An influential venue for research and commentary on the major challenges to human health worldwide, PLOS Medicine publishes articles of general interest on biomedical, environmental, social and political determinants of health. The journal emphasizes work that advances clinical practice, health policy or pathophysiological understanding to benefit health in a variety of settings.
PLOS Medicine is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in medical publishing, including the management and disclosure of conflicts of interest in reporting, review, and publication; transparency in the review and publication process; data sharing and reuse of work; authors' retention of copyright; Open Access publication with no restrictions on availability and dissemination; and avoiding the conflicts of interest presented by advertising for drugs and medical devices and exclusive sale of reprints.
PLOS Medicine publishes articles relevant to clinicians, policymakers, and researchers across a range of settings that address the major biological, environmental, social, and political determinants of health. The editors make decisions on submissions based upon their potential to directly and substantially inform clinical practice or health policy, and their relevance to our international audience.
Articles given highest priority for publication are those that address conditions or risk factors that cause the greatest losses in years of healthy life and quality of life worldwide.
PLOS Medicine also seeks to publish articles in the area of translational medicine that provide substantial, novel mechanistic insights into disease processes, with potential implications for clinical care. Additionally PLOS Medicine considers articles on topics relating to the integrity and ethics of the research enterprise; the practice of medicine; and the application of research to practice to fall within its scope.
- Outstanding research articles in all areas of medicine and health, involving methodologies that may include clinical trials, systematic reviews/meta-analyses, epidemiology, diagnostic testing, predictive and explanatory modeling, cost-effectiveness research, qualitative studies, and clinically-focused translational research.
- Editorials are written by the PLOS Medicine editors on topics of general medical interest or journal policy.
- Perspectives are commissioned from an expert to discuss the clinical practice or public health implications of a study.
- The Health in Action section focuses on innovative health improvement projects, often written by groups or individuals who are not represented regularly in medical journals, such as health activists, non-governmental organizations, or researchers in low income settings.
- The Policy Forum section provides a platform for health policymakers from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities in improving health care to their constituencies.
- The Guidelines and Guidance section contains advice on conducting and reporting medical research.
- Essays are opinion pieces on topics of broad interest to a general medical audience.
PLOS Medicine is highly selective; approximately 3% of presubmission inquiries ultimately progress to published articles. As of early 2017, PLOS Medicine invited full submissions from about 20% of presubmission inquiries and published approximately 15% of full submissions as research articles. For manuscripts taken forward for in-depth consideration, PLOS Medicine applies rigorous editorial and peer review overseen by a team of professional editors and, in the case of research articles, an independent academic editor expert in the field.
In addition to being ethically conducted and scientifically valid, research published in PLOS Medicine should fulfill each of the following criteria:
- The research question is an important one to the community of researchers in this general area.
- The results provide a substantial advance over existing knowledge, with clear implications for patient care, public policy, or clinical research agendas.
- Published together with an Author Summary written for general readers, the article is of interest to clinicians and policymakers who are not specialists in this topic.
PLOS Medicine encourages researchers to share early versions of their manuscripts via preprint server, either before or after submission; posting to a preprint server will not preclude consideration of your manuscript.
To support a constructive review process and objective decision making, PLOS Medicine's professional staff editors work in partnership with a distinguished international Editorial Board, including a panel of Specialty Consulting Editors with expertise in priority research topics.
The PLOS Medicine editors are paid a fixed salary (in particular, their salary is not linked to the number of articles published in the journal). Editors are required to declare all relevant competing interests and do not participate in the review of any submission for which they have a competing interest. Read the editors’ competing interests declarations.
PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works we publish. This license was developed to facilitate open access – namely, free immediate access to, and unrestricted reuse of, original works of all types.
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. Read PLOS’ licenses and copyright policy.
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.
PLOS Medicine publication fees are US$3000 per manuscript and will be billed upon acceptance. Authors’ ability to pay publication fees will never be a consideration in the decision whether to publish. Read more about publication fees and publication fee support.
See publishing details for all PLOS journal titles, including ISSN and indexing and archiving information.
PLOS (Public Library of Science) publishes a suite of influential journals from all areas of science and medicine that contain rigorously reported, peer-reviewed Open Access research articles. The journals vary in their criteria for publication and, with the exception of PLOS ONE, also publish a variety of influential and educational non-research content. The journals are editorially independent. Read more about the PLOS suite of journals.
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