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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

Benefits of Open

When science becomes more Open, we all advance.

Why Open Access matters

Most publishers own the rights to the articles in their journals–not the authors. Anyone who wants to read the articles pays a fee to access them. Institutions and libraries help provide access to paywalled research through costly negotiations. Even then, no part of the article can be reused by researchers, students, or taxpayers without permission from the publisher, often at the cost of an additional fee.

Open Access returns us to the values of science: to help advance and improve society.

By providing immediate and unrestricted access to the latest research, we can accelerate discovery and create a more equitable system of knowledge that is open to all.

I think Open Science has huge benefits, the more people you reach the better. Science should be as transparent and accessible as possible because it should be reproducible and confirmed by others, that is what gives science its power
Elias Nerad

Broader Visibility

Open Access means open to anyone, anywhere to read, share and reuse. That means connecting with interdisciplinary researchers in other fields as well as peers in your community.

Accelerated Discovery

With Open Access, your work is immediately available and globally discoverable. When researchers can read and build on the findings of others without restriction, science advances faster.

Public Enrichment

Open Access allows everyone to benefit from your advancements by providing teachers, students, funders, and policymakers equal access to the latest research findings throughout the world

How it works at PLOS

PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to everything we publish. Developed to facilitate Open Access, this license lets authors maximize the impact or their research by making it available for anyone, anywhere in the world to find, read and reuse. Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited.

I think it is really important that peer reviewed scientific discoveries be made freely available to the public so that they have the most impact and influence on moving science forward. The more people that have access to the work, the more people that can work to advance the findings.
Pamela Skinner
PLOS Preprints Author

Thousands of journals have adopted policies that embrace some or all of the Open Access core components. But not all Open Access is created equal.

The “HowOpenIsIt?®” Open Access Spectrum (OAS) guide, created together with SPARC and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), illustrates the continuum of Open Access features to evaluate when choosing a journal.


There are many other organizations, such as SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Institute) and the Open Society Foundations that work tirelessly for progress in Open Access. You can find additional free resources to help you learn more or to advocate for Open Access journals at your institution using the Open Access Directory.

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