PLOS journals sites win Interactive Media Award

As many of you will recall, in late 2012 all the PLOS journals were redesigned. Our updated sites, together with the web design agency, Digital Pulp, have been recognized with a Best in Class Award in the Interactive Media Awards (IMA) Nonprofit category.

IMA AwardTo qualify for an IMA, competing websites are scored on a 1- 100 scale using five specific criteria. Here’s a list of the different categories and our scores:

1. Content: 100
2. Feature Functionality: 99
3. Compliance & Compatibility: 95
4. Design: 94
5. Usability: 93

We’re delighted that our journals have achieved such a high standard of excellence in website design. We warmly congratulate Digital Pulp on their innovative approach to this project and thank all the PLOS staff involved for making this vision a reality.

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PLOS Journals now optimized for tablets

In December 2012 we redesigned all our journals, and although they’ve always worked on tablets, we’ve now tailored them to suit these devices as part of our continued roll-out of site enhancements to meet the needs of our community.

tablet-twoMany of the new site features we’ve introduced, such as more prominent figures and a figshare widget to visualize Supporting Information files, are ideally suited to the tablet’s touch interface. Improvements to content navigation are also supported by the addition of touch and swipe capability.

These tablet optimizations are just the beginning of our efforts to improve the mobile experience. Next we’ll be focusing on optimizing our journals for mobile phones. We will be replicating all the core features found on the main journal websites but enhancing them for use on the go. We’re currently working on features such as presenting content only when it is needed to improve loading speed on low bandwidth connections and simplifying the visual interface for small touch screens.

We’re proud to be self-funding these projects using revenue generated from our publishing business. It’s of prime importance for us as a non-profit that we give back to the researchers who publish with us and what better way to say thank you than with an improved tablet and mobile experience.

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Announcing ALM Reports – a new tool for analyzing Article Impact

PLOS is a leader in transforming research communication through Open Access and we are also committed to improving the evaluation of research through Article Level Metrics (ALM) that measure impact at the article (not the journal) level.

Today, we are delighted to announce the release of ALM Reports which allow you to view and download ALMs for any set of PLOS articles as well as summarize and visualize the data using charts that reveal patterns and trends for further discussion. Read more about the tech implementation of ALM Reports by Software Developer John Callaway on the PLOS Tech Blog.

To find ALM that interest you, simply enter as many of the following search terms as you wish into the ALM Reports tool: author info; institution; funder; subject areas; date range; journal title or provide the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or PMID (PubMed ID). The resulting article list can be saved for future reference, instantly updated and shared on social media or email. We’ve also added some “best in class” categories of PLOS articles such as top cited and views, among others.

We invite the community to use this tool (which will eventually be added to journal search after further development) and consider how to integrate this new output into their research evaluation.

  • Funders and Institutions – examine the article impact of your people and projects
  • Researchers – filter which articles you should read first based on influence
  • Librarians – gain insight into which PLOS content is the most widely read and used

Tell us what you think – please share your thoughts and experiences of using this tool with us. We will use your feedback to help shape future iterations to better serve our community.

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Thank you

The 27 sponsors of the Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP) would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the award. The breadth of potential winners is truly inspiring as nominations were received from around the world, including individuals working in a host of different fields.  Their work demonstrates the creative and varied approaches to reusing research published in Open Access, and their impact illustrates the importance of ensuring that research be ‘open’ to the fullest extent possible to advance science and economic growth.

All qualified nominations are now being reviewed and will soon be submitted to our panel of experts for final evaluation. Nominees chosen as finalists will be notified in August. Candidates with the most compelling examples of applying scientific research — published through Open Access — to make a difference in science, medicine, business, technology or society as a whole will be honored as follows:

  •  ASAP bestows three top awards of $30,000 each.
  • A representative from each top award will receive a trip to Washington, DC in October 2013, where s/he will be honored at an Open Access Week kickoff event hosted by SPARC and the World Bank.
  • Honorable mention recipients will also be recognized on the ASAP website and in a portfolio book distributed online and in print around the world.

The winners of the three top awards will be announced on October 21 at 3pm EST through a live webcast of the OA Week Kickoff event.

Again, thank you for helping generate an enthusiastic response in support of ASAP. We are grateful to the many individuals and organizations for supporting the program and helping spread the word.  The availability of Open Access research is a tremendous benefit to society.  It enables all of us to have access to information that can make a difference in science, medicine, business, technology, or society as a whole.  For more information on the ASAP program, please visit asap.plos.org

 

 

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Nomination Deadline is June 15 (12:00am PST)—The Accelerating Science Award Program

There is less than a week for ASAP program award nominations.  This is an opportunity to showcase significant examples of Open Access reuse and to bestow $30,000 to three winners who will be recognized in October at an Open Access Week kickoff event hosted by SPARC and the World Bank. The winners will be those individuals or teams that have used, applied or remixed scientific research – published through Open Accessto innovate and make a difference in science, medicine, business, technology or society as a whole. Anyone who meets the criteria is eligible — scientists, researchers, educators, social services professionals, technology leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, patient advocates, public health workers, librarians and students.

Here are some key aspects of the ASAP program:

  • Three top ASAP program awards of $30,000 each
  • Anyone can nominate, individuals can nominate themselves
  • Nominators are anonymous and blinded for the selection process
  • Judges include: Harold Varmus, Agnes Binagwaho, Helga Notwotny, Tim O’Reilly, and Hans Rosling
  • 27 Global sponsors including major sponsors: the Wellcome Trust, PLOS and Google

*For more information on the ASAP program, please visit asap.plos.org. See also the Program rules at http://asap.plos.org/nominate/rules/. Follow the ASAP Program on Twitter at #SciASAP.

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Nomination Deadline is Approaching—The Accelerating Science Award Program

There is less than two weeks for ASAP program award nominations.  This is an opportunity to showcase significant examples of Open Access reuse and to bestow $30,000 to three winners who will be recognized at an Open Access Week kickoff event hosted by SPARC and the World Bank. The winners will be those individuals or teams that have used, applied or remixed scientific research – published through Open Accessto innovate and make a difference in science, medicine, business, technology or society as a whole. Anyone who meets the criteria is eligible — scientists, researchers, educators, social services professionals, technology leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, patient advocates, public health workers, librarians and students.

Here are some key aspects of the ASAP program:

  • Three top ASAP program awards of $30,000 each
  • Anyone can nominate, individuals can nominate themselves
  • Nominators are anonymous and blinded for the selection process
  • June 15, 2013 deadline
  • A simple online form located at the ASAP website: http://asap.plos.org
  • Judges include: Harold Varmus, Agnes Binagwaho, Helga Notwotny, Tim O’Reilly, and Hans Rosling
  • 27 Global sponsors including major sponsors: the Wellcome Trust, PLOS and Google

Here are some examples of potential nominations (please note that these are for illustrative purposes only and not meant to represent any actual researcher, innovative use, individual, or organization, and they do not cover all the potential innovative use cases)

  • The health minister of a low income country was able to confidently and      quickly change cancer treatment protocols based on an oncology research      article detailing successful uses of a repurposed cancer drug published by a peer reviewed, Open Access journal, which had been translated into multiple languages by a group of retired language teachers.
  • A bioinformatics team repurposes existing source codes used for searching genomic data associated with individual cancer tumors to create a new open source algorithm and web tool that can search multiple tumor types simultaneously, enabling faster and more comprehensive searches by      oncologists for use in clinical treatment of cancer patients
  • A climate policy expert took original figures and examples from a recent Open Access climate change research paper —  correlating temperature increases with rises in ocean depth — and repurposed these findings in a policy-focused presentation at a conference of experts from 25 Asian and Oceanic countries – leading to the adoption of stricter emissions standards by several participating countries.
  •  A patient advocate creates a new web community for individuals with a rare genetic disorder and their families; this website curates existing and newly available open access research about causes and treatment protocols, and offers interpretative science articles and a user forum to help nonscientist readers better understand the science presented

*For more information on the ASAP program, please visit asap.plos.org. See also the Program rules at http://asap.plos.org/nominate/rules/. Follow the ASAP Program on Twitter at #SciASAP.

 

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California Open Access Legislation Clears Latest Hurdle

The House Assembly today passed the California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609). The act is now set to be heard in the Senate later this summer. If you live in California and would like to reach out to your state senator to show your support for AB 609 click on SPARC’s legislative action center and follow the prompts. If AB 609 becomes law, it will unlock access to the results of more than $200 million in annual, state-funded scientific research. We’d like to thank everyone who contacted their legislator to show support for this bill.

Meanwhile Open Access momentum continues in other states. The New York Open Access bill, S.4050 (Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research) will be considered by the Senate Finance committee next week. PLOS will continue to follow these developments and keep you updated.

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Call to Action—Support Publicly Funded Research in California

The California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act (AB 609) is scheduled for a vote as early as tomorrow and we need your help to ensure its passage.

Last Friday the proposed legislation passed the California Assembly’s Appropriations Committee with full bipartisan support.  If AB 609 becomes law, it will unlock access to the results of more than $200 million in annual, state-funded scientific research.  You can help by contacting your Assembly Member now and voicing your concern that publicly funded research must be made publicly accessible.

Our friends at SPARC have made it easy for you to get involved. If you are based in California, contact your state legislators through their legislative action center, and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same. If you are based outside of California, please share this call to action with any friends or colleagues who are based in the state.

PLOS welcomes your support. Let’s unlock access together.

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New UK Funder Mandates – How PLOS can help researchers

At the beginning of April, Research Councils UK (RCUK) simultaneously rolled out new Public Access requirements for the research that they fund and a £17M commitment in 2013/14 to support scientific research articles published through Open Access.  RCUK joins the Wellcome Trust who offers similar support to their researchers.

The transition to these new policies has been rapid, leaving some institutions and researchers unsure of how best to satisfy these requirements. For comprehensive information on how to fulfill RCUK or Wellcome requirements for different journals, and publishers, authors should consult the new resources that have been developed to help.

One easy way to cut through this confusion is to publish with PLOS.  From the UK to the USA to any of the other mandates in place or under consideration around the world, publishing in the PLOS journals offers a straightforward way to satisfy the requirements of all funders’ mandates.  As a leader in the Open Access community, PLOS works collaboratively with both research funders and authors to ensure that publishing in our journals is the easiest possible way to comply with all Public Access policy mandates.

Other good reasons for choosing PLOS include:

A suite of publication options – Whether the work is of very wide medical or scientific interest; is important work for the communities in genetics, pathogens, neglected tropical diseases or computational biology,; or is good science that needs to be published efficiently without the cycle of submission, rejection, and resubmission, PLOS has a journal to publish in.

Rigorous peer review – The review process at all our journals is highly rigorous; at PLOS ONE the focus on scientific validity and technical quality has a growing reputation for being tough but fair, and means good work gets published faster. Our community journals – PLOS Pathogens, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases – are overseen by research leaders in their fields. PLOS Biology publishes research articles of exceptional significance in all areas of biological science. PLOS Medicine publishes outstanding research and commentary on the major challenges to human health worldwide.

Cost effective and highly visible – PLOS was born out of the internet revolution and our prices reflect the built-in efficiency in dissemination that the web enables. On a like-for-like comparison, our publication charges can be up to 50% less than those of traditional journals offering hybrid options. The value of publishing with PLOS is enhanced by the high visibility of the journals. PLOS articles generate more than 1.5 million article views per month. Publishing with PLOS  provides immediate online availability as well as archiving in PubMedCentral and indexing in PubMed and other sites.

The highest ethical standards – The PLOS journals have been leaders in the rigorous reporting of studies and in developing and adhering to ethical standards, with every submission requiring an ethics statement. Unlike many publishers, we don’t accept advertising for drugs or medical devices.

Maximizing research impact - All work published in the PLOS journals is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License, maximizing the opportunity for research to be found and used in education, industry, and further research for an purpose as long as the original article is cited. All authors retain ownership of the copyright for their article and are of course free to re-use their work in any way.

Be in good (and growing) company –PLOS has published more than over 68,000 ‘Gold Open Access’ articles since 2003. PLOS ONE is the largest peer-reviewed journal in the world and publishes more research from the Wellcome Trust, MRC, RCUK, and BBSRC than any other journal. In 2012, PLOS published 11% of the output of the Wellcome Trust.

In the decade that PLOS has been publishing, hundreds of thousands of scientists have trusted PLOS with their research. PLOS has been at the forefront of the Open Access movement and has built a family of journals to suit the needs of researchers from across science and medicine.  The PLOS mission is to lead a transformation in research communication. These new funder requirements will hasten that transformation. Join us in our journey as we work to create the future of science communication.

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Announcing PLOS Labs – Call For Participation

We’re excited to announce a new group at PLOS called PLOS Labs, which we created to develop disruptive ideas and products for science communication. We will be putting software prototypes in front of researchers to gather feedback on both the concepts and implementation, and coordinating open-source development projects to implement many of these ideas. We would love to have you join this effort – please sign up to participate.

Image Credit: Erin Vermeulen

Image Credit: Erin Vermeulen

With your support, non-profit PLOS has grown into a successful publisher, and open access is in the ascendancy. But PLOS has always been about more than open access – it’s about making science communication faster and better. And there are a lot of things that could be faster and better in the way journals – including PLOS – work today.

PLOS Labs is here to change this. It exists to take disruptive ideas and turn them in to tangible products, and is eager to work with our community of authors, editors and reviewers to make sure we do this right. PLOS Labs is also interested in forming partnerships with inventive individuals, organizations and publishers, large and small.

Sign up to opt-in to our evaluation pool. For each project, we will select individuals and email you instructions on how you can help. Testing will generally involve using product prototypes and then answering some questions.  Some users we’ll be calling by phone or video chat, or inviting into our SF offices for deeper discussions (if you opt in for that level of participation).  Each online experiment will take no more than 30 minutes of your time, some as few as 5 minutes, and we’ll ask for volunteers who can give more time responding to us by phone and video chat.

PLOS Labs is led by Jonathan Dugan, who has worked extensively with technology start-ups, remains active in the vibrant Bay Area venture community, and teaches entrepreneurship. We’re looking forward to doing what we do best: working with scientists to innovate and make research work better so that together we can continue to fulfill the PLOS mission of leading a transformation in research communication.

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