Genetics and genomics research has grown at a bewildering pace in the past 15 years. The techniques of these fields are being applied to a wealth of biological questions and experimental systems. PLOS Genetics reflects the full breadth and interdisciplinary nature of this research by publishing outstanding original contributions in all areas of biology.
PLOS Genetics publishes human studies, as well as research on model organisms—from mice and flies, to plants and bacteria. Our emphasis is on studies of broad interest that provide significant insight into a biological process or processes. Topics include (but are not limited to) gene discovery and function, population genetics, genome projects, comparative and functional genomics, medical genetics, disease biology, evolution, gene expression, complex traits, chromosome biology, and epigenetics.
PLOS Genetics features outstanding primary research articles, occasional Editorials and Topic Pages, and engaging Interviews, Formal Comments, Viewpoints, Perspectives, Reviews, Opinion Pieces and “Genetically Thinking” articles by invitation.
To be considered for publication in PLOS Genetics, any given manuscript must satisfy the following criteria:
High importance to researchers in the field
Broad interest to researchers in genetics and genomics
Substantial evidence for its conclusions
For manuscripts that focus on descriptive genomics, the PLOS Genetics editors are generally most enthusiastic about those that also include innovative theoretical treatment or follow-up experimentation that reveals novel and significant biological insight. For work in which disruption of gene function in model organisms plays an important role, compelling evidence of causality and specificity is required, generally supported by mutational analysis. Experiments based on alternative approaches, e.g., morpholinos, F0 gene editing, siRNA, or shRNA, are generally not sufficient unless accompanied by rigorous and thorough justification.
Scientists commonly refer to research as “scooped” when independent groups working on the same topic reach similar conclusions and one group publishes the results first. Although originality is one criterion for studies published in PLOS Genetics, “scooped” manuscripts that confirm, replicate, extend, or are complementary to a recently published, significant advance are still eligible for consideration in PLOS Genetics. The complementary manuscript must present equally or more rigorous findings than the published study and any submission must also meet the criteria for publication listed above. Authors of the complementary work have six months after the first article’s publication date to submit their manuscript to PLOS Genetics. Studies must be performed comprehensively, and preliminary placeholder studies will not be considered.
After initial evaluation by Senior Editors, a substantial proportion of manuscripts are rejected without external review. Common reasons for rejecting manuscripts without external review include:
Insufficient strength of advance
- Absence of substantive insight into biology or disease pathogenesis
- Incremental methods development studies that do not include an application to a biologic problem or system that reveals novel insight
- Descriptive genomic or epigenomic studies that do not include follow-up experimental investigation
To ensure the fairest and most objective decision-making, the editorial process is run as a partnership between the PLOS Genetics Editors-in-Chief, a team of Section Editors (SEs), and a group of academic experts who act as Associate Editors (AEs). These individuals are leaders in their fields and represent the full breadth of genetics and genomics.
PLOS Genetics publication fees vary based on article type and will be billed upon acceptance. Authors’ ability to pay publication fees will never be a consideration in the decision whether to publish. You can find a full list of our publication fees and fee assistance information here.
PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works we publish. 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. Learn more.
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.
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