PLoS Currents: new section on phylogenetic analyses

Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of another new section of PLoS Currents called Tree of Life which focuses on phylogenetic analyses. This now brings the total number of sections to four, the other topics being Influenza, Huntington Disease and Evidence on Genomic Tests.

PLoS Currents is an exciting new publication that reduces the delay between the creation of data and publication to a matter of days. The content is peer reviewed, citable, publicly archived and included in PubMed. By facilitating and accelerating the sharing of new findings and ideas, we hope that PLoS Currents will accelerate the research cycle itself.

PLoS Currents: Tree of Life is a venue for the publication of phylogenetic research that informs our understanding of  organismal evolution.  The submissions do not have to be full-length articles and could, for example, describe analyses that provide support for existing relationships, large-scale analyses that provide an overview of many taxa, or a novel algorithm for estimating phylogenies.  Submissions that report new or novel insights to relationships are encouraged. The Editors also welcome synthetic papers on groups, particularly enigmatic groups (e.g., retroviruses) that present so many unique challenges to phylogenetics. Such submissions should not only articulate the challenges, but also potential solutions, to share views on where particular research fields might be heading.

The submissions are reviewed by an expert Board of Reviewers, who make a rapid determination as to whether the contribution is intelligible, relevant, ethical and scientifically credible, but will otherwise not impose restrictions on the nature, format or content of the contributions. Those submissions deemed appropriate are posted immediately at PLoS Currents: Tree of Life and publicly archived at PubMed Central.

The Editors for PLoS Currents: Tree of Life are Keith Crandall (Brigham Young University, USA), Douglas Soltis (University of Florida, USA), and Pamela Soltis (University of Florida, USA). Douglas Soltis said that he has taken on a leadership role in PLoS Currents: Tree of Life section because:

“the rapid growth of our field and the speed with which new discoveries are made require a means of data dissemination that can keep pace with these exciting developments”.

TreeBASE also sees tremendous potential in the PLoS Currents approach for sharing data. William Piel (Content Editor of TreeBASE; Director of Informatics, Yale Peabody Museum; and a member of the PLoS Currents: Tree of Life Board of Reviewers) said:

“The growth in phylogenetic research capability and data is accelerating thanks to more powerful sequencing technology, more efficient algorithms, and faster computers. PLoS Currents: Tree of Life addresses this phenomenon with a rapid, efficient publishing platform, coupled with digital dissemination of data for maximum reuse and synthesis”.

We welcome feedback on all aspects of PLoS Currents to mpatterson@plos.org.

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