Press Archive

Public Library of Science and the International Society for Computational Biology Partner to Launch New Open Access Journal

PLoS Computational Biology Accepting Submissions at

Published 01/06/2005

San Francisco, CA - The Public Library of Science (PLoS) and the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) today announce the launch of PLoS Computational Biology, an open access, peer-reviewed journal publishing significant biological advances that arise through computation. The journal is accepting submissions at, and commences publication June, 2005 at ISCB's 13th Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB 2005).

"Computational biology and scientific publishing are at a crossroads. PLoS Computational Biology, published by PLoS in partnership with the ISCB, strives to take both in the right direction," states Philip Bourne, Editor-in-Chief, co-director of the Protein Data Bank, and past president of the ISCB. "Computational methods are playing an increasingly central role in diverse areas of biological inquiry. Until now, there has been no publication available to scientists that focuses on the important contributions to the understanding of living systems afforded by computation. PLoS Computational Biology offers computational biologists a high-profile venue that will convey their most important new ideas and results to a wide audience."

PLoS Computational Biology is a journal of broad biological scope-publishing works of exceptional significance that further our understanding of living systems at all scales-from molecules and cells to populations and ecosystems - through the application of computational methods. The editorial board reflects this diversity, and, like the field, is broadly international.

Like all PLoS journals, PLoS Computational Biology is an open access journal. Every published article is always freely available to read, download, redistribute and reuse. "Open access ensures that anyone, anywhere can access the contents of PLoS Computational Biology without the subscription barriers that block access to so many important journals," states Dr. Michael Eisen, co-founder of PLoS and leading computational biologist. "Computational biologists are particularly aware of the importance of open access, as the growth of the field has been utterly dependent on the free availability of DNA sequences, protein structures, and other forms of biological data. We expect the community to embrace open access publishing and to lead the way in developing innovative new ways to make use of the growing library of freely available scientific publications."

In order to make important scientific discoveries openly accessible online within a sustainable publishing model, PLoS believes that the cost of publication should be treated as an integral component of the cost of doing research. The authors of each research article published in PLoS Computational Biology are asked to cover costs by paying $1,500 from their grants, or directly from their funders or institutions. That charge is waived for any authors who say they cannot afford it, through a process that cannot influence editorial decisions. In many cases, publications charges are reduced or waived through PLoS Institutional Memberships and foundation grants.

"The ISCB believes that open access to scientific research is the best means of rapidly expanding the knowledge and innovation demonstrated by ISCB members and computational biologists around the world," says ISCB President, Michael Gribskov. "The open-access publishing model pursued by PLoS is ideal for accelerating the type of multidisciplinary discoveries achieved by our members."

"PLoS is excited to be working with the ISCB," says PLoS Executive Director Vivian Siegel. "We share with the ISCB and all scholarly societies the desire to create journals that serve their communities. To this end, PLoS is committed to creating open-access venues for all quality research, and to providing an open-access publishing model that societies and other publishers can adapt for their own journals."

As an important move to further its commitment to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource, PLoS is seeking partnerships, collaborations and field expertise within scientific communities and societies to inspire and facilitate the launch of open access initiatives. Community journals like PLoS Computational Biology are a large part of this strategy, which features PLoS Genetics ( and PLoS Pathogens to be launched later in 2005.


The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical research a public resource. PLoS publishes open-access journals of original peer-reviewed research, including PLoS Biology and PLoS Medicine, which are available at no cost to anyone in the world with a connection to the Internet. More information can be found at and


The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is a scholarly society dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of living systems through computation. Founded in 1997, the ISCB communicates the significance of our science to the larger scientific community, governments, and the public at large. The ISCB serves a global membership by impacting government and scientific policies, providing high quality publications and meetings, and through distribution of valuable information about training, education, employment and relevant news from related fields. More about the ISCB can be found at

Media contacts:

Cynthia Blair
Public Library of Science

BJ Morrison McKay
International Society for Computational Biology