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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.


The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scientific research are evaluated.

PLOS is a signatory of DORA and pledges to follow the five DORA guidelines for publishers:

1. Greatly reduce emphasis on the journal impact factor as a promotional tool, ideally by ceasing to promote the impact factor or by presenting the metric in the context of a variety of journal-based metrics (e.g., 5-year impact factor, EigenFactor, SCImago, h-index, editorial and publication times) that provide a richer view of journal performance
  • PLOS does not promote Journal Impact Factors (JIF)—we do not include that metric on our website, in promotional emails, brochures or other marketing materials.
  • The de-emphasis of JIF is not a new or reactionary position for PLOS. We have been publicly fighting the inappropriate uses of JIFs for years; for a few examples of our position see this 2006 PLOS Medicine Editorial, this 2009 EveryONE blog post and more recents posts in 2016 and 2017 on The Official PLOS Blog.
  • PLOS will provide the metric to individuals when specifically requested by phone or email, or in conversation at our booth at scientific meetings. When providing the JIF we will suggest other metrics (like Article-Level Metrics) that are better tools for evaluating research.
2. Make available a range of article-level metrics to encourage a shift toward assessment based on the scientific content of an article rather than publication metrics of the journal in which it was published.
  • PLOS introduced Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) in 2009 and we have been an industry leader in advocating for these and other article-specific measures of research influence and value. 
  • PLOS ALMs include article views and PDF downloads (from PLOS and PubMed Central), social media mentions on Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Wikipedia and Reddit; saved bookmarks on Mendeley and CiteULike and citations as tracked by Crossref, Scopus, Web of Science, Datacite, PubMed Central and Europe PMC.
3. Encourage responsible authorship practices and the provision of information about the specific contributions of each author.
  • PLOS is one of the first publishers to adopt the Contributor Roles Taxonomy of author contributions, also known as CRediT
  • The CRediT terms are human- and machine-read able expressions of contributor roles and are published in the final article. More information about CRediT can be found on the CASRAI website
4. Whether a journal is open-access or subscription-based, remove all reuse limitations on reference lists in research articles and make them available under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication.
  • PLOS reference lists have always been freely available and are published under a CC BY licensing agreement for individual articles.
  • PLOS is a founding participant in the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). Machine-readable citations are delivered to Crossref upon publication and are available free to all without restriction of access or use.
5. Remove or reduce the constraints on the number of references in research articles, and, where appropriate, mandate the citation of primary literature in favor of reviews in order to give credit to the group(s) who first reported a finding.
  • PLOS journals do not have a limit to the number of references that can be included in a research article.
  • In literature reviews, we encourage authors to cite the original source of discoveries as opposed to review articles.
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