A moderated website for sharing H1N1 information

Published in The Hindu on August 31, 2009

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) ONE, an open access journal has started a website, PLOS Currents: Influenza, for facilitating rapid exchange of scientific results and ideas concerning H1N1. Like other PLOS journals, this one is also an open access online resource for “immediate, open communication and discussion of new scientific data, analyses, and ideas in the field of influenza.”

PLOS Currents: Influenza is not a journal, and papers appearing in the website will not go through the rigorous peer-reviewing process. But every submission sent to the website will be moderated by an expert group of influenza researchers.

The website, which is a beta form, has been created for the sole purpose of rapid and open sharing of useful any new scientific data, analyses, and ideas concerning H1N1.

The website will accept any submission — observations, ideas, data and complete papers. Though only a website, any submission published in the website can be cited by others and will be permanently archived.

Since it is only a website and submissions are not peer-reviewed, authors are permitted to publish their work in a journal. “We do not expect other publications to consider a work communicated through PLOS Currents: Influenza to be a ‘prior publication’”.

The PLOS Currents: Influenza encourages researchers and others to “initiate or participate in discussions, or add comments, ratings and tags to the content?to make the content more valuable to the whole community.”

Authors are currently not charged when they submit their work, though publication charges are not ruled out in the future.

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