The world’s first multidisciplinary Open Access journal, PLOS ONE accepts scientifically rigorous research, regardless of novelty. PLOS ONE’s broad scope provides a platform to publish primary research, including interdisciplinary and replication studies as well as negative results. The journal’s publication criteria are based on high ethical standards and the rigor of the methodology and conclusions reported.
PLOS ONE features reports of original research from the natural sciences, medical research, engineering, as well as the related social sciences and humanities that will contribute to the base of scientific knowledge. By not excluding research on the basis of subject area, PLOS ONE facilitates the discovery of connections between research whether within or between disciplines.
We will also consider the following article types:
- Systematic reviews. We consider publishing systematic reviews only if the methods ensure the comprehensive and unbiased sampling of existing literature.
- Submissions describing methods, software, databases, or other tools. We consider submissions describing methods, software, databases, or other tools if they follow the appropriate reporting guidelines.
- Qualitative research. We consider publishing qualitative research only if it adheres to appropriate study design and reporting guidelines.
- Studies reporting negative results.
- The study presents the results of primary scientific research.
- Results reported have not been published elsewhere.
- Experiments, statistics, and other analyses are performed to a high technical standard and are described in sufficient detail.
- Conclusions are presented in an appropriate fashion and are supported by the data.
- The article is presented in an intelligible fashion and is written in standard English.
- The research meets all applicable standards for the ethics of experimentation and research integrity.
- The article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for data availability.
Often a journal's decision not to publish a paper reflects an editor's opinion about what is likely to have substantial impact in a given field. These subjective judgments can delay the publication of work that later proves to be of major significance. PLOS ONE will rigorously peer-review your submissions and publish all papers that are judged to be technically sound. Judgments about the importance of any particular paper are then made after publication by the readership, who are the most qualified to determine what is of interest to them.
Each submission to PLOS ONE passes through a rigorous quality control and peer-review evaluation process before receiving a decision. The initial in-house quality control check deals with issues such as competing interests; ethical requirements for studies involving human participants or animals; financial disclosures; full compliance with PLOS’ data availability policy, etc. Submissions may be returned to authors for queries, and will not be seen by our Editorial Board or peer reviewers until they pass this quality control check.
Once each manuscript has passed quality control, it is assigned to a member of the Editorial Board, who takes responsibility as the Academic Editor for the submission. The Academic Editor is responsible for conducting the peer-review process and for making a decision to accept, invite revision of, or reject the article.
PLOS ONE is run as a partnership between in-house PLOS staff and an international Editorial Board, ensuring fast, fair, and professional peer review.
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.
PLOS does not consider Impact Factor to be a reliable or useful metric to assess the performance of individual articles. PLOS supports DORA – the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – and does not promote our journal Impact Factors. We will provide the metric to individuals when specifically requested.
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.
PLOS ONE publication fees are US$1495 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.
See publishing details for all PLOS journal titles, including ISSN and indexing and archiving information.
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.
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