When I was appointed PLOS’ CEO last year, I committed myself to transparency with the communities we serve. That’s why, while this is a difficult blog to write, it’s important for me to share that I am making the hard decision to eliminate 18 positions at PLOS. Much of this is related to a strategic decision to shift from developing a proprietary platform for submissions to creating innovation partnerships with a wider community (Most readers are already aware of this from my previous blog.) It’s also driven by the need to be fiscally responsible and remain a sustainable nonprofit organization that continues to lead transformations in scientific communications.
I’d like to reiterate what we’ve communicated internally. Our people and their passion are the most important part of what makes PLOS so special. The people whose roles have been eliminated are all excellent at what they do, and their leaving is a result of operational decisions, not performance.
Moving forward, we’ll be a leaner organization. This doesn’t mean we won’t continue to fully support our researchers and scientists. We’ve been careful in where we’ve streamlined operations and those who engage with us should not see any disruption.
This is a pivotal moment in the life of PLOS and Open Access (OA) as it was envisioned by our founders 17 years ago. While OA has seen strong adoption, much has evolved in the landscape. Changing how and when we share, access and evaluate all research outputs is more critical to science than ever. It will take many of us working together, in various forms of partnership, to accelerate and advance a culture and ecosystem of open innovation.
Over the past two decades, I’ve been part of multiple transformations in publishing. This is what’s most exciting and daunting about our industry. Disruption takes stamina and a willingness to embrace the unknown while acting responsibly in the moment. This is our goal and commitment as we explore ways to drive innovation in our industry forward.
You’ll continue to hear from me throughout the year as I share our wins and our challenges toward that vision. It’s my hope that through transparency and open dialogue, we can maintain the trust our community has placed in us.
Thank you for reading.