Introducing the New PLOS Video Shorts

In 2011, PLOS ONE launched a series of short instructional videos to help our authors, reviewers, and Academic Editors navigate Editorial Manager, our online submission system. We recently updated and expanded these video shorts to provide a resource for PLOS authors, … Continue reading »

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Ask EveryONE: Corrections

My paper was recently published in PLOS ONE, but I’ve noticed an error. Can it be corrected?

PLOS ONE corrects major errors found in published articles via the addition of a Formal Correction to the paper. Formal Corrections are reserved for errors that significantly affect the understanding or utility of the paper.  In addition to being published on the PLOS ONE website, corrections are also indexed in PubMed Central and PubMed.

When a paper has been corrected, a correction notice will appear in a gray box at the top of the article page.  A CrossMark logo now appears on every PLOS article page and in the downloadable PDF; clicking the logo on a corrected article’s page will bring up a status box showing that the paper has been corrected.

To see the full correction, click the “View correction” link in the gray box.  This will direct you to a page with the full correction details, including any updated figures, tables, or supporting information, along with a PDF version of the correction notice available for download.  An example of a correction notice on the original article is shown below.

corrections image 1

Example of a Formal Correction notice (click to enlarge)

If you notice an error in your published paper, you should contact our corrections team at  Please include the title and DOI of your paper; a description of the problem; and any corrected figures, tables, or supporting information files. PLOS staff will decide whether a Formal Correction is appropriate and will work with you to publish a correction as quickly as possible.

If there is an error in one of your figures, tables, or supporting information files, the corrected items will be included in the Formal Correction. An example of a Formal Correction is shown below.

corrections image2Example of a Formal Correction (click to enlarge)

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Winter Service Update


As we head into winter and as the holiday festivities begin, we wanted to let our authors know in advance that they may experience a slight delay in the peer review process of their manuscript if they submit anytime between now and the end of the year. This is because many of our academic editors and external referees will be out of the office at some point during the holiday season.

Despite many people being on vacation, the work of the journal continues and so we will endeavor to ensure that all manuscripts submitted to PLOS ONE are evaluated as quickly as possible, but please accept our advance apologies for any delays you experience.

In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the following links for information and answers to some of our common questions. For anything not covered here, please contact us at and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Image: Emily’s Snowman Cookies by Ralph Daily

Winter Service Update

Happy holidays from the staff at PLOS ONE!

As we are well into the winter months, we wanted to take this opportunity to notify our authors that there may be a slight delay in the review of their manuscript if they submit anytime between now and the end of January. This is because many of our editorial board members and reviewers are away from the office for the holidays and/or travel. Please rest assured that we will do our utmost to process your manuscript in a timely manner, but be aware that historically we have experienced some delays during the winter holidays. We will endeavor to ensure that all manuscripts submitted to PLOS ONE are evaluated as quickly as possible, but please accept our apologies in advance if you experience any delays.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us via the PLOS ONE inbox ( and, between our offices in the UK and the US, we will reply as quickly as possible. However, in the meantime, you may wish to visit some of the following pages, which may help to answer your question:

Ask EveryONE: Where can I find Supporting Information in a manuscript?

If you’ve just created a manuscript in Editorial Manager and you’re reviewing it before submitting to the PLoS ONE office, or if you’re a reviewer or Academic Editor providing feedback on a paper, you may be asking yourself the above question.

You can access all supporting information at the end of a manuscript through the hyperlinks at the top of the page. It will look something like this:

Our submission system is designed to create these hyperlinks because most often, the kind of data in a supporting information file is quite large, making it far too cumbersome to embed directly into the pdf.

For answers to other questions you may have, visit our Most Common Questions page.  As always, if you still have questions, please don’t hesitate emailing us directly at

Ask EveryONE: Self Help Edition

A few features deserve some recognition this week on Ask EveryONE.

First off, the Manuscript Guidelines, Publication Criteria and Editorial Policies pages on have been revamped to include much more information in a much more searchable format. Finding the answer to a pre-submission inquiry, peer review question or tech check notification should be significantly simpler now that the information is updated and easier to navigate.

Second, a reminder to use the PLoS ONE Video Shorts. These were created by Editorial Staff to assist authors, Academic Editors and reviewers in navigating Editorial Manager and responding to Editorial requests. These videos are all under 3 minutes long and can help answer a variety of questions from How to Check Your Manuscript Image Quality, to How to Submit your Decision to How to Accept or Decline an Invitation to Review a Manuscript and more.

Lastly, we encourage you to use the links above and others on this site and for the fastest solution to most queries but if necessary, don’t hesitate to contact the Editorial Staff at Any questions for manuscripts that are in production or have been published should be directed to the Production Staff at

Ask everyONE: Why does my corrected article show up twice in PubMed?

After my paper was published, I discovered an error and contacted PLoS ONE to have it fixed. Now my paper shows up twice in PubMed. Is this a mistake?

If your paper had a formal correction, then this is not a mistake: your paper will be listed on PubMed twice.


In short: it’s because the formal correction counts as a different publication. On the PLoS ONE journal site, the correction of the error will be integrated into the original article and this correction will be announced via text in a red box at the top of the article page; however, in PubMed, the original article and the corrected are listed separately.

In more detail: if a published paper contains a major error, we issue a formal correction to fix that error, and the formal correction has its own DOI, or Date of Original Issue, from PLoS ONE.  The formal correction then receives its own, separate entry in PubMed in order to link to the original document. The corrected entry will contain the word “correction” in its title, while the original will not. PubMed mandates that the original and the correction must both be entered in its database, as you can see here.

Please note that your corrected paper will show up only once in PMC (PubMed central), because the correction will be embedded in the PMC entry.

If you discover an error after publication and you feel that it’s important that your paper be listed only once in PubMed, you have two options. First, you can request that PLoS issue a minor correction, which will appear only on the manuscript page and not on PubMed; alternatively, you can request a republication, although this option is only available to you if you catch the error 48 hours or less after the date of publication in PLoS ONE. An important proviso: it’s ultimately up to the PLoS Publication department to decide what type of correction to issue, so please understand that while we will do our best to accommodate your requests, we’ll also need to keep journal policies and procedures in mind.

As you can see, the corrections process is a little on the complex side, even if you have a PhD like many members of the PLoS community do! Since PLoS ONE doesn’t have an author proofing step, let me put in a plug here to remind you to double-, triple-, and quadruple-check your paper before you approve it for publication.

Ask everyONE: Post-acceptance queries

Frequently, authors will email our editorial team to ask what they need to do after their paper has been accepted by PLoS ONE, especially if they want to verify their figure quality or fix some minor typos before publication.  Here is the most common query that I come across:

Now that my paper has been accepted by PLoS ONE, what actions do I need to take going forwards, who should I contact if I have any questions, and how long until my paper will appear online?


Congratulations on your acceptance with PLoS ONE!  Shortly after the Academic Editor sends the Accept decision letter through our Editorial Manager system, our production staff will initiate general quality checks.  You do not need to take any action at this point.  In fact, we would recommend holding off asking any questions regarding your paper until the ONE production team emails the corresponding author with further instructions on how to proceed.  This letter to the corresponding author is usually sent within a week, and it will specifically address whether there are any problems with the manuscript’s formatting or figure files and what steps you need to take going forwards towards publication.

In rare cases, a paper will not need further formatting changes. If you do not receive a letter a week after acceptance, and you have minor edits such as correcting typos, please send an email to

Commonly, authors are concerned about their figure files because they receive Artwork Quality warnings or failure messages.  Please realize that you do not need to pay any attention to these messages.  In general, the main requirements are as follows:

  1. Should be a .tif or .eps file
  2. The resolution should be between 300 and 600 dpi/ppi
  3. The file size should be under 10 MB. Try LZW compression if your figure is larger than 10 MB.
  4. The figure should be saved in RGB color mode.
  5. The print size should be between 83 mm and 173 mm wide.
  6. Each figure should have clearly legible lines and text.

After you have read the email sent by our production team to the corresponding author of your paper thoroughly, please feel free to email any further questions or concerns to  After acceptance, all inquiries should be sent to this address.

It is very important to note that PLoS ONE does not provide author proofs.  When the production team sends their requests letter to the corresponding author, you should use the opportunity to make sure everything in the manuscript is ready to publish including that all legends for figures match the images.  Again, this will be your last chance to see your files before publication.

On average, it takes about a month after a submission has been accepted through peer-review to be published online.  However, please realize that this time-frame varies greatly for each paper and it heavily relies on an author’s timely response.  To learn more about the timeline for your paper to be picked up by Pub Med Central and indexed by PubMed please read this post.

Again, congratulations on your acceptance, and remember to wait for our capable production team to send their requests letter before taking any action.  They will let you know if there are any technical problems with your paper including issues with formatting or figure quality.

Ask EveryONE: Publishing New Species Papers at PLoS ONE

For about a year now, I have been monitoring new species submissions for PLoS ONE and this question frequently comes up:

Does PLoS ONE formally publish new species papers that are recognized by the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN)?

Absolutely! Every month, PLoS ONE publishes several new species papers that describe a variety of new animal, plant, and fungi taxons.  As many authors in the zoological and botanical communities know, the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) and International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) require new species articles to be published in a durable (i.e. paper) medium in addition to any electronic medium.

PLoS ONE has worked closely with the ICZN and ICBN to establish a protocol where new species papers published in our electronic only journal can be formally recognized by these two institutions.  You can read more about this process at or by visiting our author guidelines at

If you are an author and are thinking about submitting a new species paper to PLoS ONE, please read our new species guidelines online before you submit.  However, please note that our process for managing new animal and plant species does not apply to bacteria, viruses, algae, or re-classifying species within existing taxonomy.  Authors will need to adhere to their institutions’ specific guidelines for these new species articles.

How to Use PLoS’s Advanced Search Function

This post was written by Michael Morris. Michael is a Publications Assistant for PLoS Medicine with a Master of Library Science degree. His previous experience in the library field led to an interest in information literacy and instruction. The following piece was posted on Speaking of Medicine yesterday.

At PLoS, we’re dedicated to the tenet of Open Access, making academic literature widely available on the web. However, with an ever-growing pool of scientific literature, our goals have to consider not only making content available, but also accessible. With the breadth of articles we aggregate, you need a strong tool to find the specific information you want. Our authors have published on methods to get the most out of search engine queries and even how search engine data can yield its own important results. To help our users navigate the sea of information PLoS publishes daily, we introduced an Advanced Search function with a broad range of filters.

When searching for PLoS articles, the standard search bar at the top of the page will return all results where the term has been mentioned throughout the entire article (see Figure 1). While this is good for very specific searches, a search for a term like “influenza” will yield over 2,000 results across the PLoS journals. This is where the Advanced Search’s filtering system comes in handy.

Figure 1

Advanced Search

Advanced Search provides multiple filters for results by limiting what field you’re searching (Title, Abstract, Author Name, etc). Using the pull-down menu (Figure 2), you can search for your term in the Title or Abstract of the article, which makes it more likely that the article is focused on that subject. You can also search for specific authors, editors or author affiliations. This allows you to find papers published or edited by your colleagues or researchers at a specific institution.

You can make your search more targeted and powerful but using the search box to combine these different searches using the qualifiers AND, OR or NOT, limiting the search results further. For example, you can shorten the results by saying you want articles that mention “influenza” in the abstract, but NOT “vaccine.”

Figure 2

Advanced Filters

Below the search block is a series of filters that allows you to limit your results further: Journal, Subject Category and Article Type (Figure 3). This allows you to filter the search results down to specific PLoS journals, or a subject area you are studying (e.g., Genetics of Disease or Systems Biology) or down to a particular article type, like Research Articles or Editorials.

Figure 3

Sorting Results

After performing the search, you can sort the results using an additional drop-down menu, found at the top of the search results. “Relevance” is the default setting, but you can also sort by Most Viewed, which will yield the most popular article by page views meeting your search criteria, and Date—so you see the newest items that have published since the last time you performed your keyword search.

Related to the sorting types, each search result features links its Views, Citations and Bookmarks. Hovering over these links provides a breakdown of each statistic. Views will be broken down to the number of views in each format (HTML, XML and PDF) and Citations will break down by databases the citations are listed in (e.g., PubMed Central or Web of Science®) (Figure 4).

Figure 4

In addition to publishing the highest quality scientific research, PLoS is dedicated to making our content accessible to our audience. Our team is always working to find new ways to assist the readers of our journals, and we hope that our Advanced Search will get you the information that you seek.

Ask EveryONE: How to submit an appeal request

This post is by Nicholas Ellinwood, who has worked with PLoS ONE since last year. He is a Publications Assistant who focuses on assigning Academic Editors to appropriate manuscripts, managing email queries and handling our new species papers.

Can I formally appeal a final decision on my paper if I believe my paper satisfies all of PLoS ONE’s acceptance criteria?

Although PLoS ONE does not approve all appeal requests, if you feel that your paper was Rejected due to considerations outside of PLoS ONE’s acceptance criteria, then you can submit a formal appeal request to the PLoS ONE staff by emailing and including a point-by-point response to all of the reviewers comments and a detailed rebuttal letter explaining why you think your paper is publishable.

Our internal editors thoroughly review all rebuttal letters, and we do grant appeal requests if we think your paper would benefit from a re-review.

The peer-review process for an appeal is typically much longer than a normal submission because of the complexity of the manuscript’s history.  Also, we require two Academic Editors to evaluate all appeals and to jointly co-sign the decision letters.

PLoS ONE closely monitors the appeals that it accepts, and will mediate between a disagreement between the two Academic Editors assigned to the resubmission if necessary.

Before you submit an appeal request, remember that PLoS ONE requires all research articles to fulfill the following acceptance criteria:

1. The study presents the results of primary scientific research.

2. Results reported have not been published elsewhere.

3. Experiments, statistics, and other analyses are performed to a high technical standard and are described in sufficient detail.

4. Conclusions are presented in an appropriate fashion and are supported by the data.

5. The article is presented in an intelligible fashion and is written in standard English.

6. The research meets all applicable standards for the ethics of experimentation and research integrity.

7. The article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for data availability.