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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.

Portable peer review

PLOS Biology is open to considering manuscripts on the basis of reviews received at journals from other publishers. The process is quite straight-forward: to opt in, 1) please add a note in your cover letter to let us know the work was previously reviewed elsewhere, including the name of the journal where the work was previously considered and the manuscript ID it was given, and 2) upload a response to the reviews as a 'Prior Peer Review' file type - this should include the reports in full and a point-by-point reply detailing how you have or plan to address the reviewers' concerns.

If we find the work potentially suitable for PLOS Biology, we will contact the previous journal to confirm the prior peer-review history, asking them to share the reviews and, if possible, original reviewer identities. Staff editors work with Academic Editors to arbitrate these reports directly, avoiding or minimizing further peer-review and thereby streamlining the process. If we are unable to obtain the reviewer identities from the prior journal, we would still aim to use the prior reports and, if we need to contact new reviewers, will ask them to evaluate the work as a revision in light of the prior comments.

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 research articles, you can also choose to have PLOS forward your manuscript to medRxiv for consideration for posting as a preprint.

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.