Organization Overview

PLOS (the Public Library of Science) is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization located in San Francisco, CA, USA and Cambridge, UK Our mission is to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. Everything that we publish is Open-Access – freely available online for anyone to use and we maximize the value of this resource through technology.

PLOS has a global team of more than 180 people working in our editorial, production, information technology, administration, marketing, communications, and advocacy teams. Our work environment is team-oriented and rich in innovative ideas. PLOS’s distinguished Board of Directors includes eminent scientists, business leaders, and entrepreneurs.

In just ten years, PLOS has established seven highly successful journals that publish original content, an influential blog network, and a number of other initiatives to improve the organization and assessment of content for the benefit of different communities.

PLOS continues to expand. Currently, we are seeking talented candidates for the following positions:

Application Procedure

Please send a resume, a cover letter, and a phone number where you can be contacted to and use the job title as the subject of your email. Certain jobs may carry special application procedures; please make careful note of those and follow directions indicated. No phone calls or visits, please. Principals only – email from recruiters will be ignored.

Associate Editor, PLOS ONE (Temporary)

We are currently looking for a talented Associate Editor to join the editorial team of PLOS based in either its San Francisco or Cambridge, UK office.

This post was created for a maternity cover period of approximately 9 months. The Associate Editor, PLOS ONE will work with other editors to manage the rapidly increasing volume of submissions to the journal. As such, the Associate Editor will be responsible for a wide array of editorial matters, from daily submission assessments to developing the overall scope of the journal.


  • Assessing new submissions and guiding papers through the review process
  • Overseeing editorial decisions
  • Providing support to Authors, Editors, Reviewers and PLOS editorial staff
  • Resolving editorial disputes
  • Ongoing review of journal policies and processes
  • Training and monitoring Academic Editors
  • Representing PLOS ONE at scientific meetings

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Experience in a scientific research environment
  • Highly-organized, adaptable, and proficient in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, both written and oral
  • A good understanding of online scientific communication.
  • A Ph.D. qualification in the sciences is preferred but not essential
  • Experience in STM publishing is desirable

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Chief Editor, PLOS Biology

The Chief Editor is responsible for the overall leadership and directions for the journal. In addition, the Chief Editor oversees the PLOS Biology editorial team, the day-to-day running and coordination of the journal and takes ultimate responsibility for the editorial decision-making and content of the journal. The Chief Editor is a senior member of the editorial group at PLOS and is expected to participate in PLOS-wide editorial, publishing and advocacy activities.

PLOS Biology features works of exceptional significance, originality, and relevance in all areas of biological science, from molecules to ecosystems, including works at the interface of other disciplines, such as chemistry, medicine, and mathematics. The journal’s audience is the international scientific community as well as educators, policy makers, and interested members of the public around the world. PLOS Biology is part of the suite of Biology journals group at PLOS, along with PLOS Genetics and PLOS Computational Biology.

Journal Responsibilities

  • Responsibility for overarching journal vision, future direction, and policy.
  • In association with the Editorial Director and Finance, responsibility for setting and managing the journal budget.
  • Annual review of journal priorities and objectives in line with PLOS organizational objectives.
  • Oversight of general press and media relations.
  • Initiation of special projects, and development of new journal features.
  • Representation of journal on internal and external editorial groups.
  • Handling manuscripts as needed.

Managerial Responsibilities

  • Management of senior journal editorial staff.
  • Regular staff appraisals.
  • Interfacing and collaborating with senior staff in other departments such as Publishing Services, Production, Product Management, Finance, and Technology.
  • Representation of PLOS Biology on PLOS-wide meetings as needed.

General Responsibilities

  • Representation of PLOS Biology specifically, and PLOS overall, and participation in advocacy work as appropriate.
  • Active participation in external organizations that further the mission and goals of PLOS Biology and PLOS.
  • Help develop and implement appropriate standards for biology publishing throughout PLOS (and provide expert advice as necessary).
  • Contribute to collaboration, harmonization and planning across PLOS journals.
  • Contribute to the development of PLOS’s overall publishing strategy.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Biological Degree with postgraduate experience. PhD in addition to a biological degree is required.
  • Substantial, senior-level experience in editing at a general biology or relevant specialist biological journal.
  • Experience of leadership with proven ability to develop and articulate a vision within publishing or a related area.
  • Expertise in handling research and non-research papers across a wide range of topics and methodologies.
  • Experience in management of editorial teams, ideally across different sites and countries.
  • Experience in developing and implementing journal policies.
  • In depth understanding of biological publishing and a commitment to Open Access.
  • Established evidence of commitment/experience in external editorial initiatives or groups is preferred.

The position will be based in either our San Francisco, CA or Cambridge, UK office and is available from May, 2014. The position has become available as a result of the departure of the PLOS Biology Editorial Director.

Please send a cover letter outlining your reasons for applying and salary expectations. Please also include a separate document outlining your assessment of the current strengths and areas for growth of PLOS Biology and your vision for the journal. No agencies please.

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Executive Editor

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) has an immediate opening for the new position of Executive Editor for the PLOS suite of peer-reviewed open-access journals, which published more than 34,000 articles in 2013. PLOS seeks an individual who has significant leadership experience in scientific publishing.

The Executive Editor will have overall responsibility for the editorial direction and vision of the PLOS journals, and serve as a member of the PLOS leadership team, helping to set broader organizational strategy and goals, and delivering on the PLOS mission to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.

Key Responsibilities:

As a member of the PLOS Executive team, the Executive Editor reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and has overall management responsibility for the leadership and direction of PLOS ONE, PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine, PLOS’ four community journals and their teams.

The successful candidate will be a true science visionary and innovator who will provide leadership in creating scientific communication of the future as well as developing policies and programs around the handling of research data.

The Executive Editor will ensure that the PLOS publishing portfolio is coordinated, high-quality and furthers the goals of PLOS through the following responsibilities:


  • Work with PLOS leadership team and Board to help establish overarching strategy and goals for the organization
  • Establish and execute editorial vision and practices
  • Lead Editorial Team

Editorial Oversight

  • Lead journal editorial programs and policies
  • Work with Editorial Directors and Editors-in-Chief to set programmatic and journal-specific policies
    • Oversee editorial program activities
  • Monitor editorial metrics
  • Produce monthly editorial report
  • Troubleshoot editorial issues with teams as they arise
  • Coordinate with other areas of the organization
    • Input into and management of editorial budgets
  • Resource allocation and priorities
  • Setting targets for submissions/publications
  • Managing in-sourced and out-sourced editorial efforts
    • New publishing projects
  • Work with Editorial Directors, EICs and the PLOS staff to identify new opportunities for content development
  • Develop strategic direction for and prioritize new projects
    • Open Access Publishing awareness
  • Keep abreast of market/competitor trends and publishing-related OA initiatives

Internal Relationships

  • Overall management of editorial teams
  • Direct line management of Editorial Directors for  PLOS ONE, PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine and PLOS’ four community journals
  • Ensuring effective management practices/structure within editorial group
    • Communication with staff
  • Chair editorial meetings
  • Keep editorial team informed of publishing activities
  • Coordination and collaboration with Executive Team and Department heads including Publisher
    • Communication with Board members
  • Attend and present at Board meetings
  • Coordinate Board Editorial Advisory Committee

External Relationships

  • Represent the PLOS journals as appropriate to the science, publishing, legislative and field-specific communities
  • Contribute to development of policy positions and recommendations

Location and Travel

  • The position is based in San Francisco, California USA
  • Periodic travel (2-3 times each year) to editorial offices in Cambridge, England UK
  • Periodic travel to meetings/conferences as appropriate

Qualifications and Experience:

  • A successful academic science career (tenured faculty or comparable)
  • A history of progressively responsible editorial experience in STM journal publishing
  • Dedication to open access and transformative science communication
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement creative solutions in journal publishing
  • Experienced manager with a track record of building and developing high performing teams
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal

Public Library of Science is an equal opportunity employer.

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Linux Systems Administrator

We are currently seeking a Linux Systems Administrator to join our IT Services team within our rapidly growing San Francisco office.

The ideal candidate will be a confident and highly organized self-starter with first class communication and problem solving skills. Previous experience working in a fast paced environment is a must. The successful candidate will partner with our in-house Software Services team to assist them in the deployment of the applications for the PLOS Publishing system projects.


  • Work with software developers to plan for, document and execute the deployment of applications for the PLOS publishing system. This includes but is not limited to: Tomcat, Nginx, Apache, MySQL, MVC Java web apps (Struts, Spring MVC), SOLR, Active MQ, CouchDB, Rails and Drupal.
  • Build and manage development, test, demo and performance environments located on local workstations, private-clouds and Amazon AWS.
  • Build tools to deploy features and releases effortlessly to multiple environments, including the production servers.
  • Ensure that these environments have the latest releases and current data.
  • Maintain, monitor and improve the automated build system.
  • Work with the development team to triage issues in multiple environments.
  • Provide technical support for application and environment configuration issues.
  • Act as back-up Linux systems administrator for the production infrastructure.
  • Although not usually required, you will be on call for system outages 24×7.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • BS/MS in Computer Science or equivalent experience.
  • 4+ years of experience as a Linux Systems Administration.
  • Deep understanding of Red Hat/CentOS or Ubuntu.
  • Highly proficient with Red Hat KVM, Kickstart and CFengine.
  • Solid experience with distributed filestores such as MogileFS.
  • Knowledge of deployment tools like Chef, Puppet, and/or Ansible.
  • Knowledge of continuous integration tools like TeamCity, Jenkins or Bamboo.
  • Experience with virtualization tools such as Vagrant and Docker.
  • Solid scripting skills with one or more of the following: Bash, Perl, Python, and Ruby.
  • Ability to quickly triage a problem, determine the root cause and provide the resolution.
  • Strong attention to detail.  Able to write clear and understandable documentation.
  • Knowledge or previous experience using an Agile development and testing process is a plus.
  • Solid work ethic, independent, resourceful, and self-motivated. Positive attitude and professionalism.

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Publications Assistant (Multiple Vacancies)

As a member of the editorial operations team, the Publications Assistant is organized and conscientious, handling day-to-day tasks to ensure the smooth running of their journal.

Key tasks include providing a professional service to authors and reviewers, assisting them with the submission system and supporting the professional editors working for the journal. Applicants should have good IT skills and experience with online systems or databases would be an advantage.

The Publications Assistant will be a confident and highly organized self-starter with first class communication and problem solving skills; be a team player, organized and conscientious with good attention to detail and the ability to manage their own workload and meet competing deadlines.


  • Operating our online peer-review software to facilitate the peer review process for the journal
  • Assisting authors, reviewers, and academic editors by answering queries by email and phone
  • Supporting the in-house Editors, Editorial and Publications Managers in their tasks
  • Fielding questions from scientists, members of the public and the press about the journal
  • Liaising with authors to ready manuscripts for acceptance and production by the journal
  • Assisting with the gathering of statistical data for the journals (as required)
  • Maintaining and uploading journal operation processes workflows as directed
  • Troubleshooting routine manuscript issues, providing input on manuscript discussions and escalating issues when appropriate
  • Undertaking special projects as directed by your line manager

Qualifications and Experience:

  • A university degree or equivalent is preferred
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Organizational skills (especially the ability to prioritize, meet deadlines and multitask)
  • Technical proficiencies (knowledge of Excel, Word, file types and file conversions)
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • An interest, and preferably experience, in STM or academic publishing
  • Undertaking special projects as directed by your line manager

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Quality Assurance Engineer – Python, Ruby or Java

PLOS is using the best of web technologies to revolutionize scientific publication. We are looking for a talented and creative QA Engineer to join the PLOS development team in our San Francisco office. You’ll join a growing team of QA Engineers in helping us evolve our testing frameworks, methodologies, and priorities. We use an Agile development and testing process. The QA Engineers are part of the agile development teams and involved in the entire software development lifecycle.


  • Extensively learn the PLOS products and journal websites.
  • Execute full QC lifecycles for software product releases.
  • Write and perform tests, manual and automated, feature, regression and load tests.
  • Report on test results, file and track bug reports, and assist software engineers in isolating and reproducing bugs.
  • Encourage exploratory testing and a culture of quality.
  • Participate in software releases.
  • Collaborate closely with developers, product managers and others to correctly identify, prioritize and resolve issues.
  • Final acceptance of new features and bug fixes for every release.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • 5+ years of experience in a technical role.
  • Experience writing automated tests or other software using Python, Java, or similar.
  • Experience with a test automation framework like Selenium. Experience with page-object model based frameworks a plus.
  • Experience building load and performance tests of web applications and reporting on the results.
  • Experience with source control tools; we use git.
  • Experience testing complex web applications. Experience with Java platforms and MySQL a plus.
  • Experience with JMeter, Loadrunner, or equivalent a plus.
  • Knowledge of command line Linux. You know how to use top, find, grep.
  • Experience with a continuous deployment environment a plus.
  • Likes to break things. Responds well to a change.
  • BS degree in Computer Science or equivalent experience

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