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Editorial and Peer Review Process

Manuscript Status

Authors can check the status of a manuscript at any time in the submission system. Authors will also be notified by email when a decision is made.

Understanding manuscript statuses

Manuscript Submitted The journal has received the submission and is screening it for basic technical requirements. 
With Editor

The manuscript is under editorial consideration by one or more members of the Editorial Board prior to or following the completion of review.

Under Review The handling editor has begun to invite peer reviewers to evaluate the submission. 
Decision in Process

The handling editor has entered a decision but the decision has not yet been finalized by the senior editor and has not been sent to the authors. 

Criteria for Publication

To be considered for publication in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases​, any given manuscript must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Originality

  • Importance and relevance to researchers, practitioners, or policy makers in the field of NTDs

  • Interest for researchers or practitioners outside the field

  • Rigorous methodology with conclusions justified by the evidence presented

  • Adherence to the highest ethical standards

Editorial Process

Our aim is to provide all authors with an efficient, courteous, and constructive editorial process. To ensure the fairest and most objective decision-making, the editorial process is run as a partnership between the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Editors-in-Chief, the board of Deputy Editors, and a team of academic experts who act as Associate Editors. These individuals, all of whom are members of the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Editorial Board, are leaders in their fields and represent the full breadth of research on NTDs.

Submitted manuscripts are assigned to a Deputy Editor, who then assigns it to an appropriate Associate Editor. The Associate Editor promptly evaluates the paper and decides whether it is likely to meet the requirements of providing enough of an advance in a particular field and describing a sufficient body of work to support that claim. If so, the paper is sent out for peer review.

Presubmission inquiries

If you have submitted a presubmission inquiry, responses are normally provided within 48 hours. Responses may take longer if consultation between members of the Editorial Board is required.

If you are invited to submit your manuscript, we will do our best to provide an expeditious initial assessment of the complete manuscript for suitability and then, if warranted, external peer review.

Expert reviewers will be asked to assess the technical and scientific merits of the work. Where relevant, work presented in a manuscript will be subject to a rigorous review of the statistical methods used.

How are reviewers selected?
We decide on reviewers for a particular manuscript based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations of authors and Associate Editors, and the Deputy Editor's own knowledge of a reviewer.

Can authors exclude Associate Editors or reviewers?
Upon submission of a manuscript, authors will be asked if they wish to exclude any specific Associate Editors or reviewers from the peer review of their manuscript. The editorial team will respect these requests so long as this does not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of the manuscript. 

As a default, reviewer's names are not included along with their comments to authors, but PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases does encourage open (non-anonymous) peer-review.

Read the guidelines for editors.

Read the guidelines for reviewers for PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Visit the PLOS Reviewer Center for guidance on completing a peer review.

Once all reviews have been received and considered by the Deputy and Associate Editors, a decision letter to the author will be drafted.

There are several types of decisions possible:

  • Accept without revision
  • Minor revision
  • Major revision
  • Reject, typically because the paper does not meet the criteria for publication outlined above

Anonymity

Reviewers are anonymous by default. Reviewers’ identities are not revealed to authors or to other reviewers unless reviewers specifically request to be identified by signing their names at the end of their comments.

In most cases, editors remain anonymous to authors until the first decision letter is issued. The Associate Editor’s name is also indicated in the published article.

The names of the authors are not anonymous to reviewers or editors during review so that they can assess potential conflicts of interest.

Revisions

If you have received a revise decision, read the guidelines for revising your manuscript.

Transferring to Other Journals

Authors can request that submissions (with referee reports, if relevant) rejected from one PLOS journal be transferred to another PLOS journal for further consideration there. Manuscripts will never be transferred between the journals without an author’s consent.

If, after peer review, the editors consider that a manuscript is scientifically sound, but does not meet PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases’s criteria for novelty and impact, authors may be offered the opportunity to transfer their submission directly to PLOS ONE for acceptance with or without minor revisions. This service is intended to reduce the time to acceptance by eliminating the need for further rounds of review.

We trust that reviewers for any PLOS journal are willing to have their reviews considered by the editors of another PLOS journal. 

Appeals

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases encourages input from all community members regarding editorial and publishing policy. However, appeals of manuscript decisions must be:

  • limited to the specific manuscript in question

  • made only by the corresponding author

  • emailed to plosntds@plos.org

We do not consider appeals by telephone or other informal means.

Appeals will only be considered when a reviewer or editor is thought to have made a significant factual error or when his/her objectivity is compromised by a documented competing interest, and when a reversal based on either of these grounds would change the original decision. The journal staff will ask for confirmation of the reason(s) in the first instance.

If the authors proceed, the original editor(s) will usually be asked to consider the appeal. Additional editorial board members may also be consulted. The editors will try to handle an appeal expeditiously; however, each appeal is unique and the journal cannot guarantee the turnaround time or the outcome.

Appeals of decisions made before review will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Appeals of decisions noted as final will not be considered.

If an appeal is accepted, the manuscript must be resubmitted within four weeks of the appeal acceptance notification. Please contact the journal office at plosntds@plos.org with any questions.

Accepted Manuscripts

If your manuscript has been accepted, read about what to expect and how you can expedite the publication process.

Contact

If you have questions at any stage in the process, please email us.

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