PLOS Medicine - Informace o časopisu

PLOS Medicine is the leading open-access medical journal, providing an influential venue for outstanding research and commentary on the major challenges to human health worldwide. We specifically seek to publish articles relevant to clinicians and policymakers across a range of settings that adhere to the highest standards of methodology, ethics and reporting and address the major biological, environmental, social, and political determinants of health.

PLOS Medicine publishes articles relevant to clinicians, policymakers, and researchers across a range of settings that address the major biological, environmental, social, and political determinants of health. The editors make decisions on submissions based upon their potential to directly and substantially inform clinical practice or health policy, and their relevance to our international audience.

Articles given highest priority for publication are those that address conditions or risk factors that cause the greatest losses in years of healthy life and quality of life worldwide.

PLOS Medicine also seeks to publish articles in the area of translational medicine that provide substantial, novel mechanistic insights into disease processes, with potential implications for clinical care. Additionally PLOS Medicine considers articles on topics relating to the integrity and ethics of the research enterprise; the practice of medicine; and the application of research to practice to fall within its scope.

PLOS Medicine (eISSN 1549-1676 ISSN-1549-1277) is published weekly online by PLOS. The inaugural issue was published on 19 October 2004.

Redakční rada

Hans-Olov Adami
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
USA

Marcus Altfeld
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
USA

Kavi Bhalla
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore
USA

David Bangsberg
Massachusetts General Hospital, Cambridge
USA

Peter Barnes
National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London
United Kingdom

Hilda Bastian
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda
USA

Chris Beyrer
John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore
USA

Zulfiqar A. Bhutta
Aga Khan University, Karachi
Pakistan

Agnes Binagwaho
Rwanda Ministry of Health, Kigali
Rwanda

Karim Brohi
Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry, London
United Kingdom

Isabelle Boutron
University of Oxford
United Kingdom

Carol Brayne
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom

Peter Byass
Umeå Centre for Global Health Research, Umeå
Sweden

Suzanne C. Cannegieter
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden
The Netherlands

Andrew Carr
St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney
Australia

Arachu Castro
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans
USA

Timothy Caulfield
University of Alberta, Edmonton
Canada

Mushtaque R. Chowdhury
BRAC, Dhaka
Bangladesh

Kathryn Chu
Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, Baltimore
USA

Linda Cobiac
The University of Queensland, Herston
Australia

Rory Collins
University of Oxford
United Kingdom

Adnan Custovic
Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester
United Kingdom

Karen Daniels
South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town
South Africa

George Davey Smith
University of Bristol
United Kingdom

Anton de Craen
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden
The Netherlands

Carlton A. Evans
Imperial College London, London
United Kingdom

Nicholas Fisk
University of Queensland, Brisbane
Australia

Ian Ford
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom

Eduardo Franco
McGill University, Montreal
Canada

Fiona Turnbull
The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney
Australia

Moses Galukande
Makerere University, Kampala
Uganda

Sam Gandy
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
USA

Azra Ghani
Imperial College London, London
United Kingdom

Davina Ghersi
National Health and Medical Research Council, Canberra
Australia

Rebecca Grais
Epicentre, Paris
France

Manuel Graeber
The University of Sydney, Sydney
Australia

Hank Greely
Stanford University
USA

Leif Groop
Lund University Diabetes Centre, Malmö
Sweden

Simon Hales
University of Otago, Wellington
New Zealand

Wayne Hall
The University of Queensland, Herston
Australia

Timothy Hallett
Institute for Global Health, Imperial College London, London
United Kingdom

Stephan Harbarth
University of Geneva Hospitals and Medical Faculty, Geneva,
Switzerland

David Harlan
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda
USA

Phillipa Hay
University of Western Sydney, Sydney
Australia

Suzanne Hill
Australian National University, Canberra
Australia

Tom Huizinga
Leiden University Medical Centre
Netherlands

Lars Hviid
University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen
Denmark

John Ioannidis
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford
USA

Rebecca Ivers
The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney
Australia

Rachel Jewkes
Medical Research Council, Pretoria
South Africa

Anthony Keech
University of Sydney
Australia

Aaron Kesselheim
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
USA

Keith Klugman
Emory University, Atlanta
USA

Sanjeev Krishna
St George's Hospital Medical School, London
United Kingdom

Margaret Kruk
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York
USA

Emmanuel Lagarde
Research Center INSERM U897, Bordeaux
France

Bruce Lanphear
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby
Canada

Tze-Kin Lau
The Chinese Fetal Medicine Foundation, Hong Kong
China

Kelley Lee
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Simon Fraser University
United Kingdom

Susan Lewallen
British Columbia Centre for Epidemiologic and International Ophthalmology, Moshi
Tanzania

Cathryn Lewis
Guy's King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London
United Kingdom

Susan Lightman
Moorfields Eye Hospital, London
United Kingdom

Steve Lim
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle
USA

Marc Lipsitch
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
USA

Alan Lopez
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Australia

Nicola Low
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern
Switzerland

David S. Ludwig
Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston
USA

Mark McCarthy
University of Oxford
United Kingdom

Peter McCluskey
University of Sydney, Sydney
Australia

Malcolm Macleod
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Clara Menéndez
Barcelona Centre for International Health Research, Barcelona
Spain

David Menon
Univerity of Cambridge
United Kingdom

Anne Merriman
Hospice Africa, Kampala
Uganda

Philippa Middleton
Australian Research Centre for Health of Women and Babies, Adelaide
Australia

Cosetta Minelli
Centre for Biomedicine, EURAC, Bolzano
Italy

Lynne Mofenson
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda
USA

David Moher
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa
Canada

Suerie Moon
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
USA

Megan Murray
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
USA

R. Srinivasa Murthy
The Association for the Mentally Challenged, Bangalore
India

Marie-Louise Newell
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Mtubatuba
South Africa

Olivier Neyrolles
Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, Toulouse
France

Abdisalan Noor
KEMRI-University of Oxford, Nairobi
Kenya

Thomas Novotny
University of California, San Francisco
USA

David Osrin
University College London
United Kingdom

Madhukar Pai
McGill University, Montreal
Canada

William Pao
Vanderbilt University, Nashville
USA

Anushka Patel
The George Institute for International Health, Sydney
Australia

Vikram Patel
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
United Kingdom

Malik Peiris
The University of Hong Kong
China

Andrew Prentice
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
United Kingdom

Martin Prince
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London
United Kingdom

Mathuram Santosham
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore
USA

Don Redelmeier
Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto
Canada

Jonathan Rees
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Andrew Rice
Imperial College London
United Kingdom

Stephen Rogerson
University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Australia

Josh Salomon
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
USA

Peter Sandercock
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Stephanie Sansom
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta
USA

Philippe Sansonetti
Institut Pasteur, Paris
France

Stefan Schreiber
Christian-Albrechts-Universitat Kiel
Germany

Jaime Sepulveda-Amor
Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco
USA

Barbara Shacklett
University of California, Davis
USA

Steve Shapiro
University of Pittsburgh
USA

Aziz Sheikh
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Nandi Siegfried
University of Cape Town, Cape Town
South Africa

Mervyn Singer
University College London
United Kingdom

Peter Singer
Grand Challenges Canada
Canada

Gordon Smith
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom

Thomas Smith
Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel
Switzerland

Egbert Sondorp
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
United Kingdom

David Stuckler
University of Oxford, Oxford
United Kingdom

Mark Tomlinson
Stellenbosch University, Matieland
South Africa

James Tumwine
Makerere University, Kampala
Uganda

Neil Turner
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Patrick Vallance
GlaxoSmithKline, London
United Kingdom

Mark van Ommeren
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization, Geneva
Switzerland

Jean-Louis Vincent
Free University of Brussels
Belgium

Lorenz von Seidlein
Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina
Australia

Theo Vos
The University of Queensland, Herston
Australia

Sheri Weiser
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco
USA

Nicholas J White
Mahidol University, Bangkok
Thailand

Clifford J. Woolf
Boston Children's Hospital, Boston
USA

Linda Wright
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda
USA

PLOS Medicine Statistical Advisors

Nikos Demiris
Athens University of Economics and Business
Greece

Michael Dewey
King's College London
United Kingdom

Peter Flom
Freelance Statistician, www.statisticalanalysisconsulting.com, New York
USA

Ian Ford
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom

Xiangrong Kong
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD
USA

Cathryn Lewis
King's College London School of Medicine
United Kingdom

Fiona Matthews
MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge
United Kingdom

Alex McConnachie
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom

Sean McGuigan
Consultant statistician, Mt Eliza
Australia

Alex McMahon
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom

Heather Murray
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom

John Norrie
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom

Michele Robertson
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom

Andrew Roddam
Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford
United Kingdom

Chris Weir
University of Glasgow
United Kingdom

Redakce

General Inquiries

UK Office

U.K./European Office
PLOS
Carlyle House,
Carlyle Road,
Cambridge, CB4 3DN
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Telephone: +44(0)1223 442 810
Fax: +44(0)1223 442 833

US Office

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Telephone: +1(415)624-1200
Fax: +1(415)546-4090

PLOS Medicine Editors

PLOS Medicine Editors Melissa Norton and Paul Simpson work in the UK office; Rhona MacDonald is based in Scotland, UK; Laureen Connell is based in New York, USA; Larry Peiperl and Amy Ross work in the US office; and Margaret Winker is based in Chicago, USA.

Larry Peiperl, Chief Editor
lpeiperl@plos.org
+1 415-568-4555
Biography
Competing Interests

Melissa Norton, Deputy Editor
mnorton@plos.org
+44(0)1223 442 814
Biography
Competing Interests

Margaret Winker, Senior Research Editor
mwinker@plos.org
+44 (0)1223 442 814
Biography
Competing Interests

Rhona MacDonald, Senior Editor
rmacdonald@plos.org
+44 (0) 1223-442834
Biography
Competing Interests

Laureen Connell, Associate Editor
lconnell@plos.org
+44 (0)1223 442 814
Biography
Competing Interests

Amy Ross, Associate Editor
aross@plos.org
+1 415-568-4551
Biography
Competing Interests

Paul Simpson, Associate Editor
psimpson@plos.org
+44(0)1223 442 817
Biography
Competing Interests

Freelance Associate Editors

PLOS Medicine is supported by a number of freelance associate editors who provide input during the editorial process. These freelance editors include: Kamran Abbasi, Sanjay Basu, Lucy Chappell, Barbara Cohen, Munier Hossain, Ezzie Hutchinson, Claire Meek, Monty Montano, Karen Stuart-Smith, Laurie Tomlinson and Gavin Yamey.

Jane Bradbury writes editors' summaries and press releases for the journal.

Manuscript Submission

It is essential that authors submit a presubmission inquiry before submitting a full paper. Presubmission inquiries allow authors to quickly find out whether their paper is likely to be broadly suitable for PLOS Medicine. To submit a presubmission inquiry please log on or register at our online submission site. You will need to provide an abstract and a cover letter with up to ten key references from the study.

For assistance with manuscript submission, please contact:
U.S. Office
Jenny Hamlin
PLOSMedicine@plos.org
+1 415-568-4555

U.K./European Office
Fiona Godwin
PLOSMedicine@plos.org
+44(0)1223 442 834

Rights and Permissions

PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution License (CCAL) to all works we publish. Under the CCAL, 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. For other queries about the license, please contact us at license@plos.org.

Advertising

All advertisements in PLOS Medicine are subject to editorial approval. PLOS Medicine does not accept advertisements for pharmaceutical products or medical devices. Inquiries for advertising should be sent to:

Patric Donaghy
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PLOS Media Kit

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E-mail: press@plos.org
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PLOS Media Inquiries
Speaking of Medicine: Information for the Media

Institutional Memberships

Donna Okubo
E-mail: dokubo@plos.org
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Help Using This Site

Pokyny pro autory a recenzenty

1. About PLOS Medicine

PLOS Medicine is the leading open-access medical journal, providing an innovative and influential venue for research and comment on the major challenges to human health worldwide. We specifically seek to publish papers which have relevance across a range of settings and that address the major environmental, social, and political determinants of health, as well as the biological.

PLOS Medicine gives the highest priority to papers on the conditions and risk factors that cause the greatest losses in years of healthy life worldwide. For a guide to the conditions and risk factors that we prioritize, see Tables 1.1 and 1.2 of Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors.

Within these priority areas we make decisions based on whether papers are likely to directly and substantially affect clinical practice or public health policy, or have implications of broad general interest for the direction of future, directly clinically relevant research. In addition, we seek to publish papers that address important topics in the ethics and reporting of medical research.

References

For further information, see the PLOS Medicine FAQ.

2. Open Access

PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution License (CCAL) to all works we publish. Under the CCAL, 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.

3. Publication Charges

To provide open access, PLOS journals use a business model in which our expenses—including those of peer review, journal production, and online hosting and archiving—are recovered in part by charging a publication fee to the authors or research sponsors for each article they publish. The fees vary by journal.

PLOS is committed to the widest possible global participation in open access publishing. To determine the appropriate fee, we use a country-based pricing model, which is based on the country that provides 50% or more of the primary funding for the research that is being submitted. Research articles funded by Upper Middle and High Income Countries incur our standard publication fees. Corresponding authors who are affiliated with one of our Institutional Members are eligible for a discount on this fee. Such authors will be informed of the discount applicable after submission of their manuscript.

Fees for Low and Lower Middle Income Countries are calculated according to the PLOS Global Participation Initiative pricing program for manuscripts submitted after 9am Pacific Time on September 4, 2012 (this program is not retroactive).

  • Group One: Countries from this list will not be charged for publishing
  • Group Two: Countries from this list will be charged a flat 0

Our fee waiver policy, whereby PLOS offers to waive or further reduce the payment required of authors who cannot pay the full amount charged for publication, remains in effect. Editors and reviewers have no access to whether authors are able to pay; decisions to publish are only based on editorial criteria.

4. Criteria for Publication

To be considered for publication in PLOS Medicine, any given manuscript must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Originality
  • Importance to researchers or practitioners in the field
  • Interest for researchers or practitioners outside the field
  • Rigorous methodology with conclusions justified by the evidence presented
  • Adherence to the highest ethical standards

5. Presubmission Inquiries

It is essential that authors submit a presubmission inquiry before submitting a full paper. Presubmission inquiries allow authors to quickly find out whether their paper is likely to be broadly suitable for PLOS Medicine. To submit a presubmission inquiry please log on or register at our online submission site. Click the link "Submit New Manuscript" and select "Presubmission Inquiry". You'll need to enter a brief abstract and a referenced cover letter explaining why you think the work is appropriate for PLOS Medicine.

The title should be a clear description of the paper's content. The design must be present for Randomized Controlled Trials, Systematic Reviews or Meta-Analyses and should be included for other study types if useful.

For research article presubmissions only the abstract should be divided into the following three sections: Background, Methods and Findings, Conclusions. It should contain all the following elements, except for items in square brackets, which are only needed for some study types. For other article types please just submit a short summary paragraph.

Background

This section should describe clearly the rationale for the study being done. It should end with a statement of the specific study hypothesis and/or study objectives.

[For a clinical trial provide any trial identification numbers and names (e.g. trial registration number, protocol number or acronym).]

Methods and Findings

  • Describe the participants or what was studied (e.g. cell lines, patient group be as specific as possible, including numbers studied).
  • Describe the study design/intervention/main methods used.
  • Describe what was primarily being assessed e.g. primary outcome measure and, if appropriate, over what period.
  • [If appropriate, include how many participants were assessed out of those enrolled, e.g. what was the response rate for a survey.]
  • [If critical to the understanding of the paper, describe how results were analyzed, e.g. which specific statistical tests were used.]
  • For the main outcomes provide a numerical result if appropriate (it nearly always is) and a measure of its precision (e.g. 95% confidence interval).
  • Describe any adverse events/outcomes or side effects.
  • Describe the main limitations of the study.

Conclusions

Provide a general interpretation of the results with any important recommendations for future research.

We aim to respond to presubmission inquiries within 2 working days. However, if you do not receive a response in 1 week please contact +44 1223 442814 (UK office) or +1 415 568 4503 (US office) or e-mail plosmedicine@plos.org.

6. Overview of Editorial Process

Our aim is to provide all authors with an efficient, courteous, and constructive editorial process. To achieve its required level of quality, PLOS Medicine is highly selective in the manuscripts that it publishes; rejection rates are high. To ensure the fairest and most objective decision-making, the editorial process is run as a partnership between the PLOS Medicine professional editors and the editorial board, which comprises leaders in all fields of medicine.

Submitted manuscripts will be assigned to one of the PLOS Medicine professional editors. If the paper is deemed to be within the scope of the journal with regard to content and of a minimum quality standard an academic editor with expertise in the relevant area, usually one of our editorial board, is then also assigned to the paper. The editor and editorial board member will promptly assess the manuscript and will decide if it is likely to meet the requirement of providing a major advance in a particular field and describing a sufficient body of work to support that claim; if so, it will be sent out for peer review.

Expert reviewers will be asked to assess the technical and scientific merits of the work. Where relevant, work presented in a manuscript will be subject to a rigorous review of the statistical methods used. PLOS Medicine encourages open (non-anonymous) peer-review. As a default, we will pass a reviewer's name on to the authors along with the comments. If reviewers do not wish to have their name revealed, they can request to stay anonymous and we will honor that request.

Upon submission of a manuscript, authors are asked if they wish to exclude any specific academic editors or reviewers from the peer review of their article. The editorial team will respect these requests so long as this does not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of the article. See the relevant guidelines for reviewers and more general information on PLOS’ policy regarding competing interests. more general information on PLOS’ policy regarding competing interests.

Once all reviews have been received and considered by the professional and academic editors, a decision letter to the author will be drafted.

  • There are several types of decision possible: accept the manuscript as submitted; accept it with minor revision; invite the authors to submit a major revision of the manuscript before a final decision is reached; reject, typically because it does not fit the criteria outlined above of originality, importance to the field, cross-discipline interest, or sound methodology

Revised manuscripts will be assessed by a professional editor and the same academic editor. Sometimes, re-review or additional statistical review will be required, but in general we aim to make decisions without involving multiple rounds of review.

Upon acceptance, the manuscript enters our production system. Articles may be published online before a complete issue is assembled. Research articles are generally published within 6-8 weeks of the date of final acceptance but Magazine section articles may take longer to be published. Publication may be further expedited when warranted.

Appeals of Decisions

There are, in general, two reasons why we consider articles are not appropriate for publication in PLOS Medicine:

  1. The article is not broadly felt to be an appropriate topic for the journal; e.g. not a sufficient advance, or just too specialist in nature. We are usually able to identify such papers at the presubmission enquiry stage, although occasionally we need to invite the full paper in before making that judgment. We normally aim to give decisions on such papers quickly and without external advice so that authors can seek publication elsewhere. However, the lack of an adequate level of advance sometimes only becomes clear after we have obtained in-depth reviews. We may suggest alternate PLOS journals for these articles.
  2. The topic of the article is potentially of interest but, either through editorial or peer review, substantial methodological concerns are identified such that even after revision the article is unlikely to be of the standard we are looking for in PLOS Medicine papers.

If you wish to appeal a decision in the first instance you should contact the editor; who handled the presubmission inquiry or full manuscript, explaining in detail your reasons for the appeal.

All appeals will be discussed with at least one other editor if those editors do not agree the appeal will be discussed at a full editorial meeting. We may or may not then seek external advice on appeals.

We do not consider second appeals.

7. Are You Ready To Submit Your Manuscript?

We have provided an author checklist to help you prepare your materials for submission and to make the online submission process as straightforward as possible. Please take the time to look through the list before submitting your article.

If you are submitting a revised manuscript you will have been given substantial guidance by the editors. We have provided a checklist for revised manuscripts.

Text files can be submitted for review in the following formats: DOC, RTF or PDF. Any articles that have been prepared in LaTeX will be accepted for review, but only in PDF format. After acceptance, only text files (RTF or DOC) of the revised manuscript and tables can be accepted for use in the pre-production and copyediting processes.

Graphics files can be submitted in the following formats: EPS or TIFF files. If possible, please label all figures using Times Roman or some other serif font. Please read the Guidelines for Figure Preparation before submitting figures.

8. Cover Letter

Please include a cover letter explaining why this manuscript is suitable for publication in PLOS Medicine. Why will your paper inspire other members of your specialty or those in other disciplines, and how will it drive the understanding of disease epidemiology, clinical research, or patient care forward?

9. Supporting Information and Materials Required at Submission

PLOS Medicine is committed to the highest ethical standards in medical research. Accordingly, we ask authors to provide specific information regarding ethical treatment of research participants, patient consent, patient privacy, protocols, authorship, and competing interests. We also ask that reports of certain specific types of studies adhere to generally accepted standards. Our requirements are based on the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, issued by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors and are enumerated below.

Human and Animal Research

All research involving humans and animals must have been approved by the authors' institutional review board or equivalent committee(s), and that board must be named by the authors in the manuscript. For research involving human participants, informed consent must have been obtained (or the reason for lack of consent explained, e.g. the data were analyzed anonymously) and all clinical investigation must have been conducted according to the principles expressed in the "Declaration of Helsinki". It must be stated in the Methods section of the paper whether informed consent was written or oral. If informed consent was oral, it must be stated in the paper: (a) why written consent could not be obtained, (b) that the IRB approved the use of oral consent, and (c) how oral consent was documented.

Authors should be able to submit, upon request, a statement from the research ethics committee or institutional review board indicating approval of the research. We also encourage authors to submit a sample of a patient consent form, and may require submission on particular occasions.

For studies involving humans categorized by race/ethnicity, age, disease/disabilities, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, or other socially constructed groupings, authors should, as much as possible,

  • make explicit their methods of categorizing human populations;
  • define categories in as much detail as the study protocol allows;
  • justify their choices of definitions and categories, including for example whether any rules of human categorization were required by their funding agency;
  • explain whether (and if so, how) they controlled for confounding variables such as socioeconomic status, nutrition, environmental exposures, etc.

In addition, outmoded terms and potentially stigmatizing labels should be changed to more current, acceptable terminology. Examples: "Caucasian" should be changed to "white" or "of [Western] European descent" (as appropriate); "cancer victims" should be changed to "patients with cancer".

PLOS Medicine publishes very few animal studies. We will consider animal studies of two kinds:

  1. Translational studies that establish a novel explanatory mechanism for a significant clinical problem, to an extent that will directly inform specific clinical approaches. Such papers must include or refer to human data that is sufficiently compelling to establish clinical relevance of the animal model.
  2. Models relevant to the treatment or prevention of major health problems, in which the interventions cannot be tested in humans for ethical reasons, but will provide compelling justification for specific changes in the design of subsequent clinical trials.

All animal work must have been conducted according to relevant national and international guidelines. In accordance with the recommendations of the Weatherall report, "The use of non-human primates in research" we specifically require authors to include details of animal welfare and steps taken to ameliorate suffering in all work involving non-human primates. The institution that approved the study must be named, and it must be stated in the paper that the study was conducted adhering to the institution's guidelines for animal husbandry.

Patient Privacy and Informed Consent for Publication

Our human participant policy conforms to the "Uniform Requirements" of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:


"Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published.
Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, and informed consent for publication should be obtained if there is any doubt. If data are changed to protect anonymity, authors should provide assurance that alterations of the data do not distort scientific meaning.
When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the published article."


For papers that include identifying information, or potentially identifying information, authors must download the "Consent Form for Publication in a PLOS Journal" from our site, which the patient, parent or guardian must sign once they have read the paper and been informed about the terms of PLOS open-access license. (This license means that the images and text we publish online become available for any lawful purpose). Once authors have obtained the signed consent form, it should be filed securely in the patient's case notes and the article submitted to PLOS journal should include this statement indicating that specific consent to publication was obtained. "The patients in this manuscript have given written informed consent (as outlined in PLOS consent form) to publication of their case details."

Download "Consent Form for Publication":

Materials Required for the Submission of Specific Study Types

You must check the "EQUATOR Network" site for any reporting guidelines that apply to your particular study design and ensure you include any required supporting information recommended by the relevant guidelines.

a. Clinical Trials We follow the WHO definition of a clinical trial. See "http://www.who.int/ictrp/en/".

"A clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Interventions include but are not restricted to drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiologic procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, process-of-care changes, preventive care, etc"

PLOS supports the position of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) on trial registration. All trials initiated after 1 July 2005 must be registered prospectively in a publicly accessible registry (i.e., before patient recruitment has begun), or they will not be considered for publication. For trials initiated before 1 July 2005, all trials must be registered before submission to our journals. See the "ICMJE faq" on trial registration for further details. The WHO's list of approved registries is listed "here". The editors reserve the right to inform authors’ institutions or ethics committees about unregistered trials that have been carried out.

Authors of trials must adhere to the CONSORT reporting guidelines appropriate to their trial design. Please check the "CONSORT statement Web site" for information on the appropriate guidelines for specific trial types. Before the paper can enter peer review authors must: 1) name in the paper trial registry, trial registration number, and IRB and 2) provide a copy of the trial protocol and a completed CONSORT checklist as supporting files (these documents will also be published alongside the paper, if accepted). The CONSORT flow diagram must be included as Figure 1. Any deviation from the trial protocol must be explained in the paper. Authors must explicitly discuss informed consent in their paper, and PLOS reserves the right to ask for a copy of the patient consent form. Information on statistical methods or participants beyond what is indicated in the CONSORT statement should be reported in the Methods section.

PLOS supports the public disclosure of all clinical trial results, as mandated for example by the FDA Amendments Act, 2007. Prior disclosure of results on a public Web site such as clinicaltrials.gov will not affect the decision to peer review or acceptance of papers in PLOS journals.

b. Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Reports of systematic reviews and meta-analyses should use the "PRISMA statement" as a guide, and include a completed PRISMA checklist and flow diagram to accompany the main text. Blank templates of the checklist and flow diagram can be downloaded from the "PRISMA Web site". Authors must also state within the Methods section of their paper whether a protocol exists for their systematic review, and if so, provide a copy of the protocol as supporting information. The journal supports the prospective registration of systematic reviews. Authors whose systematic review was prospectively registered (e.g. in a registry such as PROSPERO) should also provide the registry number in their abstract. Registry details and protocols will be made available to editors and reviewers, and included alongside the paper for readers if the report is ultimately published.

c. Diagnostic Studies

Reports of studies of diagnostic accuracy should conform to the "STARD requirements".

d. Epidemiological Studies

For reports of epidemiological studies, you should consult the "STROBE initiative".

e. Microarray Experiments

Reports of microarray experiments should conform to "the MIAME guidelines", and the data from the experiments must be deposited in a publicly accessible database.

f. Checklists for Biological and Biomedical Research Investigations

We recommend authors refer to the MIBBI Portal "(Minimum Information for Biological and Biomedical Investigations)" for prescriptive checklists for reporting biological and biomedical research where applicable.

Author Status

All authors will be contacted via e-mail at submission to ensure that they are aware of and approve the submission of the manuscript, its content, authorship, and order of authorship. Articles will not be published unless all authors have provided their assent to publication.

The involvement of any professional medical writer in publication must be declared. We encourage authors to consult the "European Medical Writers’ Association Guidelines" on the role of medical writers.

PLOS Medicine bases its criteria for authorship on those outlined in the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals",which are summarized below. The contributions of all authors must be described. Contributions that fall short of authorship should be mentioned in the acknowledgements.

"Authorship credit should be based on
1) substantial contribution to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
3) final approval of the version to be published.

Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.

When a large, multi-center group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship defined above and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and competing interests disclosure forms. When submitting a group author manuscript, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and should clearly identify all individual authors as well as the group name.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not justify authorship. All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content."

PLOS journals follow the COPE guidelines covering changes in authorship. Please note that if any changes to the list of authors of a manuscript are necessary after the initial submission of a manuscript to a PLOS journal but before its publication, the corresponding author must first contact the journal staff and provide a clear reason for the change(s). If the change to the authorship list is appropriate and in keeping with the guidelines above, the corresponding author will be asked to provide written confirmation that all other authors listed on the manuscript at that time consent to the change(s). Any individuals who the corresponding author requests to add or remove from the list of authors will be contacted.

Competing Interests

All authors will be contacted by e-mail at submission to declare whether they have any financial, personal or professional interests that could be construed to have influenced their paper. Reviewers are also asked to declare any interests that might interfere with their objective assessment of a manuscript. Any relevant competing interests of authors must be available to editors and reviewers during the review process and will be stated in published articles. "Click here for more general information on the policy of PLOS towards competing interests".

Prior Publication

When submitting an article, all authors are asked to indicate that they have not submitted a related or duplicate manuscript for publication elsewhere. If related work has been submitted elsewhere, then a copy must be included with the article submitted to PLOS. Reviewers will be asked to comment on the overlap between related submissions.

10. Preparation of Research Manuscripts

PLOS Medicine publishes original research articles of outstanding medical importance. We will consider manuscripts of any length; we encourage the submission of both substantial full-length bodies of work and shorter manuscripts that report novel findings that might be based on a more limited range of experiments.

The writing style should be concise and accessible, avoiding jargon so that the paper is understandable for readers outside a specialty or those whose first language is not English. Editors will make suggestions for how to achieve this, as well as suggestions for cuts or additions that could be made to the article to strengthen the argument. Our aim is to make the editorial process rigorous and consistent, but not intrusive or overbearing. Authors are encouraged to use their own voice and to decide how best to present their ideas, results, and conclusions. Although we encourage submissions from around the globe, we require that manuscripts be submitted in English. Authors who do not use English as a first language may contact us for additional information. As a step towards overcoming language barriers on acceptance of the paper, we encourage authors fluent in other languages to provide copies of their full articles or abstracts in other languages. We will publish these translations as supporting information and list them, together with other supporting information files, at the end of the article text.

Article File

Articles can be submitted for review in DOC, DOCX, RTF, or PDF. Any articles that have been prepared in LaTeX will be accepted for review, but only in PDF format. After acceptance, only text files (RTF or DOC) of the revised manuscript and tables can be accepted for use in the production process.

Math Equations and DOCX

If your manuscript is or will be in DOCX and contains equations, you must follow the instructions below to make sure that your equations are editable when the file enters production.

If you have not yet composed your article, you can ensure that the equations in your DOCX file remain editable in DOC by enabling "Compatibility Mode" before you begin. To do this, open a new document and save as Word 97-2003 (*.doc). Several features of Word 2007/10 will now be inactive, including the built-in equation editing tool. You can insert equations in one of the two ways listed below.

If you have already composed your article as DOCX and used its built-in equation editing tool, your equations will become images when the file is saved down to DOC. To resolve this problem, re-key your equations in one of the two following ways.

  1. Use MathType to create the equation. MathType is the recommended method for creating equations.
  2. Go to Insert > Object > Microsoft Equation 3.0 and create the equation.

If, when saving your final document, you see a message saying “Equations will be converted to images,” your equations are no longer editable and PLOS will not be able to accept your file.

Organization of the Manuscript

Most articles published in PLOS Medicine will be organized into the following sections: title, authors, affiliations, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, acknowledgments, and figure legends. Uniformity in format will help readers and users of the journal. We recognize, however, that this format is not ideal for all types of studies. If you have a manuscript that would benefit from a different format, please contact the editors to discuss this further. Although we have no firm length restrictions for the entire manuscript or individual sections, we urge authors to present and discuss their findings concisely.

Our submission system can support a large range of formats for text and graphics, but if you experience difficulties with the site or are concerned about the suitability of your files, please contact the production department, production@plos.org.

Title (150 characters and spaces)

The title should be specific to the study yet concise, and should allow sensitive and specific electronic retrieval of the article. It should be comprehensible to readers outside your field. Avoid specialist abbreviations if possible. If the paper is a randomized controlled trial or a meta-analysis, this description should be in the title. Please also provide a brief "running head" of approximately 40 characters.

Examples:
Climate Change and Increased Spread of Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa
A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial of a Nurse-Led Intervention after Stroke

Please also provide a brief "running head" of approximately 40 characters.

Authors and Affiliations

Provide the first names or initials (if used), middle names or initials (if used), surnames, and affiliations—department, university or organization, city, state/province (if applicable), and country—for all authors. One of the authors should be designated as the corresponding author. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that the author list, and the summary of the author contributions to the study are accurate and complete. If the article has been submitted on behalf of a consortium, all consortium members and affiliations should be listed after the Acknowledgments.

(For authorship criteria, see Supporting Information and Materials Required at Submission)

Abstract

The abstract is divided into the following three sections with these headings: Background, Methods and Findings, and Conclusions. It should contain the all following elements, except for items in square brackets, which are only needed for some study types. Please use the same format for abstracts submitted as presubmission inquiries.

Background

This section should describe clearly the rationale for the study being done. It should end with a statement of the specific study hypothesis and/or study objectives.

Methods and Findings

Describe the participants or what was studied (eg cell lines, patient group; be as specific as possible, including numbers studied). Describe the study design/intervention/main methods used/What was primarily being assessed eg primary outcome measure and, if appropriate, over what period.

[If appropriate, include how many participants were assessed out of those enrolled eg what was the response rate for a survey.]

[If critical to the understanding of the paper, describe how results were analysed, ie which specific statistical tests were used.]

For the main outcomes provide a numerical result if appropriate (it nearly always is) and a measure of its precision (e.g. 95% confidence interval).

Describe any adverse events or side effects.

Describe the main limitations of the study.

Conclusions

Provide a general interpretation of the results with any important recommendations for future research.

[For a clinical trial provide any trial identification numbers and names (e.g. trial registration number, protocol number or acronym).]

Introduction

The introduction should discuss the purpose of the study in the broader context. As you compose the introduction, think of readers who are not experts in this field. Include a brief review of the key literature. If there are relevant controversies or disagreements in the field, they should be mentioned so that a non-expert reader can delve into these issues further. The introduction should conclude with a brief statement of the overall aim of the experiments and a comment about whether that aim was achieved.

Methods

This section should provide enough detail for reproduction of the findings. Protocols for new methods should be included, but well-established protocols may simply be referenced. Detailed methodology or supporting information relevant to the methodology can be published on our Web site.

This section should also include a section with descriptions of any statistical methods employed. These should conform to the criteria outlined by the Uniform Requirements, as follows: "Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Avoid relying solely on statistical hypothesis testing, such as the use of P values, which fails to convey important quantitative information. Discuss the eligibility of research participants. Give details about randomization. Describe the methods for and success of any blinding of observations. Report complications of treatment. Give numbers of observations. Report losses to observation (such as dropouts from a clinical trial). References for the design of the study and statistical methods should be to standard works when possible (with pages stated) rather than to papers in which the designs or methods were originally reported. Specify any general-use computer programs used."

Results

The results section should include all relevant positive and negative findings. The section may be divided into subsections, each with a concise subheading. Large datasets, including raw data, should be submitted as supporting files these are published online alongside the accepted article. The results section should be written in past tense.

As outlined in the Uniform requirements, authors that present statistical data in the Results section, should "...specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Avoid nontechnical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as "random" (which implies a randomizing device), "normal," "significant," "correlations," and "sample." Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols."

Discussion

The discussion should be concise and tightly argued. It should start with a brief summary of the main findings. It should include paragraphs on the generalisability, clinical relevance, strengths, and, most importantly, the limitations of your study. You may wish to discuss the following points also. How do the conclusions affect the existing knowledge in the field? How can future research build on these observations? What are the key experiments that must be done?

References

Only published or accepted manuscripts should be included in the reference list. Papers that have been submitted but not yet accepted should not be cited. Limited citation of unpublished work should be included in the body of the text only as “unpublished data.” All “personal communications” citations should be supported by a letter from the relevant authors.

Style information:

  • PLOS uses the numbered citation (citation-sequence) method and first five authors, et al.
  • References are listed and numbered in the order that they appear in the text.
  • In the text, citations should be indicated by the reference number in brackets.
  • The parts of the manuscript should be in the correct order before ordering the citations: body, boxes, figure captions, tables, and supporting information captions.
  • Abstracts and author summaries may not contain citations.
  • Journal name abbreviations should be those found in the NCBI databases: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/journals.
  • Because all references will be linked electronically as much as possible to the papers they cite, proper formatting of the references is crucial. For convenience, a number of reference software companies supply PLOS style files (e.g., Reference Manager, EndNote).

    Published Papers
    1. Hou WR, Hou YL, Wu GF, Song Y, Su XL, et al. (2011) cDNA, genomic sequence cloning and overexpression of ribosomal protein gene L9 (rpL9) of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Genet Mol Res 10: 1576-1588.
    Note: Use of a DOI number for the full-text article is acceptable as an alternative to or in addition to traditional volume and page numbers.

    Accepted, unpublished papers
    Same as above, but “In press” appears instead of the page numbers.

    Electronic Journal Articles
    1. Huynen MMTE, Martens P, Hilderlink HBM (2005) The health impacts of globalisation: a conceptual framework. Global Health 1: 14. Available: http://www.globalizationandhealth.com/content/1/1/14. Accessed 25 January 2012.

    Books
    1. Bates B (1992) Bargaining for life: A social history of tuberculosis. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 435 p.

    Book Chapters
    1. Hansen B (1991) New York City epidemics and history for the public. In: Harden VA, Risse GB, editors. AIDS and the historian. Bethesda: National Institutes of Health. pp. 21-28.

    Acknowledgments

    People who contributed to the work, but do not fit the criteria for authors should be listed in the Acknowledgments, along with their contributions. You must also ensure that anyone named in the acknowledgments agrees to being so named.

    Details of the funding sources that have supported the work should be confined to the funding statement. Do not include them in the Acknowledgments.

    Financial Disclosure

    This section should describe sources of funding that have supported the work. Please include relevant grant numbers and the URL of any funder's Web site. Please also include this sentence: "The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript." If this statement is not correct, you must describe the role of any sponsors or funders, and amend the aforementioned sentence as needed.

    Author Contributions

    All authors on a paper will be contacted separately to provide information about their contribution and competing interests into our system. This information will be pulled into the article file on acceptance.

    Competing Interests

    This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, we will print a statement to this effect.

    Abbreviations

    Please keep abbreviations to a minimum. List all non-standard abbreviations in alphabetical order, along with their expanded form. Define them as well upon first use in the text. Non-standard abbreviations should not be used unless they appear at least three times in the text.

    Nomenclature

    The use of standardized nomenclature in all fields of science and medicine is an essential step toward the integration and linking of scientific information reported in published literature. We will enforce the use of correct and established nomenclature wherever possible:

    • We strongly encourage the use of "SI units". If you do not use these exclusively, please provide the SI value in parentheses after each value.
    • Species names should be italicized (e.g., Homo sapiens) and the full genus and species must be written out in full, both in the title of the manuscript and at the first mention of an organism in a paper; after that, the first letter of the genus name, followed by the full species name may be used.
    • Genes, mutations, genotypes, and alleles should be indicated in italics. Use the recommended name by consulting the appropriate genetic nomenclature database, e.g., "HUGO" for human genes. It is sometimes advisable to indicate the synonyms for the gene the first time it appears in the text. Gene prefixes such as those used for oncogenes or cellular localization should be shown in roman: v-fes, c-MYC, etc.
    • The Recommended International Non-Proprietary Name (rINN) of drugs should be provided.

    Accession Numbers

    All appropriate datasets, images, and information should be deposited in public resources. Please provide the relevant accession numbers (and version numbers, if appropriate). Accession numbers should be provided in parentheses after the entity on first use. Suggested databases include, but are not limited to:

    In addition, as much as possible, please provide accession numbers or identifiers for all entities such as genes, proteins, mutants, diseases, etc., for which there is an entry in a public database, for example:

    Providing accession numbers allows linking to and from established databases and integrates your article with a broader collection of scientific information.

    Figures

    If the article is accepted for publication, the author will be asked to supply high-resolution, print-ready versions of the figures. Please ensure that the files conform to our "Guidelines for Figure and Table Preparation" when preparing your figures for production. After acceptance, authors will also be asked to provide an attractive image to highlight their paper online.

    PLOS does not accept vector EPS figures generated using LaTeX. We only accept LaTeX generated figures in TIFF format. Export your LaTeX files as PDFs, and then open them in GIMP or Photoshop and save as TIFF. In general, Figures must be generated in a standalone graphics application such as Adobe Illustrator, InkScape, PyMol, MatLab, SAS, etc. Please see our "Figure Guidelines" for more information.

    All figures will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution License, which allows them to be freely used, distributed, and built upon as long as proper attribution is given. Please do not submit any figures that have been previously copyrighted unless you have express written permission from the copyright holder to publish under the CCAL license.

    Figure Legends

    The aim of the figure legend should be to describe the key messages of the figure, but the figure should also be discussed in the text. An enlarged version of the figure and its full legend will often be viewed in a separate window online, and it should be possible for a reader to understand the figure without switching back and forth between this window and the relevant parts of the text. Each legend should have a concise title of no more than 15 words. The legend itself should be succinct, while still explaining all symbols and abbreviations. Avoid lengthy descriptions of methods.

    Tables

    All tables should have a concise title. Footnotes can be used to explain abbreviations. Citations should be indicated using the same style as outlined above. Tables occupying more than one printed page should be avoided, if possible. Larger tables can be published as online supporting information. Tables must be cell-based; do not use picture elements, text boxes, tabs, or returns in tables. Please ensure that the files conform to our "Guidelines for Figure and Table Preparation" when preparing your tables for production.

    Multimedia Files and Supporting Information

    We encourage authors to submit essential supporting files and multimedia files along with their manuscripts. All supporting material will be subject to peer review, and should be smaller than 10 MB in size because of the difficulties that some users will experience in loading or downloading files of a greater size.

    Supporting files should fall into one of the following categories: Dataset, Figure, Table, Text, Protocol, Audio, or Video. All supporting information should be referred to in the manuscript with a leading capital S (e.g., Figure S4 for the fourth supporting information figure). Titles (and, if desired, legends) for all supporting information files should be listed in the manuscript under the heading "Supporting Information."

    Supporting files may be submitted in a variety of formats, but should be publication-ready, as these files are not copyedited. See the "Figure Guidelines" for more detail about our requirements for multimedia files and the file formats we accept.

    11. Other Types of Article

    The PLOS Medicine Magazine

    The Magazine section is for commentary, debate, analysis, guidance, and review of topics in health and health research. Articles will mostly be commissioned, but we will consider unsolicited submissions. Authors of unsolicited articles should always send a pre-submission inquiry via our "online journal management system" so that we can assess the suitability of the topic ahead of formal submission. Magazine articles should be aimed at a general medical audience, and all of the key assertions should be supported by evidence.

    The PLOS Medicine Magazine has the following sections:

    Editorial

    These are written in house by members of the editorial staff.

    Neglected Diseases

    This section focuses on health problems that could be considered neglected and that have a significant global burden. Authors should justify in their article, with supporting evidence, why they consider the problem to be neglected, outline the scale of the problem worldwide, and discuss possible policies and solutions for reducing the burden of disease. Examples might include reproductive and maternal health problems, mental illness in low- and middle-income countries, road traffic injuries, and health problems related to migration and conflict. Please note that if your article is about a neglected tropical disease that is in the scope of "PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases", you should submit it to PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Articles should be up to 1500 words with a maximum of 20 references and 2-3 display items (tables, figures, photos, illustrations, boxes).

    For more details about the Neglected Diseases section, see our editorial on this topic, The Neglected Diseases Section in PLOS Medicine: "Moving Beyond Tropical Infections"

    For an example of a Neglected Diseases article, see ""The "Other" Neglected Diseases in Global Public Health: Surgical Conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa."

    The PLOS Medicine Debate

    These articles will discuss important but controversial issues in clinical practice, public health policy, or health in general. Debates will be commissioned from two or more authors with differing points of view.

    The usual format is that each author will have the opportunity to express their opinion on a topic of clinical or public health importance within 750 words, 10 references maximum, and one display item. Each piece will then be sent to the other participant who will be allowed 300 words to respond. Authors should aim to produce a constructive criticism of their opponent's views.

    In some cases, we will commission a series of at least three different viewpoints on a topic. In this case, we do not ask authors to write a counterpoint.

    For examples of debate articles that use the "point-counterpoint" structure see: When Should Children with HIV Infection Be Started on Antiretroviral Therapy? Welch SB, Gibb D PLOS Medicine Vol. 5, No. 3, e73 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050073

    Should the Health Community Promote Smokeless Tobacco (Snus) as a Harm Reduction Measure? Gartner CE, Hall WD, Chapman S, Freeman B PLOS Medicine Vol. 4, No. 7, e185 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040185

    For examples of debate articles that give a series of different viewpoints without a counterpoint see:

    What Is the Best Approach to Treating Schizophrenia in Developing Countries? Patel V, Farooq S, Thara R PLOS Medicine Vol. 4, No. 6, e159 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040159

    What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of the Media in Disseminating Health Information? Schwitzer G, Mudur G, Henry D, Wilson A, Goozner M, et al. PLOS Medicine Vol. 2, No. 7, e215 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020215

    Health in Action

    The Health in Action section focuses on innovative health improvement projects. These pieces are often written by health activists, non-governmental organizations, or researchers in low income settings. We are particularly interested in featuring articles by groups or individuals who rarely have a voice in medical journals.

    The piece should be up to 1500 words, with up to 20 references and 2-3 display items. We ask authors to first set the scene (why was your project needed?), then describe the project itself and discuss any early results of the project and the barriers and difficulties you have faced. Finally, we ask authors to end by looking to the future: where is the project heading next?

    For examples of Health in Action articles see:

    Where There Is No Internet: Delivering Health Information via the Blue Trunk Libraries Mouhouelo P, Okessi A, Kabore MP PLOS Medicine Vol. 3, No. 3, e77 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030077

    The City Initiative for Newborn Health Fernandez A, Osrin D PLOS Medicine Vol. 3, No. 9, e339 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030339

    The Commission on Social Determinants of Health: Tackling the Social Roots of Health Inequities Irwin A, Valentine N, Brown C, Loewenson R, Solar O, et al. PLOS Medicine Vol. 3, No. 6, e106 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030106

    Perspectives

    Perspective articles are commissioned from an expert and discuss the clinical practice or public health implications of a published open access study (usually a study published in PLOS Medicine). We do not publish unsolicited Perspectives.

    Articles are up to 1200 words in length, with up to 12 references. Specific guidance to authors for writing a Perspective is available "here".

    For examples of Perspectives see:

    A New Mouse Model to Study Acquired Lymphedema. Schneider M, Ny A, de Almodovar CR, Carmeliet P PLOS Medicine Vol. 3, No. 7, e264 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030264

    Immunoprophylaxis against Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV-1. Gorny MK, Zolla-Pazner S PLOS Medicine Vol. 3, No. 7, e259 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030259

    Research in Translation (RIT)

    These articles discuss a particular disease, treatment, or public health intervention in the context of translation from early to clinical research or clinical evidence to practice. Some of the articles will be written in hindsight and review important steps from scientific discoveries to regulatory approval and practical implementation. Others will focus on a particular study and outline the research leading up it as well as future directions along the line of enquiry.

    An RIT article is not a full review, but could for example be a "bench to bedside" account that suggests where the story should go next. The article should provide sufficient history and background to frame the topic for the reader with a general background in medical science. It should then discuss selected advances with attention to how these are expected to improve care or define future research on the topic. The article should conclude with a summary that includes next steps in applying these improvements.

    RIT articles should not exceed 1500 words and 20 references. The use of display items (tables, figures, boxes) is encouraged. We also ask authors to include a box with "The Five Key Papers in the Field." For each key paper, please give a sentence on why the paper was such a breakthrough.

    For examples of RIT articles see:

    The Development of Vaginal Microbicides for the Prevention of HIV Transmission Weber J, Desai K, Darbyshire J, on behalf of the Microbicides Development Programme PLOS Medicine Vol. 2, No. 5, e142 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020142

    Silencing Viral Infection. Dykxhoorn DM, Lieberman J PLOS Medicine Vol. 3, No. 7, e242 doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030242

    Clinical Xenotransplantation of Organs: Why Aren't We There Yet? Mohiuddin MM PLOS Medicine Vol. 4, No. 3, e75 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040075

    Policy Forum

    This section is for authors to discuss health issues that have policy implications. We are particularly keen to feature articles by health policymakers that discuss the challenges and opportunities in improving health care to their constituencies. Articles should not exceed 2000 words, and may cite up to 30 references.

    If you are discussing a particular health policy proposal, first provide the background (why is a particular policy needed?), then outline your proposal and the evidence that supports it, and then describe the challenges that lie ahead in its implementation. The use of display items (tables, figures, boxes) is encouraged. Please keep in mind how others might learn from your experiences.

    For examples of Policy Forum articles see:

    Male Circumcision for Prevention of HIV Transmission: What the New Data Mean for HIV Prevention in the United States Sullivan PS, Kilmarx PH, Peterman TA, Taylor AW, Nakashima AK, et al. PLOS Medicine Vol. 4, No. 7, e223 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040223

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