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PLoS ONE Synchroblogging contest

In a world of ever-increasing journal subscription prices, there’s a real need for an alternative model.  Pricer journal subscriptions have led libraries to narrow the range of journals to which they subscribe.  Much of the scientific literature is out of reach for institutions in poorer countries.  Researchers working in these settings are less able to place their research in the context of modern research, which reduces their chance of having their work published.  While some professional societies have tried to keep their subscription costs down, open-access publishing is becoming more attractive.  Yesterday I blogged about OpenJ-Gate, a portal that provides access to a vast assortment of open-access journals. PLoS ONE is an “interactive open-access journal for the communication of all peer-reviewed scientific and medical research”.  It combines open-access publishing with rapid publication.  And then encourages readers to provide feedback.  Bora Zvikovic, who blogs at A Blog Around the Clock is the PLoS ONE Community Manager.

This month, PLoS ONE will be celebrating its second birthday.  In honour of that event, they are having a Synchroblogging Competition in collaboration with ResearchBlogging.org.  In order to join in the fun (and maybe win some PLoS ONE swag) all you have to do is (a) register your blog with ResearchBlogging, and (b) on December 18, publish a blog post about one of the almsot 4,000 papers at PLoS ONE.  Pretty simple?  Of course, the post has to meet the standards of ResearcBlogging (read the paper and understand it, provide some serious commentary on the article).  Bora has some more information here, and the official rules are here.

The biggest challenge, as I see it, is narrowing down what to write about.  PLoS ONE has 335 ecology articles, and 115 plant biology artices (some of which, I presume, are not about Arabidopsis), so there’s lots of interesting stuff to sort through.  There’s also lots of papers about minor fields like biochemistry, infectious disease, and other topics that somehow fall outside of the intersection of plant biology and ecology…

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