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Other Article Types

In addition to publishing original research papers, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases has an engaging magazine section with dedicated editors. Articles in the magazine section will mostly be commissioned, but we welcome your ideas for articles.

If you would like to write a magazine-section article, please submit a presubmission inquiry or a full submission. If you wish to submit a full submission, please note that you must submit your manuscript as a “Research Article” - please kindly make a note in the “Comments” box of your submission form and we will change the article categorization for you.

Word counts for magazine-section articles are given in the descriptions below. Very long documents can be hosted as supplementary files (Supporting Information) with the magazine-section articles.

We cannot publish any data that would identify a patient unless we have the patient’s written consent. Download the consent form (also available in French, Portuguese, and Spanish).

All display items in magazine articles will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. For more information about preparing display items, read the guidelines for figures and tables.

Editorial

These 600- to 800-word articles are written in-house by the Editor-in-Chief or a member of the Editorial Board.

Viewpoints

Viewpoints are opinion pieces grounded in evidence. The word limit is 1,500 words. Authors are encouraged to cite up to 15 references in support of their key assertions, and to use a logical structure for their piece. We encourage all authors to include a display item (a figure, photo, or illustration).

Debate

The Debate highlights topical, emerging, or controversial issues in the NTDs field, such as controversies about the best treatment or prevention approach. Debates will be commissioned from two or more authors with differing points of view. Each author has up to 800 words and 10 references to outline their initial viewpoint, and then 400 words and 5 references to respond to the opposing viewpoint. We encourage each author to include a display item (a figure, photo, or illustration).

Policy Platform

These articles provide a platform to discuss specific policies that could improve the lives of those at risk of, or affected by, the NTDs. New and specific policy proposals that arise from high-level national or international meetings will be considered for this section, but we will not publish traditional “meeting reports.” These articles are usually 2,000 words, with up to 25 references. In very exceptional circumstances (i.e., when the article is of particular public-health importance), we will give authors a higher word limit, but this must be negotiated with the editors ahead of writing the article. We encourage all authors to include 3-5 display items (figures, photos, illustrations).

Review

In these articles, the author reviews the best available evidence on a topic relevant to the NTDs community. Authors must include a short abstract and a brief “Methods” section that tells readers how they searched and appraised the literature in preparing the review. The word limit is 3,000 words, with 50-80 references. In very exceptional circumstances (i.e., when the article is of particular public-health importance), we will give authors a higher word limit, but this must be negotiated with the editors ahead of writing the article. Authors must include two boxes:

  • A box that lists the 3-5 key learning points in their review
  • A box that lists the 5 key papers in the field

We encourage all authors to include 3-5 display items (figures, tables, photos, or illustrations).

Expert Commentary

In this article, we commission an expert to comment on a Research Article published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The author will usually be the Academic Editor who oversaw the peer review of the research article, or one of the peer reviewers. The word limit is 1,000 words, with up to 15 references. We may also commission expert commentaries on research papers in other journals, provided that these papers are freely available online. We encourage all authors to include a display item (a figure, photo, or illustration).

From Innovation to Application

These short articles (1,000 words, 10 references) discuss new technologies, such as drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics, relevant to NTDs. Authors are asked to take an objective and critical view, and they should include a box that lists up to 3 advantages and 3 disadvantages of the new technology. We will ask for a second box or table depending on what kind of tool is described (for example, if the tool is a new diagnostic tool, we will ask for a table that gives the sensitivity and specificity of the new tool compared with the existing gold standard). Authors with competing interests related to the technology (e.g., financial ties) will not be allowed to write for this section. We encourage all authors to include a display item (a figure, photo, or illustration).

Photo Quiz

These articles provide question-and-answer challenges that illustrate a key clinical issue in the diagnosis, management, or prevention of a neglected tropical disease. Submissions should follow this format:

Case Discussion and Question

  • Initial brief presentation of a clinical case with key images that invite a diagnosis from the reader.
  • The question portion may state the history of the case and note the findings and the outcome, but it should not provide the diagnosis. The case presentation and question should be written in a single paragraph of no more than 150 words and should be accompanied by no more than 2 images/figures.
  • Similar to the Clinical Symposium manuscripts, authors must obtain written consent from the patient using our consent form mentioned above.

Answer/Discussion

The Answer section should give the diagnosis, followed by a discussion of the most relevant clinical issues (no more than 1,200 words).

Key Learning Points

Authors must include a box that lists 3-5 key learning points of the case, similar to other clinical sections of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

References

No more than 10 references.

Symposium

This section has four sub-types:

  • Laboratory Symposium
  • Clinical Symposium
  • Control Symposium
  • Social, Cultural, Economic Symposium

In each case, the article begins by presenting a short “real-world” problem or challenge, and then uses this problem as the basis for an educational piece of up to 2,000 words, with 25 references. Further details for each type of symposium are given below:

Laboratory Symposium

These are problem-based learning articles, up to 2,000 words long. They begin with a description of a “real-world” problem (not a hypothetical one), which will be in the form of a set of laboratory results (e.g., microscopy, hematology results, drug susceptibility tests, alternative diagnoses) that are interesting, illuminating, or unusual and that will appeal to the journal’s wider audience. This is then followed by a tutorial in the form of a series of questions and answers that help readers make sense of, and learn from, this set of laboratory results.

Authors must include a box that lists the 3-5 key learning points of the article. We cannot publish any data that would identify a patient unless we have the patient’s written consent, using our consent form mentioned above.

We encourage all authors to include 3-5 display items (figures, photos, illustrations).

Clinical Symposium

There are two types of article that we will publish in the Clinical Symposium section:

Case-based learning articles, up to 2,000 words long.

These begin with a description of how the patient presented, under the heading “Description of Case.” This is then followed by a tutorial in the form of clinical questions and answers interspersed with further details of the case.

The title should succinctly describe the problem but should not reveal the diagnosis (e.g., “A 17-Year-Old with Gradual Onset Blindness” or “A 45-Year-Old Woman with Chronic Itching”). Authors must obtain written consent from the patient using our consent form mentioned above. Authors must include a box that lists the 3-5 key learning points of the article. We strongly recommend that authors include examples of the patient’s investigations (e.g., imaging, electrocardiograms, a video of the patient’s clinical signs).

Case reports, up to 1,000 words long.

Case reports will not be commissioned. To inquire about submitting a case report, please email the journal. Authors must obtain written consent from the patient using our consent form mentioned above. We will publish only cases that contain a valuable lesson or clinical reminder, and authors must include a box that lists the 3-5 key learning points of the article.  

We strongly recommend that authors include examples of the patient’s investigations (e.g., imaging, electrocardiograms, a video of the patient’s clinical signs).

Control Symposium

These are problem-based learning articles, up to 2,000 words long. They begin with a description of a “real-world” disease control challenge (i.e., at the community level, not the individual level). This is then followed by a tutorial in the form of a series of questions and answers that help readers understand how to tackle this type of control problem. Authors must include a box that lists the 3-5 key learning points of the article. We cannot publish any data that would identify a patient unless we have the patient’s written consent, using our consent form mentioned above. We encourage all authors to include 3-5 display items (figures, photos, illustrations).

Social, Cultural, Economic Symposium

These are problem-based learning articles, up to 2,000 words long. They begin with a description of a “real-world” scenario with social, cultural, or economic implications. Examples include: the case of a woman with lymphatic filariasis whose family is too afraid to touch her; an African community that declines to allow mass drug administration because of culturally based suspicions of “Western” medicine; the case of a man blinded by trachoma or onchocerciasis who can no longer provide for his family; or the case of a boy with chronic hookworm infection with chronic stunting and cognitive difficulties. The description of the scenario is then followed by a tutorial in the form of a series of questions and answers that help readers understand how to approach such social, cultural, and economic concerns.

Authors must include a box that lists the 3-5 key learning points of the article. We cannot publish any data that would identify a patient unless we have the patient’s written consent, using our consent form mentioned above. We encourage all authors to include 3-5 display items (figures, photos, illustrations).

Historical Profiles and Perspectives

These articles look back in history to discuss a notable figure or a control program that worked or failed. Articles should be up to 1,500 words, with 15 references. We encourage all authors to include a display item (figure, photo, illustration).

Interviews

These articles are up to 1,000 words long, and the author interviews a person who has made an important contribution to the fight against NTDs. We encourage the author to include a photo of the interviewee.