Peter Binfield joined PLoS ONE in March 2008, when the journal was merely a new fangled concept looked on with a lot of suspicion. Certain editors were worried that it would become the dumping ground for rejected papers because of its policy to publish all methodologically and scientifically sound papers without any concern about its implications. According to his short farewell post on the PLoS EveryONE community blog, PLoS ONE now publishes more paper in a month than all but 20 journals publish in a year. Now that is a befuddling number of papers!
The Official PLoS Blog also announced his move and the operational shift that will take place to accommodate his moving away.
However, quite surprisingly, neither of these two posts (which are going to get a lot of eyeballs) have pointed out what Binfield is setting out to do post-PLoS ONE. Though Jonathan Eisen (of Phyogenomics fame) and MRR (from Café Sciences) have pointed out about the brave new endeavor Binfield is undertaking, a complete absence of acknowledgement of the Peer Journal on both the PLoS blogs seems a little unfair to me.
PeerJ aims to establish a sustainable publishing model where researchers shall be able to purchase a lifetime membership starting at just 99$. The key word is “starting at”… so I shall look forward to see the membership model which it employs once the journal opens for subscription.
In fact, being an ardent supporter of Open Access initiatives who believes that the costs levied on authors by OA journals is a tad too high, I consider this a welcome move. This model will attract, without fail, a lot of researchers from the lower-middle income countries for whom the per-paper author charges of 1350$ is too high.
In an era where the cost of sequencing the human genome is being curtailed to a mere 100$, it is naturally an attractive model to launch.
PeerJ will be launching this fall. I have started to squirrel away some money from my meager earnings and allowances to be able to buy a lifetime subscription when the service opens for users.
What are you waiting for? Go check out their site. NOW!