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Journal Information

Reflecting the full breadth of research on bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions and viruses, PLOS Pathogens publishes outstanding original research and commentary that significantly advance the understanding of pathogens and how they interact with their host organisms.

Scope

Bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions and viruses cause a plethora of diseases that have important medical, agricultural, and economic consequences. Moreover, the study of microbes continues to provide novel insights into such fundamental processes as the molecular basis of cellular and organismal function.

PLOS Pathogens reflects the full breadth of research in these areas by publishing outstanding original articles that significantly advance the understanding of pathogens and how they interact with their host organisms. Topics include (but are not limited to) adaptive and innate immune defenses as well as pathogen countermeasures, emerging pathogens, evolution, genomics and gene regulation, model host organisms, pathogen-cell biology, pathogenesis, prions, proteomics and signal transduction, rational vaccine design, structural biology, and virulence factors.

The journal will not consider purely descriptive studies, such as those that solely identify a new genomic sequence of a related pathogen or a series of related pathogens, the isolation of pathogen variants, or a new strain or type based only on sequence analysis or correlative studies of host and pathogen genotypes.

Genomics studies, which include functional predictions or inferences based on genome sequence analysis, will also require additional experimental validation that directly tests the prediction/inference and yields novel conclusions about mechanistic models or pathogenesis. Instances where inferences about potential functions can be supported by association studies of genotype-phenotype combined with existing functional data, may also be appropriate, pending approval by the editors. If a paper provides novel mechanistic insight but lacks functional validation, it may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

We encourage authors to submit a presubmission inquiry to determine whether a given study might fit these guidelines. Genomics submissions may go through an initial consultation by our Genomics Editors.

Contents

PLOS Pathogens features engaging primary research articles, informative Pearls, Research Matters, and Reviews, monthly Opinions, and occasional Editorials and Viewpoints.

Criteria for Publication

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

  • Originality

  • High importance to researchers in the field

  • High importance and broad interest to the community of researchers studying pathogens and pathogen-host interactions

  • Rigorous methodology

  • Substantial evidence for its conclusions

Editorial Oversight

PLOS Pathogens is run by an international Editorial Board, headed by Editors-in-Chief Kasturi Haldar (University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA) and Grant McFadden (Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA).

Editors-in-Chief

Kasturi Haldar
Grant McFadden

Editorial Board

View the PLOS Pathogens Editorial Board.

Submit Your Manuscript

For more information about submitting to PLOS Pathogens, 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 Pathogens 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.

Contact

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

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