Welcome to a new blog from PLOS focussed on how scholarly communications is changing, and how it should be changing. The big announcements will still be on the official PLOS blog and PLOS.org but here we will be regularly covering policy, evidence, and opinion of how our world is changing.
Open Access will be at the center of what we discuss, but we chose deliberately not to have ‘Open Access’ in the name. The successful implementation of full Open Access is a necessary, but not sufficient condition of realizing the potential that the web brings to research communication.
We need proper (and appropriate!) sharing of research data and materials, we need to more effectively share our methods and processes, we need continuous review systems that provide the quality assurance that makes these useful. We need new infrastructures to make this possible, improved funding instruments and incentives that support an effective research community, and new means of monitoring and tracking research and how and where it is used.
So this blog will be about the “Opens”: open source, open data, open standards, open review and more. “Opens” as a noun if you like. But it will also be about “opens” as a verb. A discussion of what needs to be done to take advantage of the potential of the web. At the center of this will be Open Access as the critical step we are now negotiating. News, views and critical analysis alongside guest posts from the wider community. But always with an eye to the future; a view of how the world could be if we choose to make it.
William Gibson said “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Like all the best cliches there is a nugget of real truth here, an admonition to open our eyes, to truly look for and to see the way the world is changing around us, rather than to filter everything through our existing world view. What we aim to do here is to tell the stories, critically analyse the evidence and to use these to suggest a path forwards.
And what better way to kick this off than with this video of Open Access advocates, funders, publishers, and above all those using the research to advance understanding, health and education in the wider world.
Accelerating Impact: View exceptional real-world applications of Open Access research. Video features six teams of scientists whose innovative reuse of existing research enabled important advances in medical treatment and detection, ecology and science education. These examples demonstrate how the reuse of Open Access research can accelerate scientific progress and benefit society as a whole. Includes comments from Open Access advocates from publishing, academia and industry and features finalists, winners and sponsors from the Accelerating Science Awards Program (ASAP)