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Your step-by-step guide to the submission form

Keep this page open for reference as you complete each task in the submission form. The form has 7 major sections, which are outlined below. 

After you provide the required information, Editorial Manager will compile your files into a PDF to send to the journal.

Sign in to the Editorial Manager, and click Submit New Manuscript

Not sure if you’re ready?
Check the submission requirements.

Waiting to hear back about an existing submission? 
Email the journal. To respond to a technical check request, follow the instructions in the email from PLOS.
Submission Steps

Article Type Selection

Follow the on-screen instructions to select the appropriate article type.

All primary research submissions are subject to the same publication criteria, but may require slightly different information in the submission form.

Attach Files

Upload the following submission files individually:

  • Cover letter
  • Manuscript (in DOC, DOCX, RTF, PDF)
  • Figures
  • Supporting information

Alternatively, you can submit all components in one PDF or text file for initial assessment.

For each file uploaded, choose the matching Item Type from the dropdown menu. Enter or edit the autofill description for each file in the Description field.

Figures

Upload figures in TIFF or EPS format, at a 300-600 ppi resolution, and not exceeding 10MB in size. Supporting information files are acceptable in any format.

Before you upload, use PACE to check that the figures meet our requirements.

LaTeX

Upload LaTex manuscripts in PDF format. If the article is accepted for publication, the .tex files will be required.

General Information

Category

Select one of the categories provided that most closely matches the research area discussed in the manuscript.

Keywords

Add keywords to help expedite processing of your manuscript (optional). You will not have an opportunity to make changes, so make sure to add concise, accurate keywords now.

Review Preferences

Provide the names of any Editors or reviewers who should not assess the submission, and give the reason for opposition. Make sure to clearly indicate if the individual is an Editor in the explanation. 

The editorial team will respect these requests as long as they do not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of the submission.

Additional Information

Required statements

Manuscripts submitted to PLOS must comply with PLOS’ standards for research practice and reporting, including data management, figure preparation, reproducibility, and reporting guidelines. Check the boxes to indicate that you have read and agree with the 5 required statements regarding PLOS Editorial and Publishing Policies:

Financial disclosure

Describe the sources of funding that supported the work, if any, and indicate whether they played a role at any point in the research or publication process. To draft the statement, consult the disclosure of funding sources policy and follow the in-system instructions.

This information will appear in the published article, if accepted. Ensure it is detailed and accurate.

Competing interests statement

Declare any author affiliations or relationships that could be viewed as potential competing interests. To draft the statement, consult the competing interests policy and follow the in-system instructions.

This information will appear in the published article, if accepted. Ensure it is detailed and accurate.

Copyrighted figures

If any of the images included in the submission fall under copyright or were adapted from images under copyright, provide the following additional details:

  • Image source
  • Permissions received from the copyright holder to publish under a CC BY license (CC0 for US Government employees)
  • Where the image appears in the manuscript and how it is used (e.g. visualized, reproduced)
  • For any adapted images, upload a copy of the original figure on the Attach Files screen

Dual publication

State whether any of the elements in the manuscript have been published or are under consideration for publication elsewhere. If yes, it is very important to provide full details in the event that the journal needs to consider copyright issues.

Calls for Papers and Collections

If you are submitting in response to a call for papers in a specific topic area, enter the title of the call in the space provided. Read more about current calls for papers.

Data availability statement

Use the following guidance to construct your Data Availability statement. This information will appear in the article if accepted. 

  • Confirm whether all data reported in the manuscript are publicly available. PLOS requires that authors deposit all reported data and related metadata underlying the study findings in an appropriate public repository unless already provided in the submission. See the data reporting guidelines.
  • Describe where the data can be found in full sentences. Use the in-system instructions to draft a suitable statement.
  • Check the boxes to specify if the data will be available in a repository upon acceptance or if you need journal assistance to make it available. Journal staff will follow up to help later on in the process.

Publication fees

Follow the in-system instructions to specify how payment will be handled if the manuscript is accepted for publication. If you have any questions, email the author billing department

Editors and reviewers have no access to payment information, therefore your ability to pay does not influence the decision to publish.

Authors seeking fee assistance must apply at submission, using the form in the submission system. Read more about publication fees and fee assistance options.

Preprint posting

Specify whether your manuscript is currently posted on a preprint server. If so, provide the DOI or identifier.

Group authors and consortia

If your author list includes a group author or consortium, provide the name here.

Comments

Enter any comments that you would like to send to the journal office. These comments will not be visible to Editors or reviewers or appear in the published article if accepted. 

If this manuscript has been returned to you with a request for corrections or clarifying information (e.g. about images under copyright, competing interests), provide a response here as directed in the email you received from the journal.

Manuscript Data

Editorial Manager will extract details from the manuscript to gather the following information. Verify that they’re correct, and fill in any missing details:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Author list (see instructions below)
  • Funding information

Author list

Enter each author’s name, email address, institutional affiliation, and contributions. Ensure authors are listed in the same order as in the manuscript.

Do not list group authors here. Provide the names of group authors and consortia in the manuscript and in the group author question on the Additional Information screen.

Corresponding author

The submitting author is automatically added to the author list and given the role of corresponding author in the submission system. If this author will not be available for an extended period of time, email PLOS Sustainability and Transformation.

You can designate different corresponding authors on the manuscript who will receive post-publication correspondence if the submission is accepted.

Change the corresponding author

To transfer the role to another author in the list, click the pencil icon next to the author’s name, and check This is the corresponding author.

Read more about designating corresponding authors and corresponding author responsibilities.

Send to PLOS

When you supply all requested information, click Build PDF for Approval on the final screen. The system will merge the submission files into a PDF for your review. Click Approve to send it to the journal. 

Congratulations! You’re done. You will receive a confirmation message with a manuscript number to track the submission’s progress.

Send it later...
If you’re not ready to send the file now, you can save it for later. To continue, sign into Editorial Manager and click Submissions Waiting for Author’s Approval on the main menu.

Revised Manuscripts

Submitting a revision? Read the instructions for revised manuscripts.

Help

Questions about the submission process? Email sustaintransform@plos.org.