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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.

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