Why I am not publishing in PLoS One, yet

PLoS One is a new peer-reviewed journal (2006) with many interesting features:

Unfortunately, for a Computer Scientist, it is not yet attractive:

  • The Computer Science section is filled with biology and medicine papers making use of Information Technology. In other words, the PLoS One taxonomy  confuses Information Technology and Computer Science! Thankfully, I could find one article in Natural Language Processing which might be the first and only Computer Science paper published in PLoS One. So there is hope.
  • As a related point, PLoS One is not indexed at the usual places as a Computer Science journal (DBLP, ACM DL, and so on). Of course, no Computer Science indexing is possible until PLoS One correctly classifies the Computer Science articles.

If they could fix these problems, I would gladly submit some of my work to them. PLoS One could become a useful journal in Computer Science over time. What about prestige? PLoS One uses article-level metrics. Instead of trying to be a prestigious journal, PLoS One helps you measure the impact of your own papers.

    Update: PLoS Computational Biology is now indexed by DBLP.

    Published by

    Daniel Lemire

    A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

    6 thoughts on “Why I am not publishing in PLoS One, yet”

    1. What I really like about PLOS, is the fact that comments can be attached to a published document. There is a lot of post-publication knowledge lost about papers. Many readers may have useful comments, but those will never be published. In PLOS One, reviews are somewhat done after publication and are public. The only limit right now, is that most scientists are still unlikely to write their comments there….

      What would be great, is to complement it with citation track that could also cumulated comments from other sources (blog, paper citing it, etc..)

    2. Last time I checked PLoS, there wasn’t really a place for human factors papers yet, so I’m still waiting before I turn to them for publication.

    3. @Rivest I think people have an incentive to comment publicly on papers within their field. That’s why people make an effort to ask questions during conferences (sometimes).

      @Noel Yes, if they want our papers, they need to make an effort so that we feel welcome. Right now, it looks like a private club for biology and medicine. Which is fine, if that is their goal.

    4. I always wondered about the word “science”? Does that mean only hard sciences? I’m in “social science”… is that science? Will PlOS eventually launch a journal of sociology, of education, of anthro?

      If not – that’s fine… I’m just curious.

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