A group of scientists is taking the idea of open access to scientific literature into their own hands by starting their own journals. Backed by a $9 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the non-profit organization Public Library of Science (PLoS) plans to launch two journals in biology and medicine next year that will be accessible on the internet by anyone.

"There are a lot of people who are interested in and would benefit greatly from the scientific literature, but don't have access," said Michael Eisen, a biologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a founder of PLoS. "Our goal is to make every paper that is published in biology and medicine, and eventually other disciplines, freely available to everyone who wants to use it."

The same group tried to pressure existing subscription journals into embracing open access in 2001 by circulating a petition among...

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