- The journal's launch was heralded in the New York Times under the headline 'Shining Light on Diseases Often in the Shadows' (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/06/health/research/06negl.html).
- Published on an open-source platform called Topaz, the journal has state-of-the-art functionality allowing readers to add commentaries and rate the importance and quality of the papers.
- The journal has received extraordinary press coverage. The outstanding international editorial board includes many of the world's leading experts on NTDs, plus more junior investigators.
- About 40% of the Associate Editors are from developing countries (in contrast, only 3-5% of the editorial board members of existing tropical medicine journals are from the developing world). And about 40% of published authors have been based in developing countries.
- Since its launch, the journal has quickly become a highly visible, high impact open access venue for all aspects of research and commentary on the NTDs. Many of the papers published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases have important clinical, research, or policy implications--and thus they are helping to shape the prevention, control, and treatment of the NTDs. For example, the journal published an enormous clinical study from Zanzibar, involving 700,000 individuals who were given a combination of 3 drugs to help control lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. (Mohammed KA, Haji HJ, Gabrielli A-F, Mubila L, Biswas G, et al. (2008) Triple Co-Administration of Ivermectin, Albendazole and Praziquantel in Zanzibar: A Safety Study. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2(1): e171. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000171).
- The Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Zanzibar, who was not involved in the study, commented: 'We hope these results will help our country but also simplify the treatment for millions of other infected individuals in the poorest countries of the world.'
- Several papers have garnered huge media attention, helping to bring the plight of those suffering from NTDs to a very wide international audience.
- The journal is now publishing 10-16 studies, and 3-6 Magazine articles, every month. The Magazine section publishes commentary, analysis, and debate, and since our launch we have published several high profile pieces, including a commentary from the Director General of the WHO.
- On course to launch the journal this fall, and it will contain many outstanding scientific contributions on the prevention and control of neglected tropical diseases.
- The Public Library of Science has planned several marketing strategies to help spread awareness of the new journal, including e-mail announcements to researchers, a PLoS NTDs booth at scientific conferences, and creation of PLoS NTDs marketing materials (flyers, T-shirts, etc.). The WHO has put a permanent link from its NTDs website to PLoS NTDs, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also made a formal announcement about the journal on its website.
- Recruited an Outstanding International Editorial Board, listed at www.plosntds.org/edboard.php. The Editor-in-Chief will be Peter Hotez, Professor and Chair of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at George Washington University and Principal Scientist of the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative. The journal has the official support of the WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. We have eight Deputy Editors, 54 Associate Editors and 22 Editorial Advisers.
- Created the PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 'Pre-Launch Website,' at www.plosntds.org.
- Began accepting submissions via this website in February 2007. Detailed guidance to authors on how to prepare their manuscripts.
- Created a unique collection of articles on NTDs from the existing PLoS journals.
- Worked to encourage authors from developing countries to submit their work to PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. We are delighted that a recent analysis of all papers submitted so far to the journal found that almost 60 percent of authors are from countries where the neglected tropical diseases are endemic.
- Planned a series of training workshops for developing world authors and editors in Salvador, Brazil. In response to the CGI commitment proposal online, Tanya D. Whitehead, Ph.D. (School of Nursing and College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City) has volunteered to use her Fulbright Scholarship to run a series of training workshops in Brazil.
- Launching issue September 2007, with opportunity to publish a few of the best papers as 'early online releases' ahead of issue one.
The Public Library of Science issued its formal call for papers. Authors have been able to submit their original research articles via an online manuscript tracking system at http:/tds.plosjms.org/cgi-bin/main.plex. They have been conducting efficient, high-quality editorial peer review via this online system.
- About 31% of the Associate Editors are from developing countries. 37% of the journal's published authors have been based in developing countries.
- At the end of May 2008, 119 articles have been published.
- Out of the 1,302 published authors, 482 have been from emerging and developing countries. Featuring the work of scientists from the developing world continues to be a top priority.