Aims & Scope

PLOS Currents: Outbreaks is an Open Access publication channel for the rapid communication of new research results. PLOS Currents: Outbreaks is a way to share peer-reviewed results and ideas immediately while ensuring that they will be permanently archived and citable.


PLOS Currents: Outbreaks considers research in all aspects of infectious disease outbreaks, including respiratory pathogens as well as foodborne and travel-related outbreaks. We welcome research relevant to any infectious disease outbreak with impact or potential impact on human health, including but not restricted to the following: influenza, salmonella, haemorrhagic fever, norovirus, Ebola, coronavirus, meningitis, E. coli, zoonotic and vector-borne infections, health care-acquired infections.

The submissions do not have to be full-length articles and will not be judged on the basis of the likely significance of the work. Emphasis should be placed on the results and data, rather than on potential impact.

Submissions may cover any aspect of research including the following areas:

  • Serological and epidemiological data
  • Disease trends and modeling of outbreaks dynamics
  • Vaccine development and vaccination strategies
  • Policy and control of infectious disease outbreaks
  • Cell biology and genomics studies into infectious agents
  • Brief descriptions of methods to detect and characterize pathogens and to track and model the evolution of outbreaks
  • Updates on existing protocols or computational approaches relevant to outbreaks and epidemics
  • Social science pieces with relevance to infectious disease outbreaks.

During significant Public Health emergencies the scope of the journal may be narrowed to reflect our limited capacity during such crises.  Only timely research of ongoing outbreaks will be considered and Editors may enforce subjective criteria regarding the potential impact of the work.


Share ongoing research:

  • To facilitate prompt review and publication of research findings by encouraging short-form articles of research in progress including single findings, negative results, replications and methods and protocols.

Minimize the delay between the generation and publication of research:

  • To deploy a streamlined peer-review process that decreases the time from submission to acceptance.
  • To publish articles immediately upon acceptance.
  • To provide rapid feedback and immediate credit for work completed.

Publish ALL experimental results:

  • To provide a forum where results will not be judged on the basis of research significance.
  • To publish scientifically sound research which may otherwise go unpublished.

Publication Process

The submissions are reviewed by a group of leading researchers in the field – the Board of Reviewers. The reviewers make a rapid determination as to whether a contribution is intelligible, relevant, ethical and scientifically credible, but will otherwise not impose restrictions on the nature, format or content of the contributions. Those submissions deemed appropriate are posted immediately at PLOS Currents: Outbreaks and publicly archived at PubMed Central.

It is assumed that submissions will often report preliminary data and analyses and it will be possible to revise contributions, for example in light of new data. Such revisions will be subject to approval by the editors, and reviewers if necessary; the different versions of the same article will be identifiable and all versions will be archived and separately citable.

The content is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License, enabling unrestricted distribution and use of the published materials, provided that its authors are properly credited. Every accepted submission will receive a permanent identifier that can be linked to and cited in other publications.

PLOS Currents: Outbreaks is an open-access publication from the Public Library of Science. The content in PLOS Currents: Outbreaks is subject to the standard PLOS Terms of Use