It’s been a couple of weeks since PLoS Medicine moved to our open source publishing platform and apart from saboteurs cutting cables (which caused problems to not only us but a number of other businesses) all is working very well. As well as the new article level metrics in the article re-design, the major change readers of PLoS Medicine will notice is probably the way in which it is possible to submit feedback on the articles. It’s now much easier to post comments and notes on articles (see below for a definition of these and a summary of our guidelines) and even to rate articles.
Notes: These provide a way of anchoring short comments to specific parts of the text of an article, or to linking out to external material. To add a note, use your cursor to select the specific text you want to comment on. A pop-up box will then appear with a link to our commenting and rating guidelines if you select “continue”, you will then see another pop up box where you can enter the text of your comment, and your competing interests. Anchored “comment” icons then show where in the text notes have been entered, and notes also appear on the “comments” tab at the top of each article. This tool provides a good way of, for example, linking out to additional resources such as entries for datasets in the public domain.
Comments: This tool allows readers to provide more extensive discussion of an entire article. All discussion threads are also listed on the “comments” tab at the top of each article, and to add a new comment, go to this tab and click the link “make a new comment on this article”. These comments can subsequently become threaded, since the authors of the original article or other readers can then respond to the original comments.
Ratings: Any user can assign ratings to an individual article, in relation to its insight, reliability, and style. Ratings are then aggregated and displayed on the right hand side of each article.
We will feature notable discussions on the journal’s homepage, in order to highlight the papers which are getting our readers talking. We also have a mechanism for talking down unsuitable comments – but please do flag up any you have concerns with.
We’d encourage everyone looking at our papers to try out the new functionality. If you’d like more information on posting or rating please get in touch via our email – firstname.lastname@example.org.