PLOS Reviews | Glassdoor

PLOS Reviews

Updated Jan 16, 2020

To filter reviews, or .

2.6
38%
Recommend to a Friend
58%
Approve of CEO
PLOS Chief Executive Officer Alison Mudditt (no image)
Alison Mudditt
23 Ratings
Pros
  • "Promotes good work/life balance(in 17 reviews)

  • "It's a true pleasure to work with dedicated staff who share enthusiasm in the mission-critical Open Access publishing space that PLOS founded(in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • "In terms of advancement, there isn't much opportunity despite high turnover due to organizational structure(in 7 reviews)

  • "Getting rid of the good people during the many layoffs and restructures which results in working more than 40 hours/week(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (9)

    "PLOS Still A Mission Driven Science Job In A Tough Market"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    PLOS is still a great place to work. I haven’t been here as long as some of the other reviewers probably, but I’ve had my fair share of jobs, and this is definitely one of the better ones. PLOS is a rare and beautiful blend of people who are passionate about science, creativity and non-profit, mission-driven work. I’ve never been at a company that was so open and progressive before! Turnover always sucks and there have been downgrades because open-access is more commonplace now, but this is a small and savvy workgroup with lots of strong females at the helm who inspire me! I’ve worked at other places where capitalism/favoritism were much more pervasive and harmful. Maybe because this is a smaller organization, negatives feelings have had more of an impact in recent times. I just want management to know that I really appreciate their efforts and I appreciate having a job at such a cool, forward-thinking, science-based company. Downtown SF can be dirty and gritty, but our office (for now) is located adjacent to a beautiful green park and the beautiful blue bay. Plus, it’s not far from BART. Hours are extremely flexible and staff are routinely encouraged to go socialize with free lunches and snacks pretty often. There’s so many perks to working here!

    Cons

    Turnover can be hard, but we can get through it.

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-08-30

    PLOS Response

    September 4, 2019CEO

    Thank you for taking time to share your experience. I couldn’t agree more about the smart, savvy, passionate people at PLOS – it’s part of the reason I joined the organization! As you’ve noted, we have gone through a pretty intense period of change but it’s really encouraging to hear your support. And I’m glad to know that the “perks” are meaningful for you! We really try support good work-life balance and try to create meaningful opportunities to connect with colleagues -- whether in the workspace next to you, in our Cambridge office, or in our remote teams!

    Continue reading
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Decent entry-level job, don't necessarily plan on staying long-term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Publications Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PLOS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great mission, awesome people, flexible work from home, and good work-life balance.

    Cons

    Lack of transparency from upper management, frequent restructuring, not much upward mobility for career development, pay is not competitive (especially for the Bay Area).

    PLOS2020-01-17

    PLOS Response

    February 3, 2020Chief People Officer

    Thank you for sharing your feedback with us! We are pleased that you connected with our mission, enjoyed inspiring colleagues and experienced a flexible environment at PLOS. While we regret that you didn’t experience the transparency, mobility and rewards that we strive for, we’re encouraged to know that each one of these areas is currently being tended to as we navigate through this era of re-aligning with what it means to lead change in research communications. In particular, we restructured the Editorial, Publishing and Operations teams to ensure we deliver on critical goals; we’ve completed early initiatives in communications transparency, and have cascaded more budget visibility and authority to managers closer to the work. We’re also refining our salary benchmark process to ensure that our people are paid a fair wage in relation to the market and their peers. The PLOS leadership team continue to be as open as possible about the changes the company is going through and the vision for the future. We know that change can require “pardoning our dust” as we reconstruct, and are grateful that we’ve emerged from the most difficult stages and have exciting times ahead in 2020 and beyond!

    Continue reading
  3. Helpful (6)

    "Benefits also impacted by poor company financial performance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people who care about the work they do.

    Cons

    Executives care about lining their pockets with $$$

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-12-07
  4. Helpful (10)

    "Time of Change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    We are a small organization with a large industry footprint. Our brand is highly respected and when mentioned, gives librarians gleeful shivers. Each PLOSian plays a large role in the success of the organization and its vision, though we may have our disagreements. Civil debate is welcome and encouraged.

    Cons

    As noted by other recent reviewers, the last few years have been rough. Our org strategy and thus our resources were off course for the better part of four years. Many are still reeling from the resulting layoffs, the extensive change in management, and the same operational problems we've poorly addressed for years. However, change - positive change - is happening, but it may appear slow to staff who've been around for a while.

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-08-05

    PLOS Response

    August 27, 2019CEO

    Thanks so much for the thoughtful comments – I appreciate hearing about your personal experience. We have indeed been through a lot of change in order to both improve our operations and to ready PLOS to meet the exciting opportunities ahead as we push forward our mission to further the reach and impact of science. Your suggestion to better understand what it’s like for our staff is a great one – we’re planning to pilot a reverse mentoring program to do just that.

    Continue reading
  5. Helpful (15)

    "Time for a leadership overhaul UK/US"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at PLOS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A catalyst organization as it once was. Not anymore.

    Cons

    I still find it difficult to process that the workplace I loved had disappeared. I joined for the mission, but the culture sure ate me up. And to discover that the individuals best positioned to address them - the CEO, other execs and Directors didn’t care was even more crippling. The chief HR executive seemed to be the only one who paid attention to people and brought many tangible initiatives that contributed to what could be a great place to work, but alas, after just a year or so resigned not surprisingly probably because she was alone in the fight to better the workplace. I hope the rest of the HR team both in Cambridge and SF don't leave as they seem to be the only caring team in this place. The workload is horrible, editorial staff have expressed so but nothing is being done. No strategy, no vision to rally staff to. People are leaving and its a really sad place to be.  When I work for an effective leader, I do my best work. Why can't senior leaders realize this? It's not about metrics and tangible outcomes all the time, it's also about developing people and creating a workplace that we can do our best work. You have to own that and your responsibility to that. Now, it just feels like we are bogged down by the feeling that leadership is working against us. Humans have emotions.  And the CEO down to all her senior leader's response to negative emotions from staff is to simply blame them all without realizing that how you react and respond to the negativity is very telling and most important to the health of the team. I am a talented employee, hardly any effort to retain and engage us?

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-09-25

    PLOS Response

    November 21, 2019CEO

    Thank you for sharing your feedback. I am truly sorry that your experience felt negative, particularly that your concerns felt unheard. We have worked hard at PLOS to create an environment characterized by open communication and our leadership team is actively work to create opportunities for healthy dialog and conversation. Building a strong, engaged and positive culture is an ongoing priority for PLOS and the initiatives introduced by our People and Culture Team you%E2%80%99ve highlighted are continuing to move forward.

    Continue reading
  6. Helpful (8)

    "Heading in the right direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great mission. Talented and engaged team members. Accountable and open leadership team that takes feedback to heart. Efforts to rebuild the organization are producing tangible results.

    Cons

    Ambiguity in longer-term goals and plans. Suffering some growing pains related to effective innovation and operational efficiency.

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-08-07

    PLOS Response

    August 27, 2019CEO

    Thanks for sharing your feedback with us – I’m really happy to hear that you can see our positive forward momentum at this point. You’re right that we’ve been very focused on delivering those improvements but over the coming months, we’ll be deliberately pivoting to defining the next era at PLOS: how will we continue to fulfill our mission through our products, insights and influence over the next few years? I’m excited to start this work and share it with our teams!

    Continue reading
  7. Helpful (20)

    "Sad organization."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Interesting science; not-for-profit publishing is a great though vulnerable sector; good colleagues; Open Access is a worthy project to 'repatriate' publicly-funded science back to the public

    Cons

    At PLOS you see the Peter Principal in action. Or Peter's Corollary: "In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties." Starting at the top: The CEO was, undoubtedly, a good fit for corporate publishing. Her forays into not-for-profit publishing, first at UC Press and now PLOS, should give pause to anyone interested in the future of this sector. Expect to see more layoffs, outsourcing, and further contraction of the PLOS organization / erosion of mission and culture. If PLOS has cash reserves, those will be exhausted. At UC Press, this person championed and spent prodigiously on an Open Access (OA) mega journal that ultimately shrank to become an OA psychology journal. The revenue projections for the UC Press OA mega journal were...fanciful: many millions within a few years. In actuality, since launch in 2015, the OA journal has grossed a tiny fraction of that, from fewer than 150 published articles. Expect to see similar, wildly unrealistic, money-pit endeavors at PLOS, though now in the guise of 'partnerships'. The CFO probably means well. Is that enough to lead financial strategy in a challenging industry? You tell me. This person signed off on the..."imaginative" revenue projections for the UC Press OA mega journal, then jumped ship when it was clear the project was a revenue-generating failure. The last and least of the newly installed PLOS management: the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. Didn't one of those 1970s icons (was it Gloria Steinem?) say that feminism would be a success when incompetent women were promoted to the same levels as incompetent men. At first, the CMO's fawning devotion to the CEO looks like a useful case study in managing up. It quickly becomes an embarrassing display of sycophancy and middle-brow parody of the CEO's imperious style. The CMO yaps on about 'strategy' but appears to have no clue about how to 1.) build, let alone participate in, a functional culture without mean girl antics, and 2.) deliver results. Heed Peter Drucker here: Culture eats strategy for breakfast. To sum up: watch this troika in action with curiosity, fascination, and mild disgust. They herald the decline of not-for-profit publishing via a combo of hard factors -- financial mismanagement, greed and venality, inability to define and execute on strategy, evisceration of culture; and soft factors -- lackluster leadership, dearth of empathy, inability and disinclination to listen to key employees outside of the troika's echo chamber and hired-gun executive coaches. The 'captured' Board of Directors enables all of this. p.s. The Aug 5, 2019 Glassdoor review "Time of Change" was likely written and placed by HR...or rather, I keep forgetting that we now use the more whimsical "People and Culture".

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-08-29
  8. Helpful (16)

    "On Its Last Leg (Exsanguination)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Commiseration can create bonds with any remaining good coworkers. That's pretty much the only positive. The mission, in theory, is positive but leaders cannot execute nor strategize effectively. Can anyone in a position of leadership even articulate the mission or current strategy? All signs are pointing towards 'no'

    Cons

    What's the plan exactly? Let everyone quit or be laid off and then hire cheaper, outsourced replacements? So much for what was left of the mission. The people making the decisions don't care about or listen to staff enough, while also lacking the skills and experience to fix things. Jobs will be outsourced or we will be bought out, if not both. It's a sad realization but the people calling the shots don't have the chops to turn this ship around.

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-08-01

    PLOS Response

    August 27, 2019CEO

    Thanks for sharing your experience although I’m disappointed to read it - it certainly isn’t the employee experience we strive for at PLOS. While we’ve been through major changes over the past 18 months those have been designed to put us in a place to succeed and deliver on this mission we all care so much about. And we’re seeing the changes have an impact in our current positive results. There’s always more we can do and I hope that you will talk to your manager or our People Team if you have specific suggestions.

    Continue reading
  9. Helpful (2)

    "A good-intentioned organization with great people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PLOS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great hires/employees Important mission Promotes good work/life balance

    Cons

    Poor communication between departments/teams Lack of resources

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-07-03
  10. Helpful (15)

    "why am i still here?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Science in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good mission but organization lacks alignment and executives won't or aren't capable of providing a roadmap to mission. Good people, but all seem lost and complacent. While it was a good decision to hire a head of HR and she seems to care with a better HR staff than before, the CEO can't shirk responsibilities to fix culture to that team while you the CEO earns top dollar doing nothing and barely have a vision or strategy to move PLOS forward. More focused training for managers, but in parallel, you have and hire directors that barely have any leadership skills and don't promote the people you already have.

    Cons

    I'm really not sure why i am still here, definitely not at PLOS for the money. And definitely not because its fun - it's far from fun, far from innovative, far from a solid team. I'm just waiting for the next job offer like most employees here. I'm embarrassed to say I'm an employee here with everything that has gone on. I don't want to have to have to explain that while we value transparency and open access, the organization itself is not. It greatly frustrates and angers me that executives and senior management don't care at all about workload, stress and mental health. Sure, work life balance is high, but that's because we still have to fight for our rights to have a life. But it makes us feel guilty because the backlog and having to have our co-workers suffer with our work when we are out isn't good. Honestly, I don't know why the CEO continues to bring her incompetent friends in. I would be embarrassed to be part of senior management, look - more than 80% of your employees don't believe you all are doing a good job and don't even see the value of those directors.

    Continue reading
    PLOS2019-07-11

Choose a different language and keep reading other reviews.

Found 74 reviews
</>Embed