PLOS Publication Costs Update

Open Access scientific publishing makes scholarship available globally and relieves scholarly institutions from the overwhelming burden of commercial subscription fees. Because of this proven success, institutions, funders, foundations and government agencies dedicate significant resources to encourage authors to publish in Open Access journals.

For the past six years, PLOS has absorbed increasing publishing costs without raising author fees. At the same time, PLOS invests resources to improve the quality of PLOS ONE output, thoroughly checking for ethics, competing interests and robust science. As a result, readers can be confident that research published in PLOS ONE is scientifically rigorous and reflects thorough peer review. In addition, PLOS invests millions of dollars in research and development to increase the efficiency, transparency and speed of scholarly communication for all its journals. The center of this investment is the platform ApertaTM, a new submission system currently under development that aspires to substantially improve the publishing experience for authors, reviewers, editors and readers.

To support these endeavors, the Article Processing Charge (APC) for PLOS ONE authors will increase to $1,495 as of October 1, 2015 (effective 10:00 AM PDT). This is the first increase in the PLOS ONE APC since 2009.

PLOS ONE promotes a broad global reach designed to amplify the journal and individual article awareness. Currently, PLOS ONE journal articles garner more than 1.9 million article downloads per month.

PLOS remains committed to ensuring that lack of funds not be a barrier to Open Access publication by providing support to authors with financial need. Periodically, PLOS adjusts the criteria for its financial assistance programs to better reflect demand and the global economy and as of October 1, 2015 (effective 10:00 AM PDT) will utilize the HINARI standard for the Global Participation Initiative. The Publication Fee Assistance program remains unchanged.

Category: In the News | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

2014-2015 PLOS Progress Update Available

2014-2015 PLOS Progress Update; cover;

Each year PLOS releases a Progress Update, an annual overview of innovations, activities and journal highlights that provide insight into how the organization is moving scientific communication and discovery forward.

This year topics include:
• Transparent and Continual Assessment Advances Science
• One PLOS Many Communities
• Metrics Enhancements Improve Assessment
• Standards Enable Reproducibility
• Resources Foster Early Career Researchers
• Open Access Advances Science
• Curated Content Accelerates Discovery
• Journal Highlights

Today’s scientific communication landscape is rapidly evolving. Advances in technologies offer opportunities to alter the way people work, communicate and share knowledge, with the global community accessing scientific content and exchanging information and ideas faster and in more diverse places than ever before. In addition, governments and funders are releasing policies that mandate the research they fund be published Open Access, setting the stage for the acceleration of scientific discovery and innovation.

But challenges remain. Scientific communication is far from its ideal and PLOS is striving to establish new standards and expectations for scholarly communication. These include a faster and more efficient publication experience, more transparent peer review, assessment though the lifetime of a work, better recognition of the range of contributions made by collaborators and placing researchers and their communities back at the center of scientific communication.

To learn more about the organization’s efforts on continual assessment, communities and journal highlights, access the 2014-2015 PLOS Progress Update.

Category: In the News, Open Access, PLoS Biology, PLoS Blogs, PLoS Collections, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Currents, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Medicine, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, PLoS ONE, PLoS Pathogens, Progress Update, Publishing, Science communication, Social media | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Announcing the PLOS Early Career Travel Award Recipients

Experience in presenting research findings and participating in the scientific dialogue are important aspects to the professional development of researchers early in their careers. In support of their growth as effective communicators, PLOS is pleased to announce the recipients of the PLOS Early Career Travel Award.

“I want to personally thank all of the applicants who shared their thoughts and provided insight into issues facing early career researchers,” says Véronique Kiermer, Executive Editor of PLOS. “It’s clear from the number and quality of applications that improving opportunity to engage in the scientific dialogue is an important topic for ECRs. We are gratified that the recipients of this award will be able to share their research with a larger audience.”

The Program was open to ECRs currently enrolled in a graduate program or within five years of receiving a graduate degree whose work was accepted for presentation at a scientific conference. Over the course of two months, PLOS received more than 400 applications, which invited answers to the following questions:

• What is the biggest hindrance to you as an early career researcher in communicating science?
• What should be done to fix this?
• What could you actively do as an early career researcher to address this?

Congratulations to the ten recipients of the PLOS Early Career Travel Award Program:

Alienor Chauvenet
The University of Queensland

Abigail Hatcher
University of the Witwatersrand

Denice Higgins
The University of Adelaide

Rémi Louf
Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA Saclay

Akinola Stephen Oluwole
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta

Thomas Pfeffer
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

Ellen Quillen
Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Carrie Shaffer
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Uttam Babu Shrestha
University of Southern Queensland

Jonathan Tennant
Imperial College London

If you are interested in notifications about the PLOS Early Career Travel Award Program and other updates, please sign up for the PLOS email list.

You may also be interested in…
PLOS journals — find out which PLOS journal is the best fit for your research

The PLOS Blogs Network:

SciComm — an open forum for opinion and discussion on the art and science of science communication
The Student Blog — a forum for the next generation of scientists and science writers to foster skills while connecting with colleagues and PLOS authors

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Key New Species Discoveries of 2014

While there’s no denying the ongoing global extinction of animals, microbes and plants, the discovery of new species provides critical information into the puzzle of earth’s biodiversity and evolutionary history. Each year, thousands of new species are identified: 18,000 in the last year alone.

Fortunately it’s easy to stay current on the latest discoveries since an international committee of taxonomists selects the Top 10 most fascinating and important additions to the world’s diversity. The most remarkable from the last year were recently announced by the State University of New York (SUNY)-ESF International Institute for Species Exploration. These are key additions to life’s variety that enrich our world.

New-Species_3A slice of this story on species discovery, extinction and conservation played out on PLOS ONE, as scientists recognize the journal as a home for their outstanding research. This past year four research groups with discoveries in the Top 10 list chose to publish their findings in the journal.

  • A feathered dinosaur with birdlike features and a varied diet-analysis of existing specimens elucidated a new species of North American dinosaur described by the authors as “amazing in appearance even by dinosaurian standards.”
  • Two forms of mushroom-shaped animals that defy classification-perhaps an entirely new phylum discovered in the waters offshore of Australia so perplexing that the authors said “we don’t even know if they’re upside down.”
  • Unique reproductive practices by a frog that gives birth to live tadpoles-discovered in an area of Indonesia with a high deforestation rate prompting the author to emphasize it’s important to learn about these species “before it’s too late.”
  • A wasp that uses dead ants as a nest protection strategy- possible chemical cues guard against predators attacking wasp larvae, “a stunning strategy,” write the authors.

Each article on its own merit is highly viewed, shared and covered by the global media. Collectively, the articles have more than 200,000 views and 1,000 shares since publication.

Quentin Wheeler, president of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, calls out the internal fertilization in the frog reported in PLOS ONE as the “biologically most intriguing.” In a short video, he describes the list selection process, why we should care about new species, conservation, biomimicry and more.

The International Institute for Species Exploration at SUNY, on a mission to advance discovery and taxonomy and to inspire the next generation of species explorers, released the list this year to coincide with the birthday of biologist Carolus Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy.

Category: Assessment, In the News, Open Access, PLoS ONE, Publishing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

AMA Preview: The Physician “Brain Drain” from Sub-Saharan Africa to the US: Reasons, Consequences, Potential Solutions

For the 7-29 PLOS redditscience AMA go to

A recent PLOS One research article, “Monitoring Sub-Saharan African Physician Migration and Recruitment Post-Adoption of the WHO Code of Practice: Temporal and Geographic Patterns in the United States,” examined how the migration of physicians from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States for work has led to a dire health worker shortage in the region.13717624625_cd5f3df570

While this “brain drain” has been ongoing for decades, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa demonstrated its highly damaging impact, as affected nations struggled to respond to the epidemic with weakened health systems and a limited health workforce.

To discuss context and  scope, as well as potential solutions to this crisis, Authors Akhenaten Benjamin Siankam Tankwanchi and Dr. Sten Vermund will be participating in this week’s ‘PLOS Science Wednesday’ redditscience ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA). They will be taking your questions about physician migration, brain drain, and its global health impacts on RedditScience at 1pm ET (10am PT) on Wed, July 29, 2015. You can register on redditscience in preparation for this upcoming AMA (or on the day of), so you’ll be able to add your questions and comments to the live conversation.

From the research article… Introduction:

  • The WHO database [83] indicates that there were a total of 103 physicians in Liberia in 2004, but only 51 physicians in 2008, a 50.5% total physician loss within four years. We do not have the most current counts of physicians available in Liberia because they have not been updated in the WHO database since 2008. But, we do know that the current Ebola epidemic has further depleted Liberia’s meager health workforce. The Ebola Situation Report of March 18, 2015 indicates that 180 out 372 health workers infected in Liberia have died from the Ebola virus disease [86].
  • We sought to monitor the post-WHO CoP [Global Code of Practice; 2010] migration of physicians originating from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the region of greatest need, and recruited into the physician workforce of the US. We chose the US as the country with the largest global stock of IMGs in its workforce [4445]. We captured all SSA immigrant physicians in residency or licensed practice in the US three years post-adoption of the CoP. We then described their growth rates, location patterns, and projected numbers in 2015.
  •  Those monitored included 11,787 active and semi-retired SSA-origin physicians.

From the research article… Discussion:

  • Although comprising only 1.3% of the US physician workforce, SSA migrant physicians found in the December 2013 AMA Masterfile represent a significant loss for the health systems in the SSA region.
  • Compared to SSA countries, populous source countries with a tradition of medical migration like India, Pakistan, and the Philippines have much larger numbers of émigré physicians in doctor-receiving countries like the US, the UK, Canada, or Australia [44]. But, relative to the number of physicians remaining in the source countries, the SSA region as a whole has a much higher migration proportion, losing between 13.9% [44] and 28% [6] of its physicians.”

Why young SSA doctors leave or stay (from the research article):

  • The  primary motivations for young doctors to leave their home countries include: family reunifications (meeting/re-uniting with significant others in the United States); moving to the US to seek treatment for one’s child; better conditions of service and standards of living; cultural trends and ease of international travel; i.e. emigrating because one can.
  • As for reasons to remain in one’s home country the authors identified: place attachment, professional stability and relative comfort (e.g., “It is not all rosy here in Nigeria, but one cannot go on complaining that things are terrible”); risk aversion; and, inability to obtain travel visa.

Selected Q&A with lead author “Benjamin” Tankwanchi

(Asked by Sara Kassabian, PLOS Social Media Coordinator)

bbbPLOS: For a previous article, you interviewed fraternal twin brothers from Ghana who are both physicians, but chose to practice medicine in different settings. What were the factors that motivated one brother to stay in Ghana and practice medicine? What were the factors that motivated the other brother to come to the United States? Are some of their motivations to practice medicine at home or in another country generalizable to the broader group of physicians born in sub-Saharan Africa that make these choices?

AT: Yes, I interviewed two fraternal twins who are both Ghanaian-born and trained physicians with over 20 years of experience each. It must be said that these twins were raised together and accomplished almost everything together, including a mutual decision to turn down a highly selective scholarship to pursue engineering training in the UK. They instead sought admission into the medical school of their local university, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana.

They graduated in the early 1990’s and practiced in Accra (Ghana’s capital) until the late 1990’s when one of twins moved to Canada to re-unite with his family (wife and first child). He now lives in an affluent suburb of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area and works as a medical faculty at one of the medical schools in the region.  Interestingly, the other twin has decided to stay and practice in Ghana despite encouragements from his US-based twin brother to follow him to the US. What he explained to me was that he didn’t want to become “second-class citizen” in the United States and had no desire to go through the hassles of US residency admissions. When I asked if, at times, he didn’t have any regrets for his decision to stay in Ghana while his brother is practicing in much better conditions in the US and earning much more money, he observed:

“It’s a dilemma for most doctors when they have to choose to leave. As I speak to you now, there are chances I’ve received calls [voice messages] from many of my colleagues abroad begging me to go and take care of their relatives [here in Ghana]… A lot of people are running into me and wonder why I’m still here, especially when my brother is out there [in the US]. They just can’t understand.”

This story challenges both societal expectations and prominent migration theories. It is not because this Ghanaian physician is unaware of the income differential between his US-based twin brother and him that he decided to practice in Ghana. It is certainly not because he lacked opportunity to emigrate or did not possess a network or migration channel to the US that he decided to stay put in Ghana. In essence, he seemed fully aware of the potential financial benefits of migration, but also of the costs. Having graduated from medical school 20 years ago, and having completed specialization training in internal medicine locally, he saw no benefits of moving to the US. He appeared quite content about his decision to stay in Ghana despite the challenging conditions of service and inadequate remuneration. “There is no place like home,” he told me repeatedly.

While this was the only pair of twins I interviewed, they were not the only twins within my sample. I interviewed two additional twins, and they both reported that their twins have also migrated. Thus, I don’t think that the case study of this pair of fraternal twins is generalizable. However, the main migration and non-migration factors they cited fall within one of the following categories of factors/reasons reported by participating physicians of my sample.

PLOS: Ebola was a major focus of programming at the 68th World Health Assembly in May. How much did the global health community focus on the mass exodus of physicians born in West Africa who move to the United States to practice medicine? Has the discussion about health systems weakened by Ebola led to any substantial action to improve training and retaining health workers in country?

AT: Indeed, Ebola was a dominant topic at the 68th WHA, [although I did not attend] I am unaware of any discussions focusing exclusively on the physician brain drain from West Africa to the United States.

From my reading of WHO Strategic Response Plan to the Ebola outbreak, the priority with regard to workforce has been given to the rebuilding of short-term health workforce via emergency hiring, in-service workforce training, and timely payment of health workers.

Although the United States may be the main destination for migrant skilled health workers from developing countries, it is not the only or even the main destination for many West African migrant physicians. Most countries in West Africa, including Ebola-stricken Guinea, are French-speaking. So, many of their skilled health workers practicing abroad are likely found in France and other French-speaking Western nations like Belgium.

The focus cannot be on the United States alone, although it is the big ‘culprit.’

PLOS: Since the publication of your paper, has the detrimental role of the United States and other physician-receiving countries been acknowledged by global political leadership/WHO?

AT: The detrimental role of the United States and other major doctor-receiving countries has been recognized by WHO well before the publication of my papers. The strongest critique to date of the health workforce brain drain may be found in the seminal World Health Report 2006:

“When large numbers of doctors and nurses leave, the countries that financed their education lose a return on their investment and end up unwillingly providing the wealthy countries to which their health personnel have migrated with a kind of ‘perverse subsidy’. Financial loss is not the most damaging outcome, however. When a country has a fragile health system, the loss of its workforce can bring the whole system close to collapse and the consequences can be measured in lives lost. In these circumstances, the calculus of international migration shifts from brain drain or gain to ‘fatal flows’.”


Do you have more questions about the African brain drain? “Benjamin” Tankwanchi and his colleague, Dr. Sten Vermund, will be taking your questions about physician migration, brain drain, and its global health impacts, on RedditScience July 29th at 1pm ET (10am PT) on redditscience!

For the 7-29 PLOS redditscience AMA go to






Category: Publishing | 1 Comment

Publishing Initiatives at PLOS: A Look Back and a Look Ahead

In January 2015, we wrote about exciting developments at PLOS specifically designed to improve the author and community experience.   The changes begun at the end of 2014 included a redesign of our PDF layout into a clean, single column design, reconstructing many of our workflows, implementing continuous publication, and transitioning to a new composition vendor to convert accepted author manuscripts into XML and PDF formats used for online publication.  Now, six months later, we want to provide a status update on those projects and also let you know of still more initiatives planned for 2015-2016.

Single Column PDF Design

At the end of 2014 we introduced a new single column PDF design that enabled a more efficient composition process, while simultaneously improving readability on the variety of devices used by the research community.  From November to January PLOS rolled out the design across all seven of the PLOS journals.  During this time we received excellent feedback from our author and reader community that greatly helped fine tune the formatting rules used to automate the creation of the PDFs; many thanks to our community for the input.

New Workflows, New Vendors

While rolling out the PDF design, we simultaneously changed a number of workflows and vendors behind the scenes, including a successful transition to a new composition vendor, Apex CoVantage.  We firmly believed these actions would improve our quality assurance and typesetting processes, increase overall publishing efficiency across all seven of our journals, decrease time to publication, and ultimately provide a better experience for authors publishing in a PLOS journal.  After six months, we are seeing very clear signs of progress.  But progress did not come easily – or quickly.

Transition Performance

In January we noted that all of these changes – each one time sensitive and critical to improving the publication process – would affect our speed to publication and publication volumes in the short term. They did.  As we started publishing in 2015,  we saw the overall number of published items decrease in January and February (average per month of about 1,400) as compared to our normal monthly publication volume (2014 average per month of about 2,800).  By the end of June, however, we had published a total of 17,044 items, bringing our average per month back up to a bit more more than 2,800.

We predicted readers and authors might notice a slowdown.  They did. We sincerely apologize to those authors who experienced delays during this transition.  We gratefully acknowledge the patience of our community, and particularly our authors, during this period. We learned some important lessons which will help us minimize these kinds of problems in the future as we continue to improve our systems and processes.

Promising Preliminary Results

We also owe thanks to all our vendors for their patience and hard work.  The results we have started to see from this combined effort are quite exciting.  The predicted gains in speed, efficiency, and quality are now being realized. The backlogs that were created as we transitioned early in the year are all gone.  While it’s still early days, our preliminary data show a reduction in the time from acceptance to publication of 40-50% for three of our four community journals as compared to 2014 (April through June comparison).  The fourth journal, PLOS Computational Biology had a major workflow change, wherein we added a step for author proofs.  That initially resulted in some delays, but that timing has now recovered to 2014 levels.  PLOS ONE, because of its volume, has improved more slowly, but we are seeing steady progress.

Initial quality indications are also quite strong.  While it’s still a bit too soon for a full analysis, preliminary data indicate that the number of author requests for corrections coming in post-publication have dropped off by about 50%.

Throughout this time submissions from authors have remained strong across all seven of our journals.

Additional Changes to Come

We promised authors a tool to provide feedback and help with figure preparation, and currently that tool is actively being tested and refined and should be available sometime later this year.  Additional workflow changes are in the works that will help pave the way for author proofs for PLOS Pathogens, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, and PLOS Genetics in the coming months.

In addition, we continue to work on many improvements to our internal workflows and processes that will make them even more efficient. While many of these improvements are not visible to authors, they are helping us achieve a path to publication that’s as smooth and swift as possible.

Looking Farther Ahead

The PLOS mission is to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. One area of publishing in desperate need of transformation involves the systems used for submission and peer review.  PLOS is currently hard at work designing and building a new manuscript authoring and submission system called ApertaTM. At its core this new PLOS editorial environment brings simplicity to the submission and peer review process by providing advanced task-management technology and a vastly improved user interface, which will enhance the publishing experience for our community of ​authors, editors, and reviewers. Stay tuned for more information on Aperta in the coming months.

PLOS remains committed to transparency in the publishing process, and we will continue to provide progress updates on our many exciting developments.  Thanks for your continued support of PLOS journals and the Open Access movement.

Category: Publishing | 2 Comments

Research Matters

Research Matters is a new article series in which active scientists speak directly about why basic research in their field matters. It bridges the gap between academic research and the public by explaining how diverse fundamental research assures real and compelling impact on public health, human knowledge and life.

The editorial and first articles in this series are from PLOS Pathogens Editors-in-Chief Kasturi Haldar and Grant McFadden, scientists whose basic research led them in unexpected directions. They provide vignettes of their respective careers, which they hope will encourage their colleagues to speak out in similar ways.

Grant McFadden with his grandson

Grant McFadden with his grandson

In The Curious Road from Basic Pathogen Research to Clinical Translation, Grant McFadden comments, the “take-home message is that the results of true fundamental research still remain virtually impossible to predict, despite what pundits or politicians might have you believe. . . To me, the single most important justification for fundamental research in biology remains this: Mother Nature is mysterious and magnificent but some of her secrets can still be revealed if we only allow curious minds to ask the right questions.”

Kasturi Haldar

Kasturi Haldar

In From Cell and Organismal Biology to Drugs, Kasturi Haldar argues that “investment in a broad range of basic research (because it is important to query scientific problems in many ways) enables collective preparedness for new translational challenges that defy political agendas and fearmongering for partisan gain”. She warns that “failure to do this will jeopardize future employment, training, and education at the university, college, and high school levels.”

Both urge that, with the growing din of anti-science sentiments, those who have been lucky enough to pursue fundamental research as a career now more than ever need to speak up. If the next generation of scientists is to lead the way to the transformative discoveries of the future, we all need to articulate more clearly to nonscientists why, in our modern world, basic research matters more than ever.

Follow the series as it evolves.

Image credit: University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, Flickr

Image credit: University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, Flickr

Category: PLoS Pathogens, Publishing, Science communication | Tagged , | 2 Comments

PLOS Appoints Veronique Kiermer as Executive Editor for PLOS Journals

PLOS announced today that after an extensive search, Dr. Veronique Kiermer has been appointed Executive Editor. Kiermer will be responsible for the editorial and content direction and vision for PLOS’ journals. Her appointment is effective July 20, 2015.

“The depth and breadth of Veronique’s global publishing experience will be a critically valued asset to our editorial and executive team,” said Elizabeth Marincola, Chief Executive Officer of PLOS. “PLOS is entering a new phase of innovation and we are grateful to have a leader of Veronique’s caliber join our organization at this exciting juncture in our history.”

“I am delighted to be joining PLOS. I have long admired PLOS for its leadership in transforming research communication,” said Kiermer. “The editorial group is well respected in the industry and I look forward to the opportunity to make a central contribution to PLOS’ continued transformation of scientific communication.”

Prior to joining PLOS, Kiermer was Director of Author and Reviewer Services for Nature Publishing Group (NPG), where she oversaw the Nature journals research integrity and editorial policies. She also focused on the author and reviewer experience across the publishing portfolio of NPG. She was the founding Chief Editor of Nature Methods and subsequently took on publishing responsibility for the title and other online products. In 2010, she became Executive Editor, NPG, overseeing editorial policies and editorial quality assurance for Nature and the Nature journals.

Kiermer obtained her PhD in molecular biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and performed her postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco. She will be based at PLOS’ San Francisco office.

Category: Publishing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Fall Schedule of PLOS /r/science AMAs Announced


PLOS Science Wednesday is a weekly science communication series featuring live, direct chats with PLOS authors on redditscience (/r/science), the popular online gathering place for researchers, students and others interested in science which has over 8 million registered members. The series provides a forum for PLOS authors to communicate their work and interact directly with fellow researchers and the public.

Upcoming PLOS /r/science AMAs by topic/author(s)/paper(s)/PLOS journal:

Oct 14 NEUROSCIENCE; Benjamin Inglis (UC Berkeley) & Jean-Baptiste Poline (UC Berkeley); Orthogonalization of Regressors in fMRI Models. Read the PLOS ONE article.

Oct 21 OPEN ACCESS WEEK; Robert Kaplan (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) & John Ioannidis (Stanford Univ.); See Kaplan’s PLOS ONE article: Likelihood of Null Effects of Large NHLBI Clinical Trials Has Increased over Time & Ioannidis’ PLOS Medicine article: How to Make More Published Research True.

Oct 28 GLOBAL HEALTH; Water & Sanitation. Oliver Cumming (LSHTM),  Pinaki Panigrahi (Univ of Nebraska) & Yael Velleman (WaterAid);  PLOS Medicine articles: Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes among Women Practicing Poor Sanitation in Rural India: A Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study & From Joint Thinking to Joint Action: A Call to Action on Improving Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Maternal and Newborn Health.

Nov 4 GENETICS; Insect genome. Jean-Michael Drezen & Elisabeth Huget, both from University of Tours, France & Salvador Herrera (University of Valencia, Spain). Recurrent Domestication by Lepidoptera of Genes from Their Parasites Mediated by Bracoviruses. Read the PLOS Genetics article.

Nov 11 NTDS; Leptospirosis. Albert Ko and Federico Costa (Yale School of Public Health). Global Morbidity and Mortality of Leptospirosis: A Systematic Review. Read the PLOS NTDS article.

Nov 18: TBD

Nov 25 HIV/AIDS; Focus on Delivery and Scale: Achieving HIV Impact with Sex Workers. Authors TBD. Read the PLOS Collection here.

Dec 2: TBD

Dec 18: TBD

Dec 23: TBD

Dec 30 PALEONTOLOGY; Jack Conrad; A New Eocene Casquehead Lizard (Reptilia, Corytophanidae) from North America. Read the PLOS One article.

Archived AMAs:

  • Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence in Paleontology; Thomas Kaye (Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture); 10/7 AMA archive. Read the PLOS ONE article.
  • Post-transcriptional Regulation of Keratinocyte Progenitor Cell Expansion, Differentiation and Hair Follicle Regression by miR-22. Zhengquan Yu (China Agricultural Univ) and Maksim Plinkus (Univ of California Irvine). 9/30 AMA archive. Read the PLOS Genetics article.
  • Evidence for Neandertal Jewelry: Modified White-Tailed Eagle Claws at Krapina. David Frayer (Univ of Kansas); 9/23 AMA archive. Read the PLOS ONE article.
  • Mosquitoes Can Carry, and Deliver, a Double Dose of Malaria. Laura Pollitt (Univ of Edinburgh); 9/16 AMA archive. Read the PLOS Pathogens article.
  • Whole-Genome Sequencing of the World’s Oldest People. Stuart K. Kim (Stanford University); 9/9 AMA archive. Read the PLOS ONE article.
  • Model Community-Directed Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) Interventions. Caitlin Dunn (Carter Center, Emory University) and Kelly Callahan (Carter Center); 9/2 AMA archive. Read the PLOS NTDs article.
  • Modifying Aesop’s Fable Paradigm Change Crow Performances. Corina Logan (University of Cambridge, UK); 8/26 AMA archive. Read the PLOS ONE article.
  • Climate Change Shortens Growing Seasons; Potential Human and Biotic Vulnerability. Camilo Mora, Iain Caldwell (University of Hawaii); 8/19 AMA archive. Read the PLOS Biology article.
  • Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”. James Hansen & colleagues (Columbia University); 8/12 AMA archive. Read the PLOS ONE article.
  • Patterns of Mass Mortality among Invertebrates on NE Pacific Coastline. Laura Jurgens (UC Davis); 8/5 AMA archive. Read the PLOS ONE article.
  • The Physician “Brain Drain” from Sub-Saharan Africa to the U.S.  Sten H. Vermund and A. B.S. Tankwanchi; 7/29 AMA archive. Read the PLOS ONE article.
  • Programmed Evolution – The Use of Microbes for Metabolic Engineering. Todd T. Eckdahl (Missouri Western State University);  7/22 AMA archiveRead the PLOS One article.
  • How birds assemble meaningful calls from individual phonemes (as humans do) – Sabrina Engesser, Andy Russell (Univ of Exeter), James Savage (Wageningen Univ, the Netherlands), Simon Townsend (Univ of Zurich). 7/15 AMA archive. Read the PLOS Biology article.
  • Threatened Preterm Labor and Spontaneous Preterm Birth: Gene Expression Profile. Yujing Jan Heng (Harvard Med School) 7/8 AMA archive. PLOS ONE article.
  • Riverboats, Mosquitoes and the Spread of Dengue in the Peruvian Amazon. Sarah Anne Guagliardo (Emory University) and Amy Morrison (UC Davis);  7/1 AMA archive. Read the PLOS NTDs article
  • Reversing Antibiotic Resistance. Miriam Barlow and Juan C. Meza (UC Merced Life Sciences); 6/24 AMA archive. Read the PLOS One article.
  • Rationale and Prospects for a Global R&D Fund to fight Ebola, Antibiotic Resistance & Neglected Diseases  Manica Balasegaram (Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign) and Bernard Pécoul (Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative) 6/17/15 AMA archive; PLOS Medicine article.
  • Color As a Signal for Entraining the Mammalian Circadian Clock – Tim Brown (Univ of Manchester) 6/10/15 AMA archivePLOS Biology article..
  • Assessing Measles Transmission in the United States Following a Large Outbreak in California – Seth Blumberg (physician/scientist at UCSF) and Jennifer Zipprich (CA state epidemiologist) 6/3/15 AMA archive; PLOS Currents Outbreaks article
  • Why Publishing Everything Is More Effective than Selective Publishing of Statistically Significant Results – Jelte M. Wicherts – 5/27/15 AMA archive; PLOS ONE article
  • The Extent and Consequences of P-Hacking in Science – Megan Head – 5/20/15 AMA archive PLOS Biology article
  • Creating Computational Brain Models for Artificial Intelligence – Jeff Clune, Kai Olav Ellefsen, Jean-Baptiste Mouret – 5/13/15 AMA archive; PLOS Computational Biology article; video summary
  • Aquilops, the Smallest, Oldest Horned Dinosaur – Andrew Farke – 5/6/15 AMA archive; PLOS ONE article; author’s introductory PLOS Blogs post and the team story behind this paper
  • Open Labware: 3-D Printing Your Own Lab Equipment – Tom Baden and Andre Maia Chagas – 4/29/15 AMA archive; PLOS Biology article
  • Open Data Exchange Between Cancer Researchers – Andrew Beck – 4/22/15 AMA archive; PLOS Medicine article

How It Works

Questions may be posted ahead of and during the AMA and the authors answer on Wed 1–2pm ET. Archives are available for later reading, re-mixing or reuse. Please use the hashtag #PLOSredditAMA when discussing this series on Twitter. You can also download and use the reddit AMA app.

Future PLOS Science Wednesday AMAs will be posted to this page and announced on Twitter. Featured authors are selected by PLOS editors; PLOS authors or Academic Editors may nominate a PLOS article for this series by emailing with the article URL, author(s) and a lay summary (50-100 words) of the research.

Why is PLOS doing redditscience AMAs?

PLOS sees these author AMAs as enhancements to the journal articles on which they are based. They also function as in-depth archived community discussions on important and timely science topics, which are available in perpetuity on the redditscience subthread for all to read and re-purpose. On PLOS journal sites, each PLOS Science Wednesday AMA transcript is linked to the “Related Content” tabs at the top of their respective PLOS articles. We encourage other health and science communicators to take and reuse this content in whatever ways may assist your purposes.

You may also be interested in…


Reddit logoreddit is one of the web’s oldest and largest open source communities, where registered members post links, comment and rate posted items in a wide variety of subject areas. As of March 2015, reddit received more than 6.6 billion page views and 151 million unique visitors. /r/science is a lively 8 million member “subreddit” within reddit. Each subreddit is independent and moderated by a team of volunteers.

2etoq0zjwxicokm1woge_biggerAs a nonprofit, Open Access publisher with a mission to lead a transformation in scientific communication, PLOS continuously seeks innovative ways to disseminate research and advance science. Initiatives such as PLOS Science Wednesday on redditscience reflect our commitment to expand the impact of research beyond publication, and enable broader community inclusion for commenting and review.

We encourage you to leave your thoughts on PLOS Science Wednesday AMAs and related issues in the comments below.



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