PLoS Medicine

Affordable Access

PLoS Medicine

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2004
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Philosophy


PLBI0202_139-172.indd February 2004 | Volume 2 | Issue 2 | Page 0139PLoS Biology | Open access is gaining momentum. Authors are submitting papers in ever- increasing numbers to open-access journals. Several prominent research sponsors, including the Wellcome Trust, the Max Planck Society, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifi que (CNRS), and the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche (INSERM), have recently pronounced that open access is the best way for the researchers they support to publish their work. Several established commercial and not-for- profi t publishers have announced plans to experiment with open-access models for some or all of their journals. Delighted and encouraged, we gear up for the launch of PLoS Medicine this autumn—the next step in our efforts to bring the benefi ts of open access to the entire scientifi c and medical community. We aim to make PLoS Medicine a premier journal, providing open access to the best medical research to researchers, to physicians and other caregivers, and to the public. The case for open access to medical research is even stronger than it is for basic research in biology. There are more interested parties: patients and their advocates; biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that develop drugs and medical devices; doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers; and health policy-makers at the national and international levels. The goal of the medical research enterprise is—or should be—scientifi cally, ethically, and socially responsible medicine, which means research that will benefi t patients worldwide. The reality looks somewhat different. Large investments into basic research have not yet lived up to their full potential to save lives and improve their quality. Doctors, patients, and their advocates do not have ready access to the combined peer-reviewed evidence from medical research. The prices for the latest drugs often

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