PLoS vs Nature: The Open Access Showdown

So, remember, a few days ago I had talked about the launch of an Open Access journal from the NPG stable? If you were too busy having a life, go, check out the post here.

Anyways, in what seems like an almost sarcastic repetition of history, PLoS welcomes the latest addition to the OA field. Remember the very popular Apple ad “sarcastically” welcoming IBM into the field? OK. Just refreshing your memory then:

Now, in a similar vein, PLoS has gone on and welcomed Nature, take a look:


Now, honestly, with the BMJ locking horns with the Lancet over the MMR-Autism Wakefieldian fiasco and now the PLoS going all sarcastic on Nature, there seems to be a lot of tussle for power going on right now in the medical publication world! While it may seem premature and speculative to see how the Scientific Report matches up vis-a-vis PLoS One, the daddy of OA publishing, there remain several concerns to address.

Now, I admit I have not read about the submission protocols of the new OA journal from NPG in great depths, but it seems to me that the publication fees for this year is 1350$ and it is slated to go up to 1700$ next year. There appear to be no criteria for applying for a waiver. In this regard, PLoS One has been very generous. In cases where the need is essential, they can completely waive the publication fees. While that has been a very positive boost for the image of the journal (making it the biggest journal in the OA world), now it means that since Science Reporter appears to have no waiver policy in place, all researchers unable to foot the expenses will turn to the PLoS. Whether that will mean a loss in revenue for the journal remains to be seen.

Another fully open access journal is in the offing: BMJ Open. With all these players in the field now, it is beyond the shadow of any doubt that the open access system works. And it works well. With PLoS still staying afloat despite wild speculations about financial disaster, with Biomed Central making some profit in the field, with NPG and BMJ groups, arguably the largest players in the medical subscription model throwing their hats in the Open Access arena, one can be pretty sure that Open Access is alive and kicking.

Its time to watch the game!

5 thoughts on “PLoS vs Nature: The Open Access Showdown

  1. “PLoS going all sarcastic on Nature”. It’s not meant sarcastically! You can check with Liz Allen of the marketing team, who prepared that response to the launch of Scientific Reports.


    1. Seeing that the Apple-IBM (to say nothing of the Apple-Microsoft) relationships have been fraught with sarcastic exchanges like the original this response was modeled on, I assumed that it was on a similar light vein. If you feel this is a bad misrepresentation, I will gladly edit it.

      I am a great fan of PLoS and how the whole OA revolution has helped those of us in the developing world out. I would hate it if there was some sort of a misunderstanding related to this post.

      Thanks for caring to drop by and comment!


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