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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.

Published peer-reviewed protocols 

A research protocol is a detailed study design or set of instructions for carrying out a specific experimental process or procedure.

Benefits of Published Protocols

Peer-review of protocols supports rigorous, high-quality research, while publication increases discoverability, supports reproducibility, and recognizes the importance of the scientific work. Articles published under an Open Access license are freely available for anyone, anywhere in the world to discover, read, distribute or reuse at no cost. For that reason, Open Access articles are more widely read than subscription research.

Improve your approach
Expert peer review feedback can help to refine and shape your protocol, promoting usability and efficiency.

Earn readers’ trust 
It’s difficult to reproduce results—or even confirm the question a study is designed to answer—based on a research article alone. Protocols show that you did what you set out to do, and how you went about it.

Expand your publication record 
Protocols take time and thought to develop; claim academic credit for your efforts through formal publication. 

Help you field move faster
Published protocols are discoverable and accessible, enabling other researchers to adapt and build upon your accomplishments.

Discover how publishing protocols helps increase research visibility

PLOS authors share how they have created more visibility and impact for their research with published Lab Protocols.

How reproducible is your research?

Take our self-assessment to see your reproducibility score.

Read more about published protocols

Submit your Lab and Study Protocols to PLOS ONE!

PLOS ONE’s array of publication options that push the boundaries of Open Science continues to expand. We’re happy to announce two new article types that improve reproducibility and transparency, and allow researchers to receive credit for their contributions to study design: Lab Protocols and Study Protocols.


Lab Protocols

PLOS ONE is committed to pushing the boundaries of Open Science by improving the reproducibility and transparency of scientific research. In collaboration with, Lab Protocols offer authors the opportunity to share their peer reviewed step-by-step protocols with the community whilst receiving credit for their contributions.

Discover your options for publishing protocols at PLOS

You devote countless hours to the development of a study design or research method. Each deserves more than a footnote. We invite you to submit your protocols for peer review and formal publication. Choose the publication option that best fits your research needs.

Study Protocols

Lab Protocols

Study protocols describe detailed plans and proposals for research projects that have not yet generated results. They consist of a single article in PLOS ONE that can be referenced in future papers.

Already common in the health sciences, sharing a study’s design and analysis plan before the research is carried out improves transparency and coordinates effort.

Lab protocols describe reusable methodologies in all fields of study. They consist of two interlinked components:

  1. A step-by-step protocol posted to, with access to specialized tools for communicating technical details, including reagents, measurements, and formulae.
  2. A peer-reviewed PLOS ONE article contextualizing the protocol, with sections discussing applications, limitations, expected results and sample datasets.

Learn more about the benefits of Open Science.   Open Science

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