Richard Smith: Might copies of PLoS One change journals forever?

I agree with Dr. Smith – PLoS is the future, and am happy to learn that British Medical Journal has “cloned” the PLoS idea.

29 Mar, 11 | by BMJ Group

Richard SmithI continue to be amazed that despite the appearance of the internet, which some have compared with the invention of fire, our methods for disseminating scientific studies are essentially the same as they were 50 years ago. We still have journals, and, although papers have electronic versions, those papers are indistinguishable from those of 50 years ago. I’m constantly searching for the “disruptive innovation” that will change everything.

By definition those stuck in the old paradigm (that’s all of us) can’t imagine the new paradigm. We will be slow to spot the significance of a development that could change everything, but I wonder if the appearance of PLoS [Public Library of Science] One could be a gamechanger. It appeared a couple of years ago, and a signal that it might be highly significant is that it has already been copied many times, with BMJ Open being the latest copy.

The idea behind PLoS One and copies is that they will publish any scientific study where the conclusions are supported by the methods and results. The editors and reviewers do not attempt to decide what is “original” and “important,” which they do badly anyway. …