Below we feature a selection of creative uses of the open access material in PLOS journals. Read our editorial essay “PLOS Biology in Action” for a preliminary overview of how our journal content is being used.
We Want Your Stories and Feedback
Tell us how you use PLOS content — in your classroom, on your web site, in your publication, and so on — and we may include your story on this page, as an inspiration to others. Or tell us how you’d like to use PLOS content, and we’ll see what we can do to make it possible.
How Creative Can You Get?
PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works we publish. So, in addition to being immediately freely accessible online, the license allows reproduction, distribution, derivative works and commercial use as long as the source of the content and terms of the license are properly cited.
Ask A Biologist
This volunteer-run educational resource from the School of Lifesciences, at Arizona State University, uses PLOS content to provide one of many interactive learning opportunities for students (preK-12th grade) and their teachers and parents. With a new website feature called PLOSsable Biology (beta). Ask a Biologist makes selected PLOS articles comprehensible to all through simple summaries that link back to the original article for further reading. The site also provides learning opportunities about the benefits of open-access content.
In 2007, Phil Bourne, the Editor in Chief of PLOS Computational Biology, became the c0-founder of online video company SciVee. This venture encourages scientists to make videos about their scientific articles and release them on the SciVee platform, making the research more visible. The PLOS journals have a series of channels on the site and authors are encouraged to sync their audiovisual presentation with their online articles, for maximum effectiveness.
An Adventure in Semantic Publishing
David Shotton and colleagues reworked an entire PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases article by adding data, interactive figures, links to other data sources, and more. You can read about this work in PLOS Computational Biology.
New York Times Learning Network
This New York Times Learning Network lesson plan, “Monkey See, Monkey Do” (grades 6-8 and 9-12, April 13, 2004), was made available to teachers on the same day the research article by Sapolsky and Share and the primer article by de Waal were published in PLOS Biology. The lesson plan instructs older students to read the primary articles in PLOS Biology and propose a follow-up study. Immediate, open access to the primary literature makes it possible for high school students to rapidly and directly benefit from the latest research findings.
Translation and Republication
A PLOS Medicine article by Ann Taket, C. Nadine Wathen, and Harriet MacMillan on whether health professionals should screen all women for domestic violence was republished in Aerzte-Seite. PLOS Biology feature articles such as those by Virginia Gewin on genetically modified corn and Kendall Powell on the emerging field of neuroeconomics have been translated into languages like Spanish and Malayalam, for republication in other journals and newspapers (e.g., Gerencia Ambiental).
Reuse and Transformation
A figure of “The Drug Development Pipeline” created for PLOS Medicine by Giovanni Maki was reused and enhanced in the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative Newsletter (DNDi), giving proper credit to the original artist and source.
The use of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license means that permission is not necessary for any of these reuses and translations as long as the source and authors are properly cited.
PLOS Article Collections and Supplements