PLOS Pathogens (eISSN 1553-7374, ISSN 1553-7366) is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published monthly by PLOS, a nonprofit organization.
PLOS Pathogens is run by an international Editorial Board, headed by Editors-in-Chief, Kasturi Haldar (University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA) and Grant McFadden (University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA).
Bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions and viruses cause a plethora of diseases that have important medical, agricultural, and economic consequences. Moreover, the study of microbes continues to provide novel insights into such fundamental processes as the molecular basis of cellular and organismal function.
PLOS Pathogens reflects the full breadth of research in these areas by publishing outstanding original articles that significantly advance the understanding of pathogens and how they interact with their host organisms. Topics include (but are not limited to) adaptive and innate immune defenses as well as pathogen countermeasures, emerging pathogens, evolution, genomics and gene regulation, model host organisms, pathogen-cell biology, pathogenesis, prions, proteomics and signal transduction, rational vaccine design, structural biology, and virulence factors.
The journal will not consider purely descriptive studies, such as those that solely identify a new genomic sequence of a related pathogen or a series of related pathogens, the isolation of pathogen variants, or a new strain or type based only on sequence analysis or correlative studies of host and pathogen genotypes.
In most cases, functional predictions or inferences based on genome sequence analysis will also require additional experimental validation that directly tests the prediction/inference and yields novel conclusions about mechanistic models or pathogenesis. Instances where inferences about potential functions can be supported by association studies of genotype-phenotype combined with existing functional data, may also be appropriate, pending approval by the editors.
We encourage authors to submit a presubmission inquiry to determine whether a given study might fit these guidelines. Genomics submissions may go through an initial consultation by our Genomics Editors, in order to ensure our criteria are applied evenly across the journal. The committee membership can be accessed here.
Please refer to our Author Guidelines when you are preparing your manuscripts for submission. If you are unsure whether your paper is suitable for PLOS Pathogens, you can send a Presubmission Inquiry.
PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to all works we publish. Under the CC BY license, authors retain ownership of the copyright for their article, but authors allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy articles in PLOS journals, so long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.
To provide Open Access, PLOS uses a business model to offset expenses—including those of peer review management, journal production and online hosting and archiving—by charging a publication fee to the authors, institutions or funders for each article published.
Publication fees vary by journal and are payable for articles upon acceptance.
PLOS believes that lack of funds should not be a barrier to Open Access publication. Since its inception, PLOS has provided individual fee support and institutional fee support programs. The current offering includes:
PLOS Global Participation Initiative (Low- and Middle-Income Country Assistance)
Authors' research which is funded primarily (50% or more of the work contained within the article) by an institution or organization from eligible low- and middle-income countries will receive partial (group 2 countries) or full (group 1 countries) fee funding paid by the PLOS Global Participation Initiative (GPI). Group 2 PLOS GPI country authors who need to request additional support should apply for PLOS Publication Fee Assistance instead of the PLOS GPI.
PLOS Publication Fee Assistance (PFA)
Publication Fee Assistance is intended for authors who demonstrate financial need. Information about an applicant's application status for fee assistance will not be disclosed to journal editors or reviewers. PLOS publication decisions will continue to be based solely on editorial criteria.
PLOS Institutional Fee Support Program
PLOS currently offers an institutional program to support Open Access scientific publishing. Participating institutions have arrangements with PLOS to administer payment for full publication fees for their institutions' authors. To be eligible, authors must be a corresponding author affiliated with the institution or agency in the Institutional Account Program (fully paid or restricted). (Special note to UK authors — certain institutions will restrict payment to cover for Wellcome Trust and RCUK research grant recipients only.) Authors who need to request additional support should apply for PLOS PFA.
Additional External Funds
Authors may also be eligible for direct funding from their institution or funder, which may be different from the PLOS Institutional program. See additional Open Access funds for examples. To confirm amounts and details of funding and eligibility, contact the organization as indicated.
At PLOS, we believe that articles in all journals should be assessed on their own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which they were published. PLOS journals have therefore initiated a program to provide a growing set of measures and indicators of impact at the article level that will include citation metrics, usage statistics, blogosphere coverage, social bookmarks and expert assessment. The long-term vision is to bring the views and activities of entire communities to bear, using the wealth of opportunities offered online, to provide new, meaningful and efficient mechanisms for research assessment. For more information on article-level metrics see the PLOS blog.
PLOS is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information about PLOS, visit www.plos.org.