarly Communication." Chris Surridge, Managing Editor, PLoS ONE: Sharing your Scientific Data
November 4-8 2007Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaAmerican society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting

Feedback or comments?

We would love to hear from our Members!  Contact Donna Okubo, Institutional Relations Manager at

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