From 2023, TUHH researchers can publish free of charge in PLOS journals

Participation in the PLOS-TIB consortium (2023-2024)

The TUHH University Library (tub.) participates in the consortium between PLOS (Public Library of Science) and TIB Hannover. Researchers at TUHH thus have the opportunity to publish an unlimited number of articles in 17 PLOS journals at no additional cost. The offer includes, among others, the following titles:

  • PLOS Biology,
  • PLOS Climate,
  • PLOS Computational Biology,
  • PLOS Digital Health,
  • PLOS Genetics,
  • PLOS Global Public Health,
  • PLOS Medicine,
  • PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,
  • PLOS One,
  • PLOS Pathogens,
  • PLOS Sustainablility and Transformation,
  • PLOS Water
  • (+5 new journals in 2023)
  • PLOS Biology
  • PLOS Digital Health
  • PLOS One

Participation in the PLOS consortium costs $7,500 per year. With APCs (Article Processing Charges) of $2,100 to $5,300, this already pays off with two to four articles per year. Therefore, we had asked professors and senior engineers of the TUHH in advance for their assessment of a publication in PLOS. This turned out to be positive.

Survey results on the PLOS offer

When it comes to publishing journal articles, funding for journal subscriptions is increasingly shifting towards funding for the individual article via APCs, which are borne by the authors* or their institutions. Therefore, when entering into contracts, it is important for tub. to know not only whether you want to read certain journals, but also whether you plan to publish there. In the course of this, professors* as well as senior engineers* were interviewed about the PLOS offer via a six-question questionnaire between 23.08.2022 and 06.09.2022. The aim was to find out which reasons speak for or against a publication by TUHH members in PLOS publications.

With 25 questionnaires fully completed, it was determined that …

  • … 9 respondents have already heard of PLOS, 16 people have not heard of PLOS before participating in the survey.
  • … 5 of the 25 survey participants have already published in PLOS.
  • … 8 or 9 survey participants are individually in favor of a publication in PLOS, while a publication is out of the question for 16 participants.

Why is publication considered or not?

In order to learn more about the motives of TUHH researchers, the question “Is publication an option for me?” gave the opportunity to provide detailed insights via free-text answers. Proponents emphasized, among other things, that the interdisciplinary orientation of the journals offered is appreciated and that they are open access. Also in favor were good peer review processes, high impact factors, the simplicity of the publication processes, and the reputation of the journals offered.

In the course of the survey, the participants also had the opportunity for further comments. A more comprehensive commentary deals with the advantages of open access and PLOS publications:

Since an OA for scientific contributions is becoming more and more important nowadays, I would summarize by saying that it would make sense to invest this money in PLOS publications, with the aim of increasing the quantitative visibility of the scientific work of the TUHH. From my own experience I can say that publications that I have published via PLOS so far seem to have been more visible than those published in smaller, more discipline-specific journals and were therefore also cited more frequently – albeit in a more general context.

Further information on participation in the PLOS consortium

PLOS and TIB will organize a webinar on the submission process (“Author Workflow”) and on reporting. Two dates with identical content will be offered. Registration is not necessary:

Do you have questions about PLOS or other TU Library open access offerings?

Good to know:

  • The library supports the funding of articles in purely open access journals through its publication fund.
  • At TUHH, there are currently agreements on Open Access with four other publishers
Ask me about Open Access

Open Access Team of TUHH
Envelope-Icon openaccess@tuhh.de

Please also feel free to take part in our Open Access consultation hours via Zoom (identification code: 347349) if you have questions regarding Open Access (every Friday from 10:00 am to 10:30 am).

Diamonds as a way out of the crisis? A (partial) look at Diamond Open Access and the OA color palette

The Open Access movement is a comparatively young movement. It developed in the 1990s as a result of the so-called journal crisis. During this crisis, prices rose, especially in STEM subjects – a collective term for professions or fields of study in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology, which are also referred to as MINT subjects in Germany. At the same time, library budgets stagnated or shrank. One consequence: the number of paid journal subscriptions declined. Publishers tried to compensate for this loss of revenue with further price increases – a cycle that Open Access wants to break.

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