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Path for PLOS

The publisher Public Library of Science has been around for some 13 years and has, as Nature News says, transitioned from being a grassroots organization to being a mainstream group — it has even turned a profit.

And now some changes may be underway at the publisher as Peter Jerram, its chief executive, left in the spring and has been replaced by Elizabeth Marincola, who was previously with eLife.

Marincola tells Nature News that "the packaging of a journal will become less and less important" in the future and instead, metrics and community feedback will determine which papers are top quality.

"We are working to evolve all of PLOS towards a world where papers are only rejected when they are scientifically invalid," adds Michael Eisen, a co-founder and board member of PLOS and a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley.

PLOS One already follows that notion, and it will likely publish more than 30,000 articles this year, each with an author fee of $1,350.

Marincola also says that, further in the future, "we would like very much to be able to move away from our current system of peer review altogether."

Other journals like F1000 Research are toying with this idea as well, and Nature News notes that PLOS Labs is already looking into different aspects of post-publication peer review.

"PLOS has created the landscape that has enabled others to flourish, which is great. The question is, how can it continue to be innovative?" Eisen says.