Based on a paper presented at the 27th UKSG Conference, Manchester, March 2004
The Public Library of Science (PLoS) was formed in 2000 as an advocacy organization to encourage publishers to deposit articles in the newly formed biomedical archive PubMed Central. Frustrated with its lack of success in this aim, the organization has since become an open access (OA) publisher.
The article reviews the history of PLoS and how it came to become a publisher. It then considers some of the objections to OA publishing and how PLoS's publishing efforts are aimed at challenging those objections and demonstrating that OA is a viable and credible alternative to the existing subscription-based publishing model.