Public Library of Science


A block quote from last week's FOS News that's stayed in my head till now:

Annalee Newitz has a supportive review of Public Library of Science in the June 16 AlterNet. In addition to telling the familiar story, she gives good detail on the motivations of Executive Director Vivian Siegel and co-founder Mike Eisen. Quoting Siegel, who left her position as Editor of Cell to join PLoS: "All the editors at Cell wanted to make our articles open-access, but [parent company] Elsevier didn't want to do it. When I pointed out that our position made me feel like I wasn't working for the benefit of the scientific community, my boss said, 'What? You think you're a scientist?' I realized I couldn't act on my principles and continue at Cell." Quoting Mike Eisen, a Berkeley biologist who wanted to write software giving genome researchers direct access to published literature on any given segment of the genome: "The publishers said, 'No, it's our information.' That's when I recognized that the publishing system doesn't serve the scientific community. We couldn't build on other people's knowledge. It's a perversion of the principles of science....My research is dependent on [PLoS] succeeding." (Thanks to Garrett Eastman.)