In the past, the scientific publishing community has relied on the paper-based, subscription model. With libraries, universities, or individuals paying for recurring subscriptions to a publishing company’s journal. These journals in the academic, professional field usually require prospective articles to go through peer-review by other scientists in the field to help maintain a level of integrity among the published work. However, when the internet boom happened, many people and scientists wanted these journals to be accessible online. However, due to the traditional subscription based model, individuals would have to pay for the viewing of these articles. Now this might make sense in the publishing world, but is counter-intuitive for scientific progress and success.
Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a leading journal that uses a different medium for delivery of scientific content: Open Access Journals. Open access journalism allows for researchers all around the world to access, read, and study other published findings with no fee or restriction on viewing. Secondly, because most scientific and medical research is funded through governments by organizations like the National Science Foundation (NSF) or National Institutes of Health (NIH), these published discoveries should be open access to the people that funded the projects through tax payer money. Lastly, the implementation of Open Access journalism, especially in academic environments allows for better resources for both teachers and students to have better learning.
Information about PLOS was found on their website: http://www.plos.org/open-access/