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PLOS BLOGS The Official PLOS Blog

Mediating media coverage

Every week we issue a press release. We select a few of the articles to be published the following week and summarize them in a way that we hope will pique a journalist's interest. And while we (and our authors) love press coverage, we try make the release appetizing without being irresponsible. A catchy title is allowed, hyping up the conclusions or leaving out some key caveats isn't. And we always encourage journalists to link to the actual paper so that anyone interested can check the source.

The embargoed release goes to a select group of international science and medical journalists and is also posted on a couple of news sites. (If you are a journalist and want to receive our releases, send an e-mail to

On November 21st, the lead item of our press release called "Causes of global death and disease in the next 25 years" summarized a paper by Colin Mathers and Dejan Locar on "Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030". To our delight, the story was picked up by many journalists, including some at Reuters, AP, and other news agencies. After the embargo lifted on November 27, it found its way onto the CNN ticker tape, into over 200 newspapers we know of, the pages of Nature and New Scientist, onto Monsters and Critics, and even

It's great to see how many humans and dogs care about those projections — we all need to work together to make sure that limited resources to relieve global mortality and disease burden are spent the right way.

  1. Hi, I’ve been coming to the PLoS one website several times EVERY SINGLE DAY since oh 2 months ago…waiting for this journal to finally launch. Frankly, I don’t even know why I’m so anxious to see it but in any case, when do you guys plan on launching it???

  2. I support the idea behind PLoS ONE wholeheartedly! I’ve blogged about it, I’ve submitted a manuscript to it and I’ve become a PLoS ONE academic editor.
    I have two questions:
    1. What I wonder is what mechanisms you intend to put in place to prevent (or rather reduce, probably) the social mechanisms rendering similar online communities (such as YouTube or MySpace) more of a popularity contest, rather than an exercise in impact and quality assessment?
    In other words, how do you prevent/reduce the “snow-ball effect” from biasing PLoS ONE?
    e.g.: Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market

    2. Do you expect the other PLoS journals to eventually cease to exist and morph into the giant science database PLoS ONE will become, if it takes off the way we all hope? Or is the current plan to definitely prevent that from happening? I mean, thinking it all the way to the end, PLoS ONE would be all you need – no other publication mechanisms necessary.

  3. It’s great to hear that you are so enthusiastic about the project, though there are easier ways of keeping informed. Just drop your email address in the “Sign up for email alerts” box on and we will send you an email to tell you when we will be up and running.

    Right now we are in the final stages of testing the site ready for launch. We are working out a few bugs that we don’t think you want to see. However I still can’t tell you exactly when we will be up. It will be soon but there is no need to check the site again this week.

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