28 April 2010

Crustacean nociception: The journal, PLoS ONE

I’ve got to hand it to the folks behind PLoS ONE.

When I told people we had a paper coming out in PLoS ONE, multiple people spontaneously said, “That’s a good journal,” or even “Wow!” *

This is a far cry from what most people thought when PLoS ONE debuted a few years back. The stated editorial policy of only reviewing for technical competence and not importance made people worry that PLoS ONE would look like this:

Somehow, PLoS ONE has managed to avoid that fate. I think it’s managed to shed that image because it has become so massive. It’s on its way to becoming the biggest journal in the world in terms of number of articles (it was #3 last year). I don’t think it’s because everyone is sending their best stuff there, but when you have a lot of people sending stuff in, there’s more than enough cream to rise to the top.

I also think part of the reason PLoS ONE has started to be viewed as a bit prestigious is that many researchers are still reluctant to pay publication fees. That publication fee creates friction, and friction helps make something seem valuable.

I am glad that is piece is in PLoS ONE, since the “lobster in the pot” question is frequently asked. In fact, when we had a guest lecturer here recently, she mentioned she had been asked the question in her intro biology course the week before. So open access is a good thing for this paper, as I’m hoping it might help provide a reasonable “key” into the question.

I wrote all of the above a couple of weeks ago, well before I read The Scholarly Kitchen and its alternative view on PLoS and particularly PLoS ONE. The discussion following is lengthy and lively.


Puri S, Faulkes Z. 2010. Do decapod crustaceans have nociceptors for extreme pH? PLoS ONE 5(4): e10244. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010244

Dumping ground ohoto by D'Arcy Norman on Flickr; cream photo by Chiot’s Run on Flickr. Both used under a Creative Commons license.

* The “Wow!” factor may have been an expression of the surprise that I’d published anything at all.

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