Online publication to follow the three AVAToL projects

PLOS Currents: Tree of Life

PLOSPeer-reviewed articles about the Open Tree of Life as well as two related projects, Arbor and Phenomics, will be available on PLOS Currents: Tree of Life. The online publication allows the researchers to document their progress in developing software and other tools.

The three research endeavors were developed during an Ideas Lab last year as part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Assembling, Visualizing, and Analyzing the Tree of Life (AVAToL) program. The Open Tree of Life project strives to produce the first draft of a comprehensive tree of life and provides tools for community enhancement and annotation. The Arbor project is developing comparative methods with utility across large sections and the entire tree of life. Finally, the Phenomics project is developing approaches for exploring and documenting phenotypic diversity across the tree of life.

“It’s meant to be a quick outlet for solid phylogenetic studies”

PLOS Currents websites encourage researchers to share their findings with a minimal delay to their peers. The Tree of Life section is focused on rapid publication of phylogenetic and systematic studies with novel data and/or analyses. According to Keith Crandall, one of the three editors of the journal and an investigator of the Open Tree of Life, “it’s meant to be a quick outlet for solid phylogenetic studies to get them and their data into the public domain.”

The AVAToL teams hope to capitalize on community interaction on the website to actively engage both the phylogeny builders and users as they develop their projects and products.

AVAToL publications

PLOS Currents: Tree of Life has published twenty studies in the past few years. This includes an article about the role of Ideas Labs in developing tree of life research programs based on the experiences with AVAToL. Description of the Arbor and New Generation Phenomics projects were published earlier this week. A similar publication about Open Tree of Life is expected soon.

Publications on PLOS Currents are permanently archived and citable. There is no publication fee and there is also no fee for accessing the studies. In fact, the content is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License, enabling unrestricted distribution and use of the published materials. The publication format of PLOS Currents allows for community feedback on research and public dialog through commenting options and the PLOS Blogs.

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