PLos One

PLoS One, from the PLoS family of journals that includes PLoS Biology, has become very popular among coral reef scientists.  (The leader is Bette Willis with 4 articles).  PloS One has been publishing cutting edge and influential articles about a variety of topics.  I love it because it is very fast and open access, meaning anybody, anywhere (with internet access) can read about your findings.  If you are doing science relevant to the public or management, it just makes sense not to have your results hidden behind a wall erected by corporate publishing houses that charge enormous fees to access their journals.  (even major research institutions like UNC are having a hard time paying the ever growing fees)

PLoS ONE is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication. PLoS ONE welcomes reports on primary research from any scientific discipline. It provides:

  • Open-access—freely accessible online, authors retain copyright
  • Fast publication times
  • Peer review by expert, practicing researchers
  • Post-publication tools to indicate quality and impact
  • Community-based dialogue on articles
  • Worldwide media coverage

PLoS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a nonprofit organization.

Read more about the PLoS One mission here.

One of the most unique aspects of PLoS One is its criteria for accepting manuscripts.  ”PLoS ONE features reports of original research from all disciplines within science and medicine. By not excluding papers on the basis of subject area,PLoS ONE facilitates the discovery of the connections between papers whether within or between disciplines.”

To be accepted for publication in PLoS ONE, research articles must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. The study presents the results of primary scientific research.
  2. Results reported have not been published elsewhere.
  3. Experiments, statistics, and other analyses are performed to a high technical standard and are described in sufficient detail.
  4. Conclusions are presented in an appropriate fashion and are supported by the data.
  5. The article is presented in an intelligible fashion and is written in standard English.
  6. The research meets all applicable standards for the ethics of experimentation and research integrity.
  7. The article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines (e.g. CONSORT, MIAME, STROBE, EQUATOR) and community standards for data availability.

Another is that it uses the Creative Commons Attribution License (CCAL) (read the human-readable summary or the full license legal code). “Under the CCAL, authors retain ownership of the copyright for their article, but authors allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy articles in PLoS journals, so long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.” Open access articles have a well-documented citation advantage.

We often cover PLoS One papers about coral reef ecosystems, e.g., check out these posts:

Management effectiveness of the world’s marine fisheries

Caribbean reef fish decline: where have all the big fish gone?

Resilient ’super reefs’ a priority for conservation efforts

Doom and Boom on a Resilient Reef: Climate Change, Algal Overgrowth and Coral Recovery

Study identifies disease resistant coral genotypes

Rare corals may be smarter than previously thought

MPAs and climate change II: study finds no-take reserves do not increase reef resilience

Corals prove to be “nonconformist”

Kingman Atoll, MPAs and climate change

“Shipwrecks Wreak Havoc on Coral Reefs”

Shifting Baselines, Local Impacts, and Global Change on Coral Reefs – a note from Nancy Knowlton & Jeremy B. C. Jackson

A list of coral reef papers published in PLoS One:

  • Published 27 May 2009Shellfish Face Uncertain Future in High CO2 World: Influence of Acidification on Oyster Larvae Calcification and Growth in EstuariesA. Whitman Miller, Amanda C. Reynolds, Cristina Sobrino, Gerhardt F. Riedel





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    2 Responses to PLoS One: an open access venue for coral reef science

    1. [...] in marine sciences—and particularly in coral reef ecosystems—you may want to check out this blog post by PLoS ONE Academic Editor John Bruno, who has listed a selection of papers on this topic, which [...]

    2. [...] scientists are in developing countries, with little access to paid subscription journals.” – John F. Bruno (PLoS ONE Author & Editorial Board [...]

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