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The Academic Editor Role

The Academic Editor Role

Apply to join the Editorial Board

List of Editorial Board Members

Resources for editors

Resources for Editors


PLOS ONE Academic Editors form an international Editorial Board of active researchers who ensure that innovative, rigorously conducted research submitted to the journal is made available as soon as possible and without restriction.

As experts in the fields of research they serve, our editors voice the needs of their community and are active participants in scholarly communication discussions around open access, open data, open science, and peer review.

Our Board is...

  • Committed to PLOS ONE’s mission to publish rigorous research from all disciplines within sciences, medical research, and engineering, as well as the related social sciences and humanities, regardless of perceived novelty or impact
  • Open to innovation in scholarly publishing and the dissemination of scientific communications to meet the community’s changing needs
  • Engaged with their scientific communities and, in service to those groups, mindful of the author and reviewer experiences at PLOS ONE
  • Eager to contribute ideas and lend their expertise to help shape journal goals, policies, and development


Editorial Board Values

We aim to provide fast, fair, and objective scientific assessment of research articles. Our editorial philosophy is built on four key values:

Scientific Rigor and Objectivity
We believe submitted research articles should be evaluated on technical rigor, not on perceived novelty, impact, or “journal fit.” We believe that the research community determines the value of the work based on what we read, download, cite, and share.

Openness and Transparency
We publish all articles at PLOS under a CC BY license, and authors are required to make the data underlying their findings fully available. Anyone may read, reuse, remix, or mine PLOS publications or data for any purpose, with author attribution. 

We are committed to upholding the highest standards in human and animal research ethics, and in publication ethics. We play an active role in shaping journal policies.

We accelerate the rate of research communication and dissemination, as well as scientific innovation by reducing “journal shopping” and overall time from first submission to publication. We also aim to reduce wasted time researchers spend repeating the work of other research groups.


Academic Editor Responsibilities

Our Academic Editors oversee the peer review process from beginning to end, taking responsibility for conducting an initial assessment based on the PLOS ONE Criteria for Publication, finding and inviting reviewers, evaluating their feedback, making editorial decisions, and communicating decisions to authors. Academic Editors play an active role in the community, and are highly engaged as representatives of PLOS ONE.

To ensure an efficient peer review process for our authors, our Academic Editors strive to:

  • Agree to handle one to two new manuscript assignments per month 
  • Handle each manuscript assignment from first assessment to final decision
  • Respond to manuscript invitations (Accept or Decline) within two days
  • Assess whether the manuscript is suitable for peer review within four days of agreeing to the invitation
  • Secure at least one reviewer on manuscripts that are suitable for review
  • Submit a decision within four days of receipt of the complete reviews
  • Adhere to Editorial and Publishing Policies


Academic Editor Criteria

Academic Editors for PLOS ONE ...

  • are active researchers
  • have a strong publication record of 10 or more peer-reviewed articles
  • have senior or corresponding authorship publications
  • have enough room in their professional schedule to accomodate handling one or two manuscripts per month
  • have reliable internet access to conduct editorial responsibilites in a timely manner



Our editors are ambassadors for their journal and for PLOS, empowered to use their expertise to spread awareness of the journal, our mission, and values in the global research community; forge inclusive relationships; guide and encourage a diverse group of prospective and current contributors; reflect community needs; and increase goodwill.


Code of Conduct

In addition to these role expectations, all editors adhere to PLOS’s Code of Conduct for Editorial Board Members.

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