Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Virginia Barbour: Queen of open access

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 24 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4148
Duncan Smith


Virginia Barbour is a champion of the open access movement in publishing and a former chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics. Trained at Cambridge, University College London, and the Middlesex Hospital, she was one of three founding editors of the open access journal PLOS Medicine in 2004 and was later editorial director of PLOS for biology and medicine. She now works at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and is director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group.

What was your earliest ambition?

As a child I made up stories where I was the heroine of ridiculously dramatic adventures. I just wanted to make an impression—I wasn’t really too fussed how.

What was your best career move?

Moving to the Public Library of Science (PLOS) in 2004. I was at the Lancet, watching with great interest the launch of PLOS Biology and wondering whether PLOS would launch a medical journal—so I wrote and asked, and it turned out to be their next plan. I was incredibly lucky to be one of the three founding editors of PLOS Medicine, and I’m very proud to have played a part …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription