Public Library of Science

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The Public Library of Science ( PLOS , until mid-2012 PLoS ), in German "Public Library of Science", is a non-commercial open access project for scientific publications in the United States with the aim of creating a library of scientific open access journals and other academic literature as freely available texts .


The following journals are currently being published as part of this project:

All publications are deposited in the digital PubMed Central (PMC) archive of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and are published under the Creative Commons Attribution License .


PLOS open access logo

The Public Library of Science was created in early 2001 following an online call from Patrick O. Brown , biochemist at Stanford University and Michael Eisen , bioinformatician at the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory . The appeal addressed the request to all scientists to undertake from September 2001 to stop the transfer of specialist articles to the journals which did not make the full text of the specialist articles freely available after six months after publication.

After Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize winner and former director of the National Institutes of Health, joined them, the PLOS organizers focused on building their own publication platform. In doing so, they were based on the open access model of the British BioMed Central publishing house, in which scientific, freely available publications in journals such as Genome Biology and the Journal of Biology have been made since the end of 1999. As start-up funding, they received $ 9 million from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation , a foundation founded by computer pioneer Gordon Moore and his wife that promotes science, among other things.


Some journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have given their approval of these rules. Other journals, including the highly respected Nature and Science magazines , on the other hand, restricted themselves to the permission of their authors to publish their contributions in their own archives.

As a publisher, the Public Library of Science began its full activity on October 13, 2003 with the publication of articles that had been peer-reviewed by other respected scholars in the same discipline , both as a printed and online journal with the journal PLOS Biology , which was subsequently expanded to include additional titles. In order to finance the journals, the business model requires that the authors (in contrast to the practice with conventional journals) bear the costs of the publication.

The Public Library of Science Initiative has launched similar projects in Europe. The best known among them is the following a meeting of the Max Planck Society wrote Berlin Declaration . As a result, in addition to the Max Planck Society, other institutions for the promotion of science have decided to grant authors cost support for publication in open access media.

The journal PLOS Biology has an Impact Factor of 9.3 (2014) and PLOS Medicine one of 14.4 (2014).

PLOS currents

Harold Varmus announced on August 20, 2009 that a new project, PLoS Currents: Influenca , would be launched to advance the fight against the H1N1 flu by quickly publishing scientific articles on the subject.

Web links

Commons : Media from PLOS journals  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ David Knutson: New PLOS look . In: PLOS BLOG . Public Library of Science. July 23, 2012. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved on March 7, 2013.
  2. Die Zeit of June 18, 2003 “Become part of the revolution!” Interview by Christoph Drösser with Harold Varmus
  3. Harold Varmus: A new website for the rapid sharing of influenza research [1]