If I were to tell you, as a reader, that you could write a scientific research article about anything you wish, have that article be published online, be seen by millions of internet readers, and even potentially reviewed by The New York Times, would you believe me? If your answer is yes, then you have probably heard of The Public Library of Science, or, PLOS for short. The PLOS is a non-profit organization that hosts independent science and medicine blogs whose mission is to, “…promote greater understanding of breakthrough science for a variety of reader types, including policy makers, the academic science community, researchers, medical and mental health practitioners, journalists and the general public.” The PLOS is unique because everything that gets posted to the database is Open Access. Per the PLOS website, when a website is open access, “… everyone, everywhere can read, redistribute, and reuse your research without cost: colleagues, patients, policy makers, journalists; the next generation of researchers. Your work will have the maximum possible impact.”
The purpose of the PLOS is to set up an independent research network where scientists and bloggers can promote greater understanding of breakthrough science for a variety of reader types that range from policy makers to the general public. I found a journal article on PLOS called, “When Vitamins Backfire” authored by Beth Skwarecki that is found underneath the Public Health Perspectives section of the website. Beth’s target audience on this journal article was the general public, as she uses simple terminology to make the information within the post understandable to the common reader. Beth thoroughly examines 2 studies of athletes taking 1) Vitamin C and 2) Vitamin D2 and how those supplements affected athletic performance. After examining the studies, she makes conclusions about the results and offers her opinion on the matter. Formatting her journal article in this manner really allowed Beth to reach a broad audience of readers by making clear, concise arguments while providing analysis of data that can be understood by all.
In my final project, I hope to write a blog post similar to what Beth Skwarecki published focused on anxiety and stress while being a University of Colorado student. In this final project I want to reach a broad audience of people, where anyone ranging from a doctor to a stay at home mother can understand and appreciate. I hope to inform readers about the triggers of stress, the treatments, and personal experience living with an anxiety disorder. Publishing a journal article on the PLOS will help give me a stronger understanding of the writing style that is necessary to publish articles and be recognized and appreciated in the future.