Every manuscript submitted to PLoS ONE must first undergo a Technical Check (Tech Check), carried out in-house to ensure that it is ready to be assigned to an Academic Editor. Some of the checks include: is your manuscript technically sound (do all of your manuscript files open correctly, for example?); does it meet certain of our basic criteria (is the English good, is it a primary research article etc.); does it meet our ethics requirements, and so on. If we need you to make any changes or provide any extra information, we will send the manuscript back to you and ask you to address these concerns and sometimes this can take a few days of back and forth while all the details are worked out. Therefore, if you are planning to submit to PLoS ONE, here are some tips to help your manuscript pass the QC check as quickly as possible:
- Your first point of call should be our submission checklist and author guidelines, which give you detailed information and advice if you are intending to submit a manuscript to PLoS ONE.
- Worried about your figures? Submitting in LaTeX? Check out our figure guidelines and guidelines for LaTeX submissions. Following these will help to ensure that your manuscript can move swiftly through our production system if it is accepted for publication in PLoS ONE.
- During submission you will be asked to describe any sources of funding that have supported the work and to declare any conflicts of interest. This is often the area which causes the most back and forth and so ensuring you have provided these details means we will be able to start the review process more quickly.
- Submitting a manuscript that reports a study involving human participants or animals? You will need to make sure you have detailed the relevant information concerning ethics approval and participant consent in your manuscript. Visit this section on our website for our more specific requirements.
- We suggest that you also read our reporting guidelines to see whether we require any additional information or supplementary files for your specific type of study. For example, we require authors of randomized controlled trials to provide their trial registration number and copies of a completed CONSORT flowchart and checklist along with their submission.
- If you’ve received an initial decision and the Academic Editor has asked you to revise and resubmit your manuscript, don’t forget to include a rebuttal letter, responding point-by-point to the comments made by the Academic Editor and/or reviewers (and preferably, a tracked changes version of your revised manuscript).
- In our manuscript submission form is a section for you to recommend members of our board who would be suitable to handle your manuscript. You can read more information about our AEs and their research interests by downloading the Academic Editors’ Subject Area Specialties spreadsheet from our website.
- When submitting, we also ask you to provide some free-text keywords related to your manuscript. These won’t appear on your paper if it is published but will help us to identify the topic of your manuscript and to find an appropriate Academic Editor.