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About the Journal

PLOS Biology publishes significant advances across the biological sciences. And we push boundaries.

Designed to further the advancement of science and the communities who depend upon it, we’re transforming research communication to fit the research process. Evolving outputs and policies empower authors to share the full story behind their science with a global audience of researchers, educators, policy makers, patient advocacy groups, and the public.

Easy Submission

We use an easy, format-free submission process for all research articles to help save you time and effort.

  1. Initial submission. Upload your manuscript and cover letter. Choose to submit either a single PDF, or separate manuscript and figure files. There are no formatting requirements, and our mini initial submission form takes just 10 minutes to complete.
  2. Editorial evaluation. We’ll evaluate your submission within about a week.* If the editors select your manuscript for external peer review, we’ll invite you to provide additional information.
  3. Full submission. Complete the full submission form. In preparation for external peer review, we’ll ask you to give more details, like the full author list and a competing interest statement. No journal-specific formatting is required until a manuscript is close to acceptance.

*60% of research submissions receive an initial decision within 5 days, 80% within a week​

Presubmission inquiries. If you would like to ask the editors whether a work you have in preparation is a good fit for the journal, please email your inquiry to If your manuscript is ready, we would strongly recommend that you submit it through our easy submission process, as this will ensure that we receive all of the information needed to make a decision. Please note, however, that official submission through our online system requires confirmation that the work is not under consideration elsewhere.

Submitting a magazine article?
Non-research articles are submitted as full submissions. Read the complete guidelines.

Preparing an Initial Submission

All research articles are eligible for our easy, three-part submission process.

Your initial submission will consist of:

  1. Manuscript, with a title page listing all the authors
  2. A cover letter
  3. Supporting information files, if relevant

You can choose to format your initial submission as either:

  • A single PDF containing the manuscript, figures, and supporting information, or
  • A PDF or Word document manuscript, with figures and supporting information uploaded individually

In either case, upload your cover letter as a separate file.


Get started now.

Editorial Manager

Preparing a Full Submission

If the editors decide to send your manuscript for peer review, we’ll invite you to make a full submission. At this stage, you’ll need to provide:

For most article types, you can also choose to have your manuscript posted as a preprint on bioRxiv if you wish.

Author Resources

Consult these resources to make sure that your manuscript is ready for submission, and find out what to expect later on in the editorial assessment and peer review process.

Submission guidelines Information about the article types available for primary research and guidelines for manuscript style and formatting
Editorial and publishing policies Information about the requirements that apply to our submissions, including policies on data availability, competing interests, disclosure of funding sources, authorship, and reporting standards.
Other article types Information about preparing submissions to the PLOS Biology magazine.
Revision guidelines Information about preparing a revised submission.
Publication fees and fee assistance Information about publication fees and fee assistance options. Publication fees will be billed upon acceptance. Authors seeking fee assistance must apply at submission, using the form in the submission system. An author’s ability to pay publication fees is never a consideration in the publication decision process.
Preprints Information about the option to post your manuscript on the bioRxiv preprint server concurrent with your submission to PLOS Biology.