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The Academic Editor Role at PLOS ONE

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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 science and medicine, 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 publication criteria, 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 two or more reviewers on manuscripts that are suitable for review
  • Submit a decision within four days of receipt of the complete reviews
  • Adhere to editorial best practices to maintain the highest standards of editorial integrity, confidentiality, and impartiality


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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