Other Article Types

PLOS Computational Biology publishes a range of articles other than research articles, methods articles, and software articles. Contributions to the front section of the journal are subject to peer review. Prospective contributors are encouraged to review contributions in the respective sections of the journal before considering a submission. Examples of each article type are provided below. Publication charges do not apply to the article types outlined in this section.


Editorials are written by PLOS Computational Biology editors. Guest editorials are invited by or at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. Editorials typically introduce new and changed features to the journal, discuss issues of professional development, and highlight developments in the field relevant to the readership.

Example Editorials

Bourne PE (2015) Confronting the Ethical Challenges of Big Data in Public Health. PLoS Comput Biol 11(2): e1004073.

Cui Q, Nussinov R (2014) Making Biomolecular Simulations Accessible in the Post-Nobel Prize Era. PLoS Comput Biol 10(8): e1003786.

Education Articles

The goal of the Education section of PLOS Computational Biology is to provide both practical and background information on important computational methods and approaches used to investigate interesting biological problems. Contributions to the Education section can take several forms, including historical reviews and practical tutorials. Education articles should aim for 2000 and should not exceed 2500 words. The articles are generally invited, but unsolicited submissions will be considered and proceed at the discretion of the Education Editor.

Browse content in the Education section.

Example Education Articles

Goodman AL, Dekhtyar A (2014) Teaching Bioinformatics in Concert. PLoS Comput Biol 10(11): e1003896.

Griffith M, Walker JR, Spies NC, Ainscough BJ, Griffith OL (2015) Informatics for RNA Sequencing: A Web Resource for Analysis on the Cloud. PLoS Comput Biol 11(8): e1004393.​

Formal Comments

In exceptional circumstances we may consider publication of a Formal Comment. Formal Comments are peer-reviewed, indexed in PubMed, and associated with specific articles published at PLOS Computational Biology. They are usually, but not exclusively, submitted by invitation. Formal Comments must be coherent, concise, and well-argued, and are subject to PLOS Computational Biology Criteria for Publication​. Editors may invite a Formal Comment from the authors of the original article in response.

Example Formal Comment

Singh PP, Affeldt S, Malaguti G, Isambert H (2014) Human Dominant Disease Genes Are Enriched in Paralogs Originating from Whole Genome Duplication. PLoS Comput Biol 10(7): e1003754.

Chen W-H, Zhao X-M, van Noort V, Bork P (2014) Comments on "Human Dominant Disease Genes Are Enriched in Paralogs Originating from Whole Genome Duplication". PLoS Comput Biol 10(7): e1003758.

Messages from ISCB

As an official journal of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB), PLOS Computational Biology publishes in this section short informational articles invited by the ISCB Editor as well as announcements from the Society.


Perspectives in PLOS Computational Biology typically reflect an author's viewpoint on a particular development in science and how, based on current knowledge of the field and the progress in it, this development evidences, or can lead to change in how science is conducted or interpreted. Perspectives are intended to be more prospective than retrospective but require sufficient background to place the points made in context. Perspectives are intended to invite debate and further comment as appropriate. The length should be no more than 2500 words.

Please refer to the information elsewhere in the submission guidelines about the specifics of manuscript, figure, and table preparation.

Presubmission inquiries or full perspective articles may be submitted through our online submission system.

Example Perspectives

Markowetz F (2015) You Are Not Working for Me; I Am Working with You. PLoS Comput Biol 11(9): e1004387.

Cerullo MA (2015) The Problem with Phi: A Critique of Integrated Information Theory. PLoS Comput Biol 11(9): e1004286.


Reviews reflect rapidly advancing or topical areas in computational biology research that are of broad interest to the entire biology community and have not been covered significantly by other journals. A review should aim for 3000-6000 words and two or three figures or other display items. A review should not be a mere summary of the field; it should be a critique with new points of view which are supported by existing literature from a variety of authors.

Review articles should be structured as follows: Title, Authors, Affiliations, Abstract, Introduction, Main Text (broken into subsections as appropriate), Conclusions, Acknowledgments, and References. Figure Captions and Tables should be inserted immediately after the first paragraph in which they are cited in the article file.

Please refer to the information elsewhere in the submission guidelines about the specifics of manuscript, figure, and table preparation. Email us if you are in any doubt about how our guidelines for research articles differ from those of Reviews.

Presubmission inquiries or full Review articles may be submitted through our online submission system.

Example Reviews

Sporns O, Tononi G, Kötter R (2005) The Human Connectome: A Structural Description of the Human Brain. PLoS Comput Biol 1(4): e42.

Nagelkerke NJD, Arora P, Jha P, Williams B, McKinnon L, de Vlas SJ (2014) The Rise and Fall of HIV in High-Prevalence Countries: A Challenge for Mathematical Modeling. PLoS Comput Biol 10(3): e1003459.

Ten Simple Rules

The Ten Simple Rules editorial articles provide a concentrated guide for mastering some of the professional challenges research scientists face in their careers. If you would like to submit a presubmission inquiry to determine if a manuscript is appropriate in principle, please login to our online submission system, and submit your query by choosing “Submit Presubmission Inquiry” from the list of article types. When submitting your presubmission inquiry, please include the titles of the ten rules in the cover letter.

Example Ten Simple Rules

Dashnow H, Lonsdale A, Bourne PE (2014) Ten Simple Rules for Writing a PLOS Ten Simple Rules Article. PLoS Comput Biol 10(10): e1003858.

Bourne PE, Barbour V (2011) Ten Simple Rules for Building and Maintaining a Scientific Reputation. PLoS Comput Biol 7(6): e1002108.

Topic Pages

Topic Pages are intended to increase the coverage of computational biology in Wikipedia. The Topic Page becomes a published copy of record of a dynamic version of the article as found in Wikipedia. Further information about Topic Pages can be found in the series editorial.

Suggestions for ideas should be emailed to

Example Topic Pages

Ravenhall M, Škunca N, Lassalle F, Dessimoz C (2015) Inferring Horizontal Gene Transfer. PLoS Comput Biol 11(5): e1004095.

O'Neill K, Aghaeepour N, Špidlen J, Brinkman R (2013) Flow Cytometry Bioinformatics. PLoS Comput Biol 9(12): e1003365.