First lets check out what they say one their site: what's at risk?
- undermining the peer review process by compromising the viability of non-profit and commercial journals that manage and fund it;
- opening the door to scientific censorship in the form of selective additions to or omissions from the scientific record;
- subjecting the scientific record to the uncertainty that comes with changing federal budget priorities and bureaucratic meddling with definitive versions; and
- introducing duplication and inefficiencies that will divert resources that would otherwise be dedicated to research.
The second point is even more asinine. They're saying "Hold-on you can't choose what can and cannot be published, that's censorship, let corporations do that job". This is ironic since the purpose of journals like PLOS ONE is to let people publish based on the quality of the science not the importance of the findings. Importance is subjective, and often Nobel winning discoveries like PCR or antibodies were rejected from publication.
The third argument is also flawed because funding shouldn't affect OA journals, they are run by the publication costs defrayed by the authors. In fact one could argue that traditional private publishing is at the mercy of investors, stock market crashes and economic conditions.
Finally duplications could actually be a problem, especially for journals like PLOS ONE. If papers are not discriminated upon the basis of importance, very small incremental findings could be published which do not really lead the field forward. That being said, I would rather have more information than less. In fact if information is freely available, perhaps you would be less likely to unknowingly duplicate someone's work that was published in an obscure journal to which your institution doesn't have access.
Then what's the answer?:
Well one big step in the right direction was the creation of BPR3 an acronym coined by none other than Kevin Z (of bayblab podcast fame). Bloggers for peer review reporting aims to overview the peer review process, and check out their take on PLOS ONE. Ultimately we need some kind of watchdog, a "peer-review watch", and that it could be born in a blog just shows you the power of web 2.0 and openness.
In the mean time, why not check out this spoof of PRISM (the axis of evil publishers), called PISD (I think it is pronounced [piss]-t):
"We don't believe it's a publisher's place to make the value judgment that dissemination of scientific information is a greater social good than the increase in capital associated with charging higher subscription rates. That judgment should be made by politicians, ethicists, economists, and other valuable members of society. If you would like to know more, we suggest you consult review articles on the theory of utility or the laws of supply and demand. If your institution doesn’t provide access to such articles, we'll be happy to sell them to you at a reasonable price."