PLoS ONE is one year old today
Like any toddler, its parents are exhausted but looking forward to celebrating. During the past year, the milestones have come thick and fast and we’ve recorded them all with pride.
The birth – when we launched on 12.20.2006 our joy was somewhat curtailed by a small earthquake that occurred in San Francisco as the site appeared. We were born and were in an earthquake simultaneously – an exciting arrival into the world.
Putting on weight – no problems there, we’ve attracted papers from some leading figures including Paul Sereno, Steve Irwin, David Sloan Wilson, Evelyn Fox Keller, their papers show the breadth and depth of PLoS ONE coverage.
The first smile – this came when we realized that our seamless new electronic production system exceeded our expectations. Not only could it handle the predicted volume, it could manage in excess of that, allowing us to publish more than 1300 articles in our first year.
Learning to roll over and then walk – we bypassed these stages and went straight to running speed, publishing articles from acceptance to publication in 14 working days.
Social interaction – we’re a natural at this! Our post publication tools of commenting rating and discussion make it easy to play nice in the sandbox. Normally someone picks up and uses these toys frequently and for the most part they do so nicely.
Learning to talk – we rapidly gained fluency and a reputation for good community based open dialogue about article quality and impact. Thanks to this and open-access, where all articles are freely and fully accessible online and authors retain copyright, we’re quite the conversationalist.
Being the center of attention – we don’t need to throw tantrums because our media coverage has been second to none. All the big media players have featured multiple stories from PLoS ONE. The paper, Structural Extremes in a Cretaceous Dinosaur received nearly 600 separate items of media coverage in an impressive media blitz.
How are we celebrating? With a new home page redesign which is live today. This project had two core goals 1. getting readers to the content they want as quickly as possible now that PLoS ONE has blossomed into a such a large and diverse resource 2. encouraging dialogue around articles by providing users with interesting routes into content – such as journal clubs, or articles that are particularly commented upon or newsworthy. We’re also sending care packages to editorial boards members who indicated that they wanted one including a celebratory t-shirt, business cards and mouse pads, because we appreciate the enormous hard work that they have put into making our baby thrive.
What developmental milestones will we reach next year? We have many new features to introduce and we want to publish even more of your work, so please keep it flowing. We’d also like to see even more of you get familiar with and use the tools, so we’ll be encouraging that.
Finally a giant THANK YOU… to our community for believing in us early on, when we weren’t entirely sure we believed in ourselves and for sending us your work, we couldn’t have made it this far without you and to our staff… you guys rock.
Congrats folks. and a year later, I believe the experiment has been a success. I wish there was more interactivity, but one battle at a time.
I believe PLoS ONE opens a new gate for true science and as such, other journals will follow this step to establish real peer-review.