"Open Source" Science

10/25/2003 00:09:51
tags: medicine

I recently discovered a new website, PLoS Biology, an “open-access” scientific journal run by the Public Library of Science. According to the PLoS website:

"The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource.

Our goals are to:

  • Open the doors to the world’s library of scientific knowledge by giving any scientist, physician, patient, or student - anywhere in the world - unlimited access to the latest scientific research.

  • Facilitate research, informed medical practice, and education by making it possible to freely search the full text of every published article to locate specific ideas, methods, experimental results, and observations.

  • Enable scientists, librarians, publishers, and entrepreneurs to develop innovative ways to explore and use the world’s treasury of scientific ideas and discoveries."

Issue 1, Volume 1 of the PLoS Biology journal includes an editorial entitled “Why PLoS Became a Publisher.” This editorial discusses some of the issues involved in opening access to scientific information, such as who will share the burden of cost.

Also included is an article discussing copyright issues, specifically the Creative Commons license. As indicated at the bottom of each web page, I have begun using this license for my web site, and more specifically, the images that I have published in my photo gallery and in my graphic arts section.

I believe that such concepts allowing free sharing of ideas will be increasingly important, and I hope that others will agree.


Since this posting, PLOS Medicine has also opened. We’ll see what happens with it