Story about the PLoS

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Story about the PLoS

Postby dignan » Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:43 am

Interesting article about the guy behind the Public Library of Science.

Free Radical

June 2006 - Wired - an excerpt

He calmly lays out his campaign. For centuries, journals have been the means both of disseminating scientific knowledge and building scientific careers. Accordingly, the journals atop the hierarchy draw the highest-quality submissions, which reinforces their lofty reputations, which in turn enhances the status of the scientists who publish there. This positive feedback loop puts the power in the hands of the journals, even though their existence depends entirely on the scientists who write, edit, and serve as reviewers, usually without compensation.

Meanwhile, their colleagues can gain access only through subscriptions that their institutions pay for, sometimes dearly. (A yearly subscription to Brain Research, for instance, costs more than $20,000.) Worse, most of the public – scientists in developing countries, faculty and students in underfunded colleges, high schoolers, patients – have no access at all, even though taxes fund the government grants that support much of the research. Varmus asks: Shouldn’t this ancient system have changed with the Internet, which allows information to be disseminated cheaply and immediately searched, mined, archived, reviewed, and improved?

For the rest of the article:
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