Author Frequently Asked Questions – PLOS ONE

Overview

This FAQ addresses some of our authors’ most common problems or questions. We ask that you review our basic Editorial Criteria and examine our Editorial Policies page for information about the general policies that apply to any PLOS submission prior to submitting your manuscript.

In addition to our Editorial Criteria and Policies, here are a few additional resources we strongly recommend that authors consult before using, or while using, our online submission system:

Question Categories

Initial Submission

How do I submit a manuscript to PLOS ONE?

Answer: First, please read our Publication Criteria, Submitting a Manuscript, Editorial Policies, and Preparing a Manuscript pages to find out more about our submission requirements and for help formatting your manuscript. Once you are ready to submit, please visit Editorial Manager at: http://www.editorialmanager.com/pone/. For any difficulties you encounter, please feel free to contact plosone@plos.org.

Do I need to submit a pre-submission inquiry?

PLOS ONE does not consider pre-submission inquiries. We do not assess whether papers are of potential interest by virtue of its subject area, novelty, or anticipated impact. PLOS ONE’s editorial criteria focus instead on more objective factors such as scientific integrity and validity. For more information about our publication criteria, please visit us here.

While trying to submit a manuscript I receive an error message that says “Required author data is missing” before I am able to build my PDF. How can I fix this?

Answer:  This error message refers to the start of your online submission, when you entered your co-author information. To go back to this section please click on the “Add/Edit/Remove Authors” box on the left-hand side of your screen in the “Edit Submission” page. Missing author data will be marked by an asterisk (*). Remember to check the Department, Zip Code, and the Country as these are common fields that are left incomplete.

See the PLOS ONE Video Short on how to attend to the author data missing error.

While completing the online submission process, my manuscript suddenly disappeared from my account. What happened?

Answer:  Our journal management system, Editorial Manager, automatically saves the information you enter when you are making your submission. However, if you enter someone other than yourself as the corresponding author, then the system will automatically move your submission into their account. This helps to prevent the confusion of having multiple authors editing a submission at once. Please note that the corresponding author for the online submission process can be different from the corresponding author of your published manuscript. If your manuscript is accepted, our Production Team will pull the corresponding author information directly from the title page of your article file.

I am trying to change my coauthor into our corresponding author. How do I do this?
Answer: Watch this PLOS ONE Video Short to learn how to select a coauthor to be a corresponding author on your manuscript.

My user name and password is not working on the new Editorial Manager (EM) website. What should I do?

Answer:  If you have had a previous interaction with a PLOS journal then you actually have an account in our Editorial Manager system, and you should simply follow the “Send Username/Password” link in order to receive your temporary password. Sometimes temporary password emails get filtered into author’s spam folder. If you follow this link and you don’t receive an email, check your spam folder before emailing our Journal Office. If you have never submitted to a PLOS Journal before, then you will need to set up a new account (by clicking “Register Now”).

When I log onto Editorial Manager, I cannot see the manuscripts that I expected to see. What happened?

Answer:  Some people have duplicate accounts on our system (corresponding to different email addresses) and so you may be logging into the ‘wrong’ duplicate. Try generating a temporary password using the answer above, with one of your other email addresses. Otherwise, email us at plosone@plos.org and we will search for your duplicate accounts.

I am an author trying to submit a manuscript.  When I upload Microsoft Word files and view the “Artwork Quality Results,” the manuscript fails . What do I do?

Answer: This is an occasional error that some people receive. We are working to fix it, but in the meantime it is OK to go ahead and approve your manuscript by clicking  “approve submission.”

Why can I not find the supporting information files that I uploaded?

Answer: Supporting information files are intentionally not included a part of the final merged manuscript PDF file.    However, there will be blue hyperlinks at the top of the blank pages near the end of the merged manuscript PDF file which allows reviewers and Academic Editors to view all of the supporting information.

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Revised Submission

How do I submit my revised manuscript?

Answer: This video will walk you through the process.

I am an author working on a revised version of my manuscript, but need more time to complete my revisions. How can I request an extension on my deadline?

Answer: Our revision deadlines are merely meant to establish an estimated time frame for when we might expect authors to resubmit their manuscripts. If you miss the deadline by a few weeks this is not a problem, and you do not need to request an extension. If you expect your delay to be more than 2 months past the deadline, then please email us and we will reset the date.

I am submitting a revised version of my manuscript. What new files do I need to include?

Answer: When submitting your revision, you will need to include the following new files:

  1. Response to Reviewers (this can NOT take the form of a revised cover letter, as the reviewers cannot view this type of file). Please explicitly deal with all the points that were called out as important in the original decision letter and upload your response to reviewers as a supplementary file labeled “Response to Reviewers.”
  2. A ‘clean’ copy of your revised manuscript
  3. A revised manuscript with tracked changes from the “Attach Files” section of your online submission you will also be able to replace any other files that have been updated in the revision before building and approving your PDF.
  4. Please indicate in your cover letter which files have been updated in this way.

I am an author and I can only see one of the reviewers’ comments in my decision letter. How do I access attached comments?

Answer:  The reviewer may have uploaded their comments as an attachment. To successfully access the reviewer’s attachment, please login to our system and select the action link to “View Attachments.”  Occasionally, there is a bug in our system, which means that authors will not have this action link.  If this seems to be the case, please contact the editorial office at plosone@plos.org at your earliest convenience.

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Figures

Whenever I try to upload my figure to your website, I keep getting an error message stating that the connection was reset.  How can I upload my figure and submit my manuscript?
Answer: Your figure is probably too big.  PLOS ONE’s submission system requires figure files to be smaller than 10 MB or 10,000 KB.  If your figure or table is larger than 10MB, please use LZW compression as outlined in our author guidelines at the URLhttp://www.plosone.org/static/figureGuidelines.action.

Why is my figure quality poor?

There could be a few possibilities for this:

  • The quality of your figures will only be as good as the lowest-resolution element placed in them.  So, if you created a 72 ppi line graph and placed it in a 300 ppi TIFF, it will look blurred, jagged, or pixilated.
  • When viewing your merged PDF file, the resolution of your figure may look lower than it actually is as it will have been downsized to reduce the size of the PDF. However, there is a blue hyperlink located at the top of the page that contains the figure that enables you to download the corresponding high-resolution version of the image.
  • If the resolutions of the figures in your merged PDF are sufficient for peer review then please continue with the rest of the submission process as you will be able to address this concern during the production process before publication.

For more help, please follow our directions provided in our figure guidelines at the URLhttp://www.plosone.org/static/figureGuidelines.action#preparation.

How do I check my image quality upon submission of my manuscript?
Answer: This link will take you to a short video where we will walk you through the steps to check your image quality.

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Post-Publication

My article published on your site, but it isnt in PubMed Central yet.

Answer: Although we strive to get articles into PMC as fast as possible, it can sometimes (due to circumstances beyond our control) take as long as two weeks before a published article will appear on PubMed Central.

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General Questions

If our paper has been published elsewhere, can we still publish it with PLOS ONE?

Answer: One of PLOS ONE’s acceptance criteria is that the “results reported have not been published elsewhere.”  Thus, we cannot consider your paper if it has already been published in another journal.  However, we do allow you to post your paper on websites or in pre-print servers prior to submission to PLOS ONE (provided this location is not considered to be a formal peer reviewed journal). PLOS ONE’s acceptance criteria can be found at the URL http://www.plosone.org/static/guidelines.action#criteria.

I would like to re-use/incorporate some of my published work in something else, can I?

Answer: Because we are an Open Access journal, you have the right, after a paper has been successfully published, to use it in any way you like so long as you use the appropriate citation to the original work. You do not need to request our permission for any kind of re-use.

What kind of reference styling should I use?

Answer: Please download and use the EndNote output style (EndNote 8 andabove orEndNote 4-7) or the BibTeX style file .   For more detailed instructions, please visit our reference guidelines at the URL http://www.plosone.org/static/guidelines.action#preparation.

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