Journal Information

An influential venue for research and commentary on the major challenges to human health worldwide, PLOS Medicine publishes articles of general interest on biomedical, environmental, social and political determinants of health. The journal emphasizes work that advances clinical practice, health policy or pathophysiological understanding to benefit health in a variety of settings.

PLOS Medicine is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in medical publishing, including the management and disclosure of conflicts of interest in reporting, review, and publication; transparency in the review and publication process; data sharing and reuse of work; authors' retention of copyright; Open Access publication with no restrictions on availability and dissemination; and avoiding the conflicts of interest presented by advertising for drugs and medical devices and exclusive sale of reprints.


PLOS Medicine publishes articles relevant to clinicians, policymakers, and researchers across a range of settings that address the major biological, environmental, social, and political determinants of health. The editors make decisions on submissions based upon their potential to directly and substantially inform clinical practice or health policy, and their relevance to our international audience.

Articles given highest priority for publication are those that address conditions or risk factors that cause the greatest losses in years of healthy life and quality of life worldwide.

PLOS Medicine also seeks to publish articles in the area of translational medicine that provide substantial, novel mechanistic insights into disease processes, with potential implications for clinical care. Additionally PLOS Medicine considers articles on topics relating to the integrity and ethics of the research enterprise; the practice of medicine; and the application of research to practice to fall within its scope.


  • Outstanding research articles in all areas of medicine and health, involving methodologies that may include clinical trials, systematic reviews/meta-analyses, epidemiology, diagnostic testing, predictive and explanatory modeling, cost-effectiveness research, qualitative studies, and clinically-focused translational research.

All research articles are accompanied by an Editors' Summary—a comprehensible summary for physicians in all specialties, as well as patients and their advocates.

  • Editorials are written by the PLOS Medicine editors on topics of general medical interest or journal policy.
  • Perspectives are commissioned from an expert to discuss the clinical practice or public health implications of a study.
  • The Health in Action section focuses on innovative health improvement projects, often written by groups or individuals who are not represented regularly in medical journals, such as health activists, non-governmental organizations, or researchers in low income settings.
  • The Policy Forum section provides a platform for health policymakers from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities in improving health care to their constituencies.
  • The Guidelines and Guidance section contains advice on conducting and reporting medical research.
  • Essays are opinion pieces on topics of broad interest to a general medical audience.
  • The PLOS Medicine Debate discusses important but controversial issues in clinical practice, public health policy, or health in general. Debates will be commissioned from two or more authors with differing points of view.

Criteria for Publication

PLOS Medicine is highly selective; for research articles, the number of accepted articles was 3% the number of presubmission inquiries for September 2011-2012. For manuscripts taken forward for in-depth consideration, PLOS Medicine applies rigorous editorial and peer review overseen by a team of professional editors and, in the case of research articles, an independent academic editor expert in the field.

Within the scope of the journal as noted above, manuscripts should represent a substantial advance in medical science or medical practice in terms of:

  • Originality and novelty

  • Importance to researchers or practitioners in the field

  • Interest for researchers or practitioners outside the field

  • Rigorous methodology with conclusions justified by the evidence presented

  • Adherence to the highest ethical standards

Editorial Oversight

To ensure the fairest and most objective decision-making, the editorial process is run as a partnership between the PLOS Medicine professional editors and the Editorial Board, which comprises leaders in all fields of medicine. See the Editorial Board.

PLOS Medicine editors

Larry Peiperl, Chief Editor

Paul Simpson, Acting Deputy Editor

Clare Garvey, Senior Research Editor

Amy Ross, Senior Editor

Tom McBride, Associate Editor

Linda Nevin, Associate Editor

Freelance editors

In addition to the staff editors listed above, PLOS Medicine engages a number of freelance editors.

Consulting editors Druin Burch, Tina Chang, Lucy Chappell, Barbara Cohen, and Domhnall MacAuley commission and/or handle manuscript submissions in consultation with staff editors.

Associate freelance editors Munier Hossain, Ezzie Hutchinson, Claire Meek, Monty Montano, Laurie Tomlinson, and Gavin Yamey provide input during the editorial process.

Jane Bradbury and Barbara Nasto write editors' summaries and press releases for the journal.

Competing Interests

The PLOS Medicine editors are paid a fixed salary (in particular, their salary is not linked to the number of articles published in the journal). Editors are required to declare all relevant competing interests and do not participate in the review of any submission for which they have a competing interest. Read the editors’ competing interests declarations.

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 more about our content license.

Measures of Impact

At PLOS, we believe that research articles should primarily be judged on their individual merits, rather than on the basis of the journal in which they were published. In March 2009, we inaugurated a program to provide Article-Level Metrics (ALM) on every article across all journals. Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) capture the manifold ways in which research is disseminated and can help users determine the value of an article to them and to their scientific community. Read more about Article-Level Metrics.

More Information


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


Visit the Contact page for details about whom to contact with different queries.

Publication fees

PLOS Medicine publication fees are US$2900 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.

About PLOS journals

PLOS 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.