Other Article Types

Collection Overviews

PLOS Genetics considers Collection Overview articles within pre-planned Collections. Collection Overviews discuss the relevant history and scientific background of a Collection, and unlike Collection Reviews, they are not intended as an exhaustive summary of a particular topic, but rather aim to place the articles included in the Collection within the context of knowledge in the field.

Collection Overviews should be concise, with suitable referencing, and provide the appropriate context for the publications in the Collection.

Collection Overviews will be considered subject to prior approval by journal editors, or they may be commissioned by staff editors from the Guest Editor(s) of a Collection. PLOS Genetics staff editors do not consider unsolicited Collection Overviews.

In addition to research articles, PLOS Genetics also provides a forum for the publication of other article types of broad interest to the genetics and genomics community. These articles, except for Topic Pages, are by invitation only; however, you can send feedback and ideas to and we encourage readers to add comments to all articles. Publication charges do not apply to the article types outlined in this section.

PLOS Genetics is no longer accepting presubmission inquiries, either through the submission system or over email. Please visit our Scope page to help inform your decision to submit, and if you aren’t sure, submit the full manuscript to the journal.


Written by the journal's editors, these occasional pieces can cover announcements, highlights of journal content, position statements, and journal updates.

Formal Comments

In exceptional circumstances we may consider publication of a Formal Comment. Formal Comments are peer-reviewed, indexed in PubMed, and associated with specific articles published at PLOS Genetics. They are usually, but not exclusively, submitted by invitation. Formal Comments must be coherent, concise, and well-argued, and are subject to PLOS Genetics Criteria for Publication. Editors may invite a Formal Comment from the authors of the original article in response.


Jane Gitschier brings her unique conversational style to an ongoing Collection of Interviews of interesting people in the world of science and genetics. Past Interviews have included exchanges with such luminaries as Nicholas WadeSir John SulstonDavid Botstein and Shirley Tilghman.


These commentaries, which are by invitation only, frame the content and implications of research articles published in the journal. They should be short and engaging; aim for no more than 1,000 words, one display item, and a concise list of the most relevant references. As guidance, you should take our broad readership through the following:

  • The background: what did we know before; why was the study conducted? In particular, place the specific article in a broader context for readers who may not be experts in the field – explain why they should pay attention to the highlighted article.
  • The article itself: what did the researchers do and find; strengths and limitations; what are the implications?
  • The future: what are the next steps; are there unanswered questions?

You are welcome to use subheadings to structure the article as you see fit.

Please refer to the information elsewhere in the submission guidelines about the specifics of manuscript, figure, and table preparation. Email us​ if you are in any doubt about how our guidelines for research articles differ from those of Perspectives.

Example Perspectives

Gresham D, Kruglyak L (2008) Rise of the Machines. PLoS Genet 4(8): e1000134.

Dresser ME (2008) Chromosome Mechanics and Meiotic Engine Maintenance. PLoS Genet 4(9): e1000210.

Kania A (2014) Concocting Cholinergy. PLoS Genet 10(4): e1004313.


These succinct, synthetic, well-focused, and engaging Reviews should appeal to a broad genetics readership. Aim for approximately 3,000 words, two or three display items, including boxes and conceptual figures, and a concise list of the most relevant references. The article should include an overview of the existing literature that places the topic within a broader context, but it should also focus on the future: where is the field going and what exciting developments are expected? It is particularly important to highlight critical new advances, open questions, and standing controversies or paradoxes as these are especially valued by a general readership.

Because these articles are by invitation only, the topic and scope will have been agreed with an editor. It is advisable to forward on a short summary or draft in advance of the full submission. Reviews are externally peer reviewed so decisions on acceptance will be made in light of these comments as well as input from the editors.

Structure the Review as such: Title, Authors, Affiliations, Abstract, Introduction, Main Text (broken into subsections as appropriate), Conclusions, Acknowledgments, References. Figure Captions, Tables, and Boxes should be inserted immediately after the first paragraph in which they are cited in the article file.

Please refer to the information elsewhere in the submission guidelines about the specifics of manuscript, figure, and table preparation. Email us if you are in any doubt about how our guidelines for research articles differ from those of Reviews.

Example Reviews

Lupski JR, Stankiewicz P (2005) Genomic Disorders: Molecular Mechanisms for Rearrangements and Conveyed Phenotypes. PLoS Genet 1(6): e49.

Antebi A (2007) Genetics of Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Genet 3(9): e129.

Liebers R, Rassoulzadegan M, Lyko F (2014) Epigenetic Regulation by Heritable RNA. PLoS Genet 10(4): e1004296.

Topic Pages

These articles are intended to increase the coverage of genetics-related topics in Wikipedia. The Topic Page is written in the style of a Wikipedia article and, after open peer review on the PLOS Wiki, becomes a published copy of record, with a dynamic version of the article posted in Wikipedia. While Topic Pages are often solicited by the editors, we also welcome new proposals and inquiries for editorial consideration. Proposals should address genetics-related topics that are of interest to the scientific community and wider general public, and that are not yet covered, or are currently under-developed, in Wikipedia.

Previously published Topic Pages can be found in the PLOS Collection for PLOS Genetics and PLOS Computational Biology. For more information, please read this blog post, and view this Author Guide for instructions on how to submit.

Email us with any questions or suggestions for ideas.


These articles serve primarily as a forum for the discussion of controversial, emerging, or topical issues in the field; occasionally, the discussion surrounds a challenge to findings in a published research article.

In some Viewpoints, an expert will cover all sides of a controversial topic in about 2,500 words, with a concise list of the most relevant references. In others, opinions or statements will be sought from two authors with different points of view – a point–counterpoint format. In the latter case, the usual format is for each author to express his or her opinion within 700 words, with one display item, if available, and a concise list of the most relevant references. Each piece will then be sent to the other participant(s), who may choose to respond briefly (~300 words) to the opposing position. Should the editor recruit a series of points of view (three or more), soliciting counterpoints will be at his or her discretion.

Opinion Pieces

The Opinion Pieces series is intended to provide a place for the expression of views on topical, emerging or controversial issues ranging from experimental science to those involving science and public-health policy, education and training. A successful Opinion Piece will make a compelling case for a particular point of view, but in doing so will be mindful of existing controversies or alternative views, and will make an effort to integrate these into the discussion. These articles should be no more than 2000 words in length, with a maximum of 3 figures and 100 references.

Genetically Thinking

The Genetically Thinking article series, which is by invitation only, will aim to serve as a platform for creative thinking and speculation, where luminaries can draw on their combined experience to discuss, in articles of around 3-4000 words, where they think they and their respective fields can go next. Please refer to the information elsewhere in the submission guidelines about the specifics of manuscript, figure, and table preparation. Email us​ if you are in any doubt about how our guidelines for the Genetically Thinking series differ from those for other articles.