Guidelines for Comments

1. Overview of Comments

PLOS Currents provides the ability for users to comment on articles to facilitate community evaluation and discourse around published articles.

Comments should be used to make additions or clarifications, identify and link to material, and are designed to lead to threaded discussions concerning the content, conclusions, and consequences of a specific article.

Authors of all Comments will be identified by their PLOS Currents ‘user name’.


2. Terms of Use

All Comments and other post-publication activity in PLOS Web sites are subject to the PLOS Terms of Use.


3. Who Can Contribute?

All registered users are able to add Comments to any article. Anyone can register as a user. Users are required to unambiguously identify themselves with their first and last names and a valid e-mail address in order to register. First and last name are made public, however e-mail addresses are private. The e-mail address and other registration fields that the user chooses to make private will be kept strictly confidential by PLOS staff unless otherwise indicated. Discussion and ratings are not anonymous. PLOS reserves the right to suspend the privileges of any registered user. Any registered user who is found to have provided false name will have their account suspended and any postings deleted. You can register for a PLOS Currents account here.


4. How to Add and Respond to Comments

To add a Comment about an article, log into your account and scroll to the bottom of the article you wish to comment on. the Web site. Enter a title and text for your comment in the appropriate boxes. When you are satisfied with the text, click “Post” to attach the Comment to the article. Any correctly formed URLs in the Comment text field will automatically become working links. To introduce formatting such as “bold” or “italics” select the option to edit the comments after the comment has been posted.

All comments are moderated by staff prior to posting and will not appear immediately. Comments that contain links to advertisements or that could otherwise be considered ‘spam’ will not be posted at staff discretion.

To respond to a Comment click the “Reply” link at the bottom-left of the comment.


5. Good Practice

All contributions must conform to the norms of civilized scientific discussion. Any contributions that do not meet these standards will be removed. Any users who consistently transgress these conventions will have their user privileges removed.

A partial list of discussion standards includes the following:

  1. Language that is insulting, inflammatory, or obscene will not be tolerated.
  2. Unsupported assertions or statements should be avoided. Comments must be evidence-based, not authority-based.
  3. When previously published studies are cited, they must be accurately referenced and, where possible, a DOI and link to a publicly accessible version supplied.
  4. Unpublished data should be provided with sufficient methodological detail for those data to be assessed. Alternatively, a permanent Web link to such information should be provided.
  5. Arguments based on belief are to be avoided. For example the assertion, “I don’t believe the results in Figure 2.” must be supported.
  6. Discussions should be confined to the demonstrable content of articles and should avoid speculation about the motivations or prejudices of authors.
  7. Questions about experimental data are appropriate, but need to be phrased in a way that does not imply any misconduct on the part of the authors. If a reader is concerned about potential misconduct, such concerns must always be raised with senior editorial staff at PLOS Currents.

PLOS is the final arbiter of the suitability of content for inclusion in PLOS Web sites.


6. Requesting Review of Inappropriate Content

We encourage you to request review of a Comment you believe to be inappropriate by contacting the PLOS Currents staff ( Indicate why the content should be reviewed and any other relevant additional information including a link to the article. PLOS staff will investigate the content, which may involve consulting external experts if necessary. Any content that PLOS staff deem to be inappropriate will be removed. Any users who consistently post inappropriate material will have their user privileges removed. If any contribution is removed, all subsequent responses along its thread will also be removed.

PLOS is the final arbiter of the suitability of content for inclusion in PLOS Web sites.