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Journal Information


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 engaging InterviewsFormal CommentsViewpoints, Perspectives, ReviewsOpinion Pieces and “Genetically Thinking” articles by invitation.

Criteria for Publication

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

  • Originality

  • High importance to researchers in the field

  • Broad interest to researchers in genetics and genomics

  • Rigorous methodology

  • 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.

For manuscripts considered as part of our Methods section, the PLOS Genetics editors are most enthusiastic about methods that represent a new way of approaching a biological or biomedical question, or a substantive advance over existing approaches, and that are likely to be adopted broadly by the genetics community. We encourage methods that are computational (“dry bench”) and/or experimental (“wet bench”), and we require that the resources (source code, cell lines, model organisms) required for the method be made publicly available consistent with PLOS’ policy on Materials and Software Sharing,

Consideration of complementary research

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.

Manuscripts rejected without external review

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

Editorial Oversight

PLOS Genetics is run by an international Editorial Board, headed by the Editor-in-Chief.


Aimée Dudley

Editorial Board

View the PLOS Genetics Editorial Board.

Submit Your Manuscript

For more information about submitting to PLOS Genetics, read our checklist for getting started and our guidelines for preparing a submission.

Publication Fees

PLOS employs several business models to support equitable Open Access. A full list of our publication fees, funding initiatives and fee assistance information is available here.

Open Access

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.

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. 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.

Read more about our pledge with DORA.

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.

Indexing and Archiving

All PLOS journals are widely indexed by major services such as Crossref, Dimensions, DOAJ, Google Scholar, PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, and Web of Science.

PLOS Genetics is also indexed by the following services to ensure research content is accessible and discoverable as widely as possible: AGRICOLA, Biological Abstracts, BIOSYS Previews, CABI CAB Abstracts, CABI Global Health, CAPES, CAS, CNKI, Embase, Journal Guide, MEDLINE, and Zoological Record.


PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.


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