Mark Patterson Named Managing Executive Editor of New Open Access Journal

Mark N. Patterson, Ph.D., director of publishing at the Public Library of Science (PLoS), has been named managing executive editor of a new open-access research journal that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust are launching next year.

Patterson joined PLoS in 2003 and played a key role in launching its flagship publication PLoS Biology. He also aided in development of other PLoS journals, including innovative projects, such as PLoS ONE and PLoS Currents. An outspoken advocate of open access publishing, Patterson worked for several years as an editor at the Nature Publishing Group before joining PLoS. He established PLoS’s European office in Cambridge, UK, and is a founder of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.

He will report to Randy W. Schekman, Ph.D., editor-in-chief of the new journal. “Mark has enormous experience with online publications and in open access publishing,” says Schekman. “He played a fundamental role in helping to launch the Public Library of Science and in establishing it as a pioneer of open access, scholarly publishing in the life sciences.”

Patterson will assume his new responsibilities later this year. His first priorities will be to work with Schekman to select a publishing infrastructure. He will also be responsible for recruiting editorial and business staff and for setting up the journal’s business office.

“With the launch of this journal, we aim to provide alternatives for authors who wish to see their high profile work published open access from the start and made available immediately to their colleagues throughout the world,” said Patterson. “Only a minority of scientific content is available currently through open access, so clearly much more work needs to be done. I would love to see this initiative become part of a broader movement toward reinvention of research communication.”

Last June, leaders of the three research organizations announced their intention to launch the new journal and outlined their fundamental goals: publication of highly significant research; an independent editorial team comprised of active, practicing scientists; and a rapid and transparent peer review.

Expected to publish its first issue late next year, the new journal will be online and open access. Patterson and Schekman say the journal will utilize the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (CC BY 3.0) so that the content can be shared without restriction.

“I see a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with others in the open access community to develop and employ innovative approaches to using open content in new ways,” Patterson says. “I think that fits nicely with the notion that this journal, in many ways, belongs to the research community. It’s run for and by the research community.”

For an initial period, to help establish the journal, no fees will be charged to authors. Once the journal is established, it is anticipated that authors will be charged an article processing fee to cover some of the ongoing costs of publication.

Patterson graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1982, and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester in the laboratory of John Rosamond, where he worked on yeast cell cycle genetics. He then carried out postdoctoral research in human genetics in the laboratories of Kay Davies at Oxford University and Gilbert Chu at Stanford University.

After serving four years as a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Patterson moved to scientific publishing in 1994 as the editor of Trends in Genetics. In 1999, he was appointed as the biology reviews editor at Nature and was subsequently involved in the launch of the Nature Reviews journals as the editor of Nature Reviews Genetics.

Patterson joined PLoS in 2003. He established the European office of PLoS, helped launch PLoS Biology and several other PLoS journals, and was appointed director of publishing in 2005.


About the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute plays a powerful role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the United States and around the world, have made important discoveries that advance both human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research.

About the Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is an independent, non-profit research organization. The primary goal of the Max Planck Society is to promote research at its own institutes. The Max Planck institutes perform basic research in the interest of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Currently, the Max Planck Society operates 80 institutes, four of which are in Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.