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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

Why publish with PLOS Biology?

Authors who publish with PLOS Biology benefit from policies and tools that empower them to publish as they discover without compromising quality. Our editorial assessment and article types reflect the process of scientific inquiry, enabling researchers to more fully and accurately represent their science.

Top Author Benefits

PLOS Biology offers a collective action publishing model (CAP) designed to more equitably distribute the costs of publishing among a broad community of institutions. Authors from institutions that are members of CAP or from Research4Life countries can publish with PLOS Biology without author fees; other authors pay very competitive fees. Our ultimate goal is to free authors of publication fees altogether. 

On average, authors receive an initial decision within 6 days and peer review takes an average of 42 days.

Researchers submitting to PLOS Biology have the option to “easy submit” a PDF of their manuscript without formatting, a process that takes as little as 10 minutes in our submission system. Full submission metadata are only requested should editors decide to send the work for peer review. 

Although originality is an important  criterion for studies published in PLOS Biology, we depressurize the publication process for researchers by accepting submissions that confirm, extend, or are complementary to findings published in the 6 months before submission. 

In order to save authors and reviewers time, we consider manuscripts that have been peer-reviewed at other journals, if submitted to us with existing reviewer reports, as well as studies assessed in platforms such as Review Commons, or Peer Community In. Our academic editors arbitrate existing reviewer reports to minimize the need for further review and speed up the process to potential publication.

Authors can submit preprints at the click of a button or ask the journal to deposit a preprint of the work on their behalf.

Our range of research article types reflect and accompany the research process, allowing authors flexibility to choose the best publication option for their study no matter where they are in the discovery research process. From Preregistration to Discovery Reports and Update Articles, authors have options in how best to share their science. Explore our full suite of research article types.

Our professional staff editors and Editorial Board members collaborate on every manuscript to combine efficient handling with specific, expert feedback and objective review. Academic editors arbitrate reviewer reports and often make decisions on revisions directly without full re-review. Each manuscript stays with a single staff editor from start to finish. 

Open data, code, and protocols help ensure work remains replicable, while contextualized peer review and the option to publish peer review history provide additional expert insight into the evaluation of research and the rationale behind publication decisions.

Published, research is immediately open for everyone to see, cite, share and build upon. Our dedicated press team helps boost the impact of research with additional media coverage.

What We Publish

Scope of the journal

PLOS Biology publishes studies of exceptional significance, originality, and relevance in all areas of biological science and at every scale; from molecules to ecosystems, including works at the interface of other disciplines. We also welcome data-driven meta-research articles that evaluate and aim to improve the standards of research in the life sciences and beyond.

Quality defined by the research question

Scientific discovery begins with interesting research questions and scientific publication should reflect this process. Our initial editorial assessment places the emphasis on the research question being asked, the approach undertaken and the quality of execution, rather than on the perceived importance of the final results.

How We Publish

Aside from current publication fees, PLOS Biology authors may qualify for one of our publication fee-alternative models. Current PLOS Biology publication fees and funding support information can be found here. In addition, we offer Community Action Publishing (CAP), learn more about this new publication model below.

What is Community Action Publishing?

We are on a mission to make selective Open Access publishing more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable for authors. PLOS Biology now offers a collective action publishing model designed to more equitably distribute the cost of publishing among a broad community of institutions. Our ultimate goal is to free authors of publication fees who belong to participating institutions. Find out how institutions can sign up and provide fee-free publishing to their researchers.

Have questions or need assistance sharing information about PLOS Biology with your research communities? Please contact plosbiology@plos.org

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