Journal Information

By making connections through the application of computational methods among disparate areas of biology, PLOS Computational Biology provides substantial new insight into living systems at all scales, from the nano to the macro, and across multiple disciplines, from molecular science, neuroscience and physiology to ecology and population biology.

PLOS Computational Biology is an official journal of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).


PLOS Computational Biology features works of exceptional significance that further our understanding of living systems at all scales—from molecules and cells, to patient populations and ecosystems—through the application of computational methods. Readers include life and computational scientists, who can take the important findings presented here to the next level of discovery.

Research articles must be declared as belonging to one of the following categories: General, Methods or Software. Software articles form a specific sub-category. More information about Software articles can be found in the submission guidelines.

Research articles should model aspects of biological systems, demonstrate both methodological and scientific novelty, and provide profound new biological insights. Research articles with limited novelty may be more appropriate for PLOS ONE.

Generally, reliability and significance of biological discovery through computation should be validated and enriched by experimental studies. Inclusion of experimental validation is not required for publication, but should be referenced where possible. Inclusion of experimental validation of a modest biological discovery through computation does not render a manuscript suitable for PLOS Computational Biology.

Research articles specifically designated as Methods papers should describe outstanding methods of exceptional importance that have been shown, or have the promise to provide new biological insights. The method must already be widely adopted, or have the promise of wide adoption by a broad community of users. Enhancements to existing published methods will only be considered if those enhancements bring exceptional new capabilities.

For all submissions, authors must clearly provide detail, data, and software to ensure readers' ability to reproduce the models, methods, and results.

Methods articles and Software articles require presubmission inquiries. Presubmission inquiries for general research articles are encouraged, but not essential.


  • Outstanding primary research articles on all aspects of computational biology applied to different and integrated biological scales, from molecules and cells to patient populations and ecosystems.
  • Invited and submitted reviews and perspectives on topics of broad interest to the readership.

  • Historical reviews and high-quality tutorials (including multimedia presentations) teaching important concepts in the field of computational biology.

  • Software articles describing outstanding open source software of exceptional importance that has been shown to provide new biological insights.

  • Announcements of activities of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) and other information of interest to scientists in this and related fields.

Criteria for Publication

To be considered for publication in PLOS Computational Biology, any given manuscript must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Originality

  • Innovation

  • High importance to researchers in the field

  • Significant biological and/or methodological insight

  • Rigorous methodology

  • Substantial evidence for its conclusions

Editorial Oversight

PLOS Computational Biology is run by an international Editorial Board, headed by the Editors-in-Chief, Ruth Nussinov (National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD, USA and Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel) and Jason Papin (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA).

Submit Your Manuscript

For more information about submitting to PLOS Computational Biology, read our checklist for getting started and our guidelines for preparing a submission.

Open Access

PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works we publish. This license was developed to facilitate open access – namely, free immediate access to, and unrestricted reuse of, original works of all types.

Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees, for virtually any purpose. Anyone may copy, distribute, or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. Read PLOS’ licenses and copyright policy.

Journal Impact and Article Metrics

PLOS does not consider Impact Factor to be a reliable or useful metric to assess the performance of individual articles. Instead, PLOS promotes the use of Article-Level Metrics (ALMs), which enable scientists and the general public to engage more dynamically with published research. 

ALMs reflect the changing impact of research over time, incorporate academic as well as social impacts of research, and assess the impact of research before the accrual of academic citations. Read more about ALMs.

Publication Fees

PLOS Computational Biology publication fees are US$2250 per manuscript and will be billed upon acceptance. Authors’ ability to pay publication fees will never be a consideration in the decision whether to publish. Read more about publication fees and publication fee support.

Indexing and Archiving

See publishing details for all PLOS journal titles, including ISSN and indexing and archiving information.

About PLOS Journals

PLOS (Public Library of Science) publishes a suite of influential journals from all areas of science and medicine that contain rigorously reported, peer-reviewed Open Access research articles. The journals vary in their criteria for publication and, with the exception of PLOS ONE, also publish a variety of influential and educational non-research content. The journals are editorially independent. Read more about the PLOS suite of journals.

About the International Society for Computational Biology

The International Society for Computational Biology is a scholarly society dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of living systems through computation. Founded in 1997, the ISCB communicates the significance of our science to the larger scientific community, governments, and the public at large. The ISCB serves a global membership by impacting government and scientific policies, providing high quality publications and meetings, and through distribution of valuable information about training, education, employment and relevant news from related fields. More information about the ISCB.


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