Wednesday, September 22, 2010
PLoS One: Not a real science journal
I love the open-access concept for scientific journals. There is no reason why someone should have to pay $35 to read my papers. PLoS is one of the first and largest open-access science journals out there. Some of their journals, like PLoS Biology, are very prestigious places to publish and have put out many amazing studies. They also have a vigorous peer-review process. Unfortunately, to subsidize publication in their premier journals, PLoS pretty much lets anyone who's willing to pay a couple of thousand dollars to publish anything in their barely peer-reviewed journal PLoS One. Their argument for minimizing the peer-review process (and ignoring the scientific merit of their papers) is that it is reviewed by the global community. Unfortunately, all it does is get a bunch of non-scientists make a big deal of a crappy study for being published in a scientific journal. Don't get me wrong, there have been some nice papers I've read in PLoS One, but they also let in a lot of crap (70% of what's submitted is published), like this recent one about a model for Moses parting the Red Sea, that has absolutely no scientific merit. Because of this, PLoS One made it to my Fake Science list.