PLOS Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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2.6
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Elizabeth Marincola
6 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good Company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at PLOS full-time

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cause is great. Freedom of scholarly article.

    Cons

    Perks are meh! Supervisors shows favoritism.

    Advice to Management

    Bring a proper employee review in place. Take surveys and see what employee thinks and have to say about the organization.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Not Unordinary.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PLOS full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Quirky environment. Science events. -Good location. Close to BART. -Smart & dedicated colleagues. -Much needed free wine/beer and snacks on Fridays.

    Cons

    -Favoritism, and a strict company hierarchy. -Self-congratulatory. -Hubris. -Lack of concern with building human capital. -Not very diverse. Ethnocentric.

    Advice to Management

    -Read Hegel's Master-Slave dialectic.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Disappointing and sometimes scary

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PLOS full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Cool mission and there are some really amazing people here. People work hard but also have fun and most of the staff get along really well with each other.

    Cons

    Badly managed, people disappear with no explanation, projects and priorities change all the time again without any explanation, C-level people don't seem to know what they are doing and like to hold a lot of secret meetings. Nothing real ever gets communicated to the staff from them or the Board. All the best staff are talking about leaving or have left.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out what you are trying to do and then tell the rest of us. Even the managers are complaining about the C-level people and the CEO doesn't seem to have a clue what is going on. And she's supposed to be better than the last one! If this place were run right it would be awesome.


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  5. PLOS is Awesome!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at PLOS full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Amazingly talented people. Great benefits, and very healthy work life balance. PLOS is an exceptional place to work. All of the staff are top notch. The engineering and development teams are brilliant, and are pushing the envelope with the latest technologies everyday. You will not meet a better, passionate, or more diverse team. Hands down. We have guest speakers that come in for lunch and learn, think of it like a Ted talk with food! Every Friday afternoon we kick back and have a party. Plus, the core business of what we do, open access publishing, is the type of work that really adds to society, and is work you can be proud of.

    Cons

    Negative reviews on this site. Don't let the negative reviews on this site dissuade you. They mainly come from people that are sad because they know they have walked away from a good thing, and they want to spoil it for the rest of us. Some might say, they're toxic, but pay no mind to haters. Come see for yourself what PLOS is about, and if you don't like it, quit and come write a review on this site. However, I think you'll like what you find.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management goes directly to management. I don't need to speak in anonymous public forum to convey my feelings, views, or opinions, when I can speak to them directly. The doors are always open, all the way up to top. All the C level execs have open door policies for employees. I know that I can walk any to anyone of their offices and get their ear. The CEO even invites all employees to lunch every quarter. She goes out of her way to make herself accessible. Plus we have monthly hands on meeting(with bagels and fruit) where the staff is updated, awards are given, and our questions are answered.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Great experience and overcoming the bumps in the road.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PLOS

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Refocused executive team and goal driven BOD. Great ability to work on highly impact full projects. Good benefits and evolving pay. Good work life balance overall.

    Cons

    Can't pay the same pay and perks as a for profit.

    Advice to Management

    Continue filtering out the toxic people/managers who make great employees leave.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Overall good place to work but comes with some standard difficulties.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at PLOS full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great coworkers, good place to get your foot in the door for publishing, good benefits, fun atmosphere, beautiful location. New management seems to be moving in the right direction.

    Cons

    Mistrust and confusion in the area of compensation and some lack of faith in employees' decision making abilities. But it seems like efforts are slowly being made to fix this.

    Advice to Management

    Make salary listing 'open access'. Let employees do their jobs without requiring committees to sign off on everything.


  8. Great people, Great mission

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PLOS

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, great mission, new leadership is correcting some long standing problems and re-aligning company on new track

    Cons

    Politicaly, it's pretty toxic, but it's getting better. Also, not great pay, and some staff have a poor attitude on the company outlook

    Advice to Management

    Focus on resolving management issues. The company has too many fiefdoms. Innovation gets stifled early on because of the expense of keeping the production flowing. Data quality with high staff turn over is going to be a huge issue. Give people room to breath.


  9. Helpful (9)

    Great organizational mission, dragged down by petty & politically divisive management. Undervalued & underpaid staff.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at PLOS full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    PLOS has done some amazing things for science communication and Open Access. PLOS really was revolutionary 10 years ago, and it has done well as a first-mover. Now that there is a ton of competition from all sides, PLOS has to continue to innovate to maintain its leadership position - some significant challenges for the organization ahead. The people at PLOS are what make working there great, *most* everyone works really hard and cares about the work they do. Some of the benefits are good, like 401k matching and bonuses for salaried employees, office treats and outings, etc.

    Cons

    Politically Toxic Environment PLOS really suffers from its politically poisoned management environment. Petty territorial disagreements and departments not working together or event talking to one another. This is primarily at the C- and director levels, making everyone else wonder why some important projects never get done. Very frustrating. And this was how it was before the new CEO and CFO arrived. When they got to PLOS, a couple of terrible obstinate useless managers were soon fired, and this was great and overdue. But it's added a sense of fear to the already divisive work culture - people fearing for their jobs fight harder to maintain control and power. It really gets in the way of the innovative ideas that PLOS needs to execute on. The Haves and Have-Nots There is a legion of underpaid, undervalued junior staff working diligently every day at PLOS. They are paid hourly, and I have no idea how they can afford to live on this in San Francisco, the most expensive city in the country and possibly world. These are some of the best, brightest and highly eager people in the organization. It is totally unfair that they have to punch the clock, dreaming of getting that token promotion to a salaried job. But the big example of disparity is the PTO. Management gets six weeks paid vacation, while everyone else only gets 2-3 weeks! It's PLOS' dirty little secret that everybody knows (or should know!) about. This is NOT a good way to compensate your senior people, it causes poor morale among everyone else. HR has been promising for a couple of years (or so) to do a comprehensive analysis of compensation of PLOS compared with similar companies in the SF Bay Area and greater scientific publishing world, and this might be a way to bring people up to a fair compensation level (like boosting everyone $20k). I'll just keep holding my breath on this one, while I continue to watch good people leave for better pay and opportunity out there in the booming SF market. They Won't Listen PLOS has grown into a stifling corporate environment. Upper management doesn't listen to what is being said by the many people below them. This is where some of the best ideas come from! But if you speak up or out of line, you risk getting smacked down. They even took the anonymous suggestion box away!

    Advice to Management

    Re-invest some of that $7 million surplus in the biggest asset PLOS has - it's employees. Make HR finally complete the promised compensation review, and make it meaningful. Pay employees more, especially the vastly underpaid junior staff, bring more of them on as salaried. Make promotions and tenure something that is rewarded. It must be very expensive to lose all those great people and then have to recruit, hire, train and integrate more staff. PTO really should be equitable across the organization. Ideally everyone would get the same luxurious 6 weeks vacation that management gets! But short of that, kick down some extra vacation time to the people that have been at PLOS a long time! Make the much applauded "long service awards" come with an actual award with more vacation or higher pay, not just a laser-printed certificate to hang on their cubicle. Have a serious conversation with the remaining terrible obstinate useless managers and consider letting them go, this might help the politically toxic environment. I agree with everything in the 10/24/13 and 3/30/13 reviews. I also agree that if some big changes don't happen, PLOS expect a lot more turnover in 2014.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Unsupported chaos, but maybe you can get something out of it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at PLOS full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    In chaos, there is opportunity. Less resourced, less desirable places are more likely to be a place where less experienced/qualified people can get a foot in the door.

    Cons

    Unbelievable mismanagement. Very high turnover, making long-term projects and condition improvements very slow for anyone who does stay.

    Advice to Management

    Please take a closer look at those in management. There is so much talent at PLOS, people who really care about the work, but many are discouraged and unsupported by managers who are unqualified, ineffectual, and power-hungry.


  11. Helpful (3)

    New CEO and organization's problems are worse than ever!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at PLOS full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits: 401K matching, many different health plans to choose from, bonus program Mission: employees come to PLOS to support the mission - accelerate scientific research, promote open access and open science, etc. PLOS is considered "one of the good guys" in scientific publishing compared to it's competitors

    Cons

    Management: I am/was a manager at PLOS and the politics get in the way of any progress. Product and Editorial teams drive the organizational priorities but do not deliver on their commitments. You cannot express your opinion without fear of retribution from senior management. Teams that have consistently delivered on organizational commitments, reduced costs and improved processes have become marginalized under the new CEO. We thought a new CEO would bring change that would benefit the entire organization and the staff is disappointed. Expect a lot of turnover in the coming months.

    Advice to Management

    1. Create a "safe" environment for employees to speak freely and without retribution. 2. Listen to all departments and not just to the Editorial and Product teams. (we all contribute to the success of PLOS) 3. Remember the past. (CEO please remember and consider what PLOS has been through to get where we are - PLOS didn't start when you arrived) 4. Re-evaluate "C" level people and their groups. (If expenses are exceeding revenue, you have a management problem that you should not blame on the past leadership)



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