The vision behind the creation of PLOS Hubs is to show how open-access literature can be reused and reorganized, filtered, and assessed to enable the exchange of research, opinion, and data between community members.
PLOS Hubs: Biodiversity provides two main functions to connect researchers with relevant content. First, open-access articles on the broad theme of biodiversity are selected and imported into the Hub. In time, the content will also be enhanced so that the articles are connected with data, and we will provide features to make the articles easier for people to use. These two functions - aggregation and adding value - build on the concept of open access, which removes all the barriers to access and reuse of journal article content.
As examples of the added value that we plan to deliver via PLOS Hubs, we have enriched three articles with additional publicly available information such as a taxonomy hierarchy, species images and descriptions, and maps with specimen overlays. All the articles also feature information on the number of Hubs page views, and PLOS articles display their full suite of article-level metrics.
The Hub is run by a group of curators who are experts in biodiversity and help to choose the content for the site. In addition, a steering group helps PLOS to develop the site and its features.
At first, all the featured open-access content will come directly from PubMed Central. PLOS Hubs: Biodiversity includes articles from the PLOS Journals and Collections (groups of articles on a single theme), plus articles from other publishers - but whatever the source, all the articles in the Hub look and feel exactly the same.
Users of PLOS Hubs: Biodiversity can interact with the site by commenting on the articles and sharing them through a large range of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Since a Hub is not a journal, because it aggregates existing content published in other journals, one way for authors to have their work included in the Hub is to submit it to a PLOS journal. For example, all articles published in the PLOS Census of Marine Life Collections are featured on the site.