Currently, most of the 50,000-plus studies published yearly based on scientific research funded by the federal government are held by for-profit publishers. These publishers assign rates as high as $50 to articles readable online. Subscriptions to related services can cost thousands of dollars a year.
Starting in October, the Public Library of Science will start to shift those costs away from the final consumers — people seeking medical care and cures — and to the researchers whose work is being highlighted, as well as the organizations funding their research. Open-source medical research? Only time will tell.