March 16, 2006
PLoS E-newsletter for Institutional Members
This issue of the Institutional Member E-newsletter features information on the newest addition to the PLoS familyPLoS Clinical Trials. Many of you have been asking questions about this new journal, so we thought this would be a good way to answer some of your questions. As you will see below, we are very excited about the research that this journal will feature but more importantly we know that this unique forum will also play an important role in transforming the publishing landscape.
Please assist us by sharing this information to others at your institution!
Table of Contents:
Frequently Asked Questions about PLoS Clinical Trials
Q: What is PLoS Clinical Trials?
A: PLoS Clinical Trials is the new online, open-access medical journal from the Public Library of Science (PLoS). The journal will peer-review and publish the results of randomized trials (RCTís) from all medical and public health disciplines. PLoS Clinical Trials will launch in May 2006; more information is available at www.plosclinicaltrials.org.
Q: Donít trials already get published? Why is a new journal needed?
A: RCTís provide an important source of evidence about the benefits and risks of different ways of treating, diagnosing, screening for, and preventing disease. Many journals already publish RCTís, for example, the major general medical journals, as well as more specialist publications. However substantial numbers of trials never appear in the peer-reviewed literature. Trials with "positive" results and statistically significant outcomes are more likely to get published, which biases the evidence base for decision-making in healthcare. PLoS Clinical Trials offers investigators a new way to publish their results. Editorial decisions will be based on whether a trial has been appropriately conducted and reported, not on the direction of the results.
Q: How does peer review work on PLoS Clinical Trials?
A: Submitted papers are assigned to at least one subject-specific reviewer as well as a statistical expert. The reviewers are asked to evaluate whether the analyses and interpretation are appropriate, and how well the trial has been conducted and reported. As long as the trial makes a contribution to the evidence and is properly reported, the journal will be in favor of publication. Each trial is published in a structured format which helps readers to understand the trial more clearly and authors to gain the most from publication.
Q: What can readers do with information published in PLoS Clinical Trials?
A: Each published trial report will be organized in a clear and uniform way, using the CONSORT guidelines to harmonize trial reporting. This standard structure will enable those appraising the evidence, such as systematic reviewers, to more clearly understand what was done in the trial and what the results mean. Readers (and the original authors) will be able to post comments and responses on published articles, allowing peer-review to be continued after publication of a paper. Finally, all articles are made available under an open-access license. Free distribution and re-use is allowed, and encouraged! Availability of the PLoS Clinical Trials archive in XML format will support mining of the literature and stimulate further research.
Q: Who benefits from PLoS Clinical Trials?
A: Both the public and patients will gain from access to a literature that is often closed to them. To help non-specialist readers understand more about the trials we publish, an editorial commentary will be available alongside each report. This summarizes, for a general audience, the trialís findings, strengths and limitations, and what it adds to the evidence. Research and practice of evidence-based medicine will also benefit; results that otherwise might not have been available will be in the public domain, and in a form that allows their quality and significance to be easily evaluated.
Q: What can I do to help others at my institution access PLoS Clinical Trials?
A: Add the journalís banner to your libraryís Web pages. Include PLoS Clinical Trials in your library catalogue or holdings list. If you have a separate directory of open-access resources, include the journal there. Please forward these FAQs onto faculty members or researchers at your institution who might be interested.
From the Journals
ISMB 2006 Conference Ė Special PLoS Track
PLoS Receives Cool Site Award
The PLoS Web site has received the San Francisco Exploratorium's "Ten Cool Sites" Award for Educational Excellence.
HELP Spread the WordNEW! PLoS Downloadables
Include them in your e-mail, on your Web site and display them in your Libraries!
PLoS Journal Flyers
Recent "PLoS Journals in the News" (from Google News)
A new feature on our PLoS Web site is the News and Events page containing hyperlinks to Google's search engines. Google will search the Web for publications that recently mentioned the PLoS journal that you select. Give it a try!
See a sample of how others use articles about PLoS:
Kaisernetwork.org-Daily ReportsTwo PLoS Medicine Articles Featured
Recent Creative Reuse of PLoS Materials
All content in PLoS journals are immediately freely available online under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which allows reproduction, distribution, derivative works, and commercial use as long as the source of the content and terms of the license are properly cited.
Ten thousand Members of the European Cancer Community Will Receive PLoS Article
The World Health Organization Puts PLoS Article on CD for Distribution
PLoS Out and About
April 1-5, 2006, San Francisco, CA
April 21-22, Lund, Sweden
April 24-25, Lund, Sweden
April 29-May 2, 2006, San Francisco, CA
May 19-24, 2006, Phoenix, AZ
May 22nd, 2006, Tampa, FL
August 13-18, 2006, Toronto, Canada
August 31- September 3, 2006, Asuncion, Paraguay
Open Access News and Resources
Reshaping Scholarly Communication
Open Access Program: SPARC
Feedback or Comments?
We would love to hear from our Members! Contact Donna Okubo, Institutional Relations Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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