By making connections through the application of computational methods among disparate areas of biology, PLOS Computational Biology provides substantial new insight into living systems at all scales, from the nano to the macro, and across multiple disciplines, from molecular science, neuroscience and physiology to ecology and population biology.
PLOS Computational Biology features works of exceptional significance that further our understanding of living systems at all scales—from molecules and cells, to patient populations and ecosystems—through the application of computational methods. Readers include life and computational scientists, who can take the important findings presented here to the next level of discovery.
Research articles must be declared as belonging to a relevant section. More information about the sections can be found in the submission guidelines.
Research articles should model aspects of biological systems, demonstrate both methodological and scientific novelty, and provide profound new biological insights.
Generally, reliability and significance of biological discovery through computation should be validated and enriched by experimental studies. Inclusion of experimental validation is not required for publication, but should be referenced where possible. Inclusion of experimental validation of a modest biological discovery through computation does not render a manuscript suitable for PLOS Computational Biology.
Research articles specifically designated as Methods papers should describe outstanding methods of exceptional importance that have been shown, or have the promise to provide new biological insights. The method must already be widely adopted, or have the promise of wide adoption by a broad community of users. Enhancements to existing published methods will only be considered if those enhancements bring exceptional new capabilities.
For all submissions, authors must clearly provide detail, data, code, and software to ensure readers' ability to reproduce the models, methods, and results.
- Outstanding primary research articles on all aspects of computational biology applied to different and integrated biological scales, from molecules and cells to patient populations and ecosystems.
Invited and submitted reviews and perspectives on topics of broad interest to the readership.
Historical reviews and high-quality tutorials (including multimedia presentations) teaching important concepts in the field of computational biology.
Software articles describing outstanding open source software of exceptional importance that has been shown to provide new biological insights.
To be considered for publication in PLOS Computational Biology, any given manuscript must satisfy the following criteria:
High importance to researchers in the field
Significant biological and/or methodological insight
- Substantial evidence for its conclusions
Scientists commonly refer to research as “scooped” when independent groups working on the same topic reach similar conclusions and one group publishes the results first. Although originality is one criterion for studies published in PLOS Computational Biology, “scooped” manuscripts that confirm, replicate, extend, or are complementary to a recently published, significant advance are still eligible for consideration in PLOS Computational Biology. The complementary manuscript must present equally or more rigorous findings than the published study and any submission must also meet the criteria for publication listed above. Authors of the complementary work have six months after the first article’s publication date to submit their manuscript to PLOS Computational Biology. Studies must be performed comprehensively, and preliminary placeholder studies will not be considered.
PLOS Computational Biology is run by an international Editorial Board, headed by the Editors-in-Chief, Feilim Mac Gabhann (John Hopkins Universitym Baltimore, MD, USA) and Jason Papin (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA).
PLOS employs several business models to support equitable Open Access. A full list of our publication fees, funding initiatives and fee assistance information is available here.
PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to works we publish. 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. Learn more.
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.
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