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PLoS Biology - first year stats

Apologies for cross-posting -- but we felt each of these lists might find
this information to be of some interest.

A year ago last week we at the Public Library of Science launched the
first of our journals, PLoS Biology (www.plosbiology.org). This week we
launched the second, PLoS Medicine (www.plosmedicine.org). Both journals
have been designed to provide an open-access home for the best papers in
the biological sciences and medicine. We are pleased with the progress of
PLoS Biology so far and wanted to share some of the statistics from this
last year with our colleagues in the library and publishing communities.
If you have any questions or wish further details, please feel free to
post to the list or to contact me directly.

Rebecca Kennison
Director of Journal Production
Public Library of Science


Submissions of research articles started out slowly, with only 100 from
May 1, 2003, until our launch of the inaugural issue on October 13, 2003;
from that point until the end of September 2004, we have had a steady
increase, with 651 research articles submitted from October 13, 2003,
until September 30, 2004. We are on track this month to have the highest
number of submissions to date -- and have already, halfway through the
month of October 2004, exceed the number for the entire month of October

Submissions have come from 38 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands,
New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Serbia and
Montenegro, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, the United States of
America, and Venezuela.


>From October 2003-September 2004, we published 140 original research
articles, beginning with nine in the inaugural issue and gradually
increasing to 18 in the September issue. We have also recently established
a weekly "pre-issue publication" (PIP) schedule for all our research
articles that allows all articles to be published in their final form
(copyedited, typeset, corrected, and published online as PDF and HTML)
within five to six weeks of acceptance.

These papers have covered a broad range of topics: animal behavior;
bioengineering; bioinformatics and computational biology; biophysics;
biotechnology; cancer biology; cell biology; development; ecology;
epidemiology and public health; evolution; genetics, genomics, and gene
therapy; immunology; infectious diseases; microbiology; molecular biology
and structural biology; neuroscience; paleontology; pharmacology and drug
discovery; physiology; plant science; psychology; systems biology;
virology; and zoology.

In addition, we have published 254 articles as part of our "magazine"
section, including 11 book/media reviews, two obituaries, six unsolved
mysteries, 11 essays, nine editorials, 23 primers, 11 journal clubs, and
136 synopses.


It is the policy of PLoS journals to grant waivers of our open-access
publication charge for anyone who requests them, no questions asked. Upon
submission, authors are asked what they are willing and able to pay -- the
full rate ($1500, or a percentage thereof for those affiliated with PLoS
Member Institutions); any portion of the full rate; or nothing at all. Of
the 140 research articles we have published in the last year, authors of
eight of the papers requested some kind of waiver: of those, four were
full waivers for the entire $1500, one was a waiver of $1350 (so they paid
$150), two were for $750 (so they paid $750), and one was for $500 (so
they paid $1000). The other 132 papers were paid in full. This works out
to be 4.7% of the total publication fee that has been waived.


Between mid-October 2003 and the end of September 2004, we have had a
total of 1,021,711 COUNTER-compliant full-text downloads (remember, this
is on a total of 394 articles, so shows a very strong readership across
the corpus), an average of 85,143 downloads per month. The lowest number
of downloads (48,867) was in December 2003 and the highest number
(134,983) in April 2004. Our latest figures, for September 2004, are
108,328 COUNTER-compliant full-text downloads.

For those who prefer hits to COUNTER-compliant downloads, we had a total
of 43,097,300 site hits from October 2003-September 2004 (this does not
include our first couple of days after the launch, when we were unable to
gather statistics after the server buckled under the load of more than
500,000 hits in the first few hours). Our lowest number of hits was
237,9375 in December 2003; the highest was this last month (September
2004), with 4,733,646.

Please note, however, that these numbers report only downloads from our
own site, not usage on PubMed Central or what has been passed along from
reader to reader via e-mail, a practice our copyright policies permit.


Readership was driven partly by broad media coverage of our articles in a
variety of media: television and radio, various Web sites, and print

PLoS Biology articles have been covered on over 70 television and radio
stations, including all the major American networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox),
ABC News (Australia), Al-Jazeera, American Public Radio, BBC News, BBC
Radio 4, CBC News, CFRA Radio (Canada), The Charlie Rose Show (PBS), CNN,
the Discovery Channel, National Public Radio, and the Voice of America, as
well as many local television stations.

They have been covered on various Web sites, including China View/Xinhua,
Dr. Koop, the Environmental News Network, Health24 and News24 (South
Africa), SciDev.net, Science a GoGo, Science Daily, Slashdot, WebMD
Medical News, Wired News, and Yahoo! News.

Our articles have also been covered in more than 120 newspapers and
magazines around the world, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution,
The Australian, Baltimore Sun, Berliner Morgenpost, The Boston Globe,
Calgary Sun, Chicago Tribune, Chronicle of Higher Education, Daily Express
(Sabah, Malaysia), Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Dallas Morning News, The
Economist, Edmonton Sun, Folha (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Forbes, The Globe and
Mail, The Guardian, Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), The Hindu, The
Independent (Cape Town, South Africa), The Independent (London), The
Indian Express, International Herald Tribune, The Japan Times, Los Angeles
Times, Malaysiakini News, Miami Herald, Nature, New Scientist, New Straits
Times (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), New York Times, The New Zealand Herald,
Pakistan Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Salon, Salt Lake Tribune, San
Francisco Chronicle, Science, Scientific American, The Scientist, The
Scotsman, Seattle Times, Slate, Der Spiegel, The Star (Pe! taling Jaya,
Malaysia), The Statesman (Kolkata, India), The Straits Times (Singapore),
Sunday Times (Johannesburg, South Africa), Sydney Morning Herald, Taiwan
News, Time, The Times of London, The Times of India, Times of Oman,
Toronto Star, San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today, US News and World
Report, Vancouver Sun, La Vanguardia, Wall Street Journal, Washington
Post, and Wissenschaft.


According to ISI records, papers from PLoS Biology have already been cited
in articles in over 170 different journals, most frequently in Nature,
Science, Current Biology, the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences of the United States of America, Genome Biology, Molecular and
Biochemical Parasitology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry,
Immunological Reviews, Nature Reviews Genetics, and Cell.

Rebecca Kennison
Director of Journal Production
Public Library of Science
185 Berry Street, Suite 1300
San Francisco, CA 94107-1795
Tel.: 415-624-1208
Fax: 415-546-4090
Web site: www.plos.org
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