PLOS (Public Library of Science) is a nonprofit* publisher and advocacy organization with a mission of leading a transformation in scientific and medical research communication. Every article we publish is open-access – freely available online for anyone to use – which benefits everyone, from researchers, educators, and patient advocates to funders, policymakers, and the public. Sharing research encourages progress – from protecting the biodiversity of our planet to finding more effective treatments for diseases such as AIDS or cancer.
How our business model works
To provide open access (OA), PLOS journals use a business model in which our expenses – including those of peer-review, journal production, online hosting, and archiving – are recovered in part by charging a publication fee to the authors or research sponsors for each article they publish.
We offer a complete or partial fee waiver for authors who do not have funds to cover publication fees. Editors and reviewers have no access to author payment information; hence, inability to pay will not influence the decision to publish a paper.
OA is a sustainable way of publishing
One of PLOS’s goals is to show that open access publishing is a sustainable way to publish peer-reviewed research, and we achieved a modest operating surplus for the first time in 2010. PLOS is not the first publisher to demonstrate the financial viability of OA publishing: BioMed Central and Hindawi Publishing Corporation are two other notable examples of large and successful OA publishers, and many major subscription-based publishers, such as Springer, Oxford University Press, and Sage, are also launching new OA initiatives and journals. The growing interest in OA publishing was marked by the launch of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association in 2008 – further evidence that OA publishing is now an established and sustainable part of the scholarly publishing landscape.
Read more about the role of PLOS as a publisher and beyond
For more about PLOS and its progress, see our Progress Updates.
You can read more about our role as a publisher – from the launch of PLOS Biology in 2003 to the work we do beyond publishing – in advocacy, technology, and the new websites we’re building to show the world the full potential of open access.
* A tax-exempt, 501(c)3, nonprofit corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California (Federal Tax ID 68-0492065).