Author FAQ

PLOS Currents FAQs

Rapid and open sharing of new research data, analyses, and ideas.

PLOS Currents is a publication forum for rapid and open sharing of new research data, analyses, and ideas. All content is reviewed by an expert group of researchers, and is permanently archived and citable.

What is PLOS Currents?

PLOS Currents (ISSN 2157-3999) is an open-access publication forum for the extremely rapid communication of new research findings, which minimizes the delay between submission and publication. The articles in PLOS Currents are citable, archived in PubMed Central, and searchable in PubMed. PLOS Currents is organized in sections that cover particular topics. The first section was launched in August 2009, and focused on influenza research. Each section of PLOS Currents has a specific Aims and Scope which is described on the web site.

Are articles in PLOS Currents citable?

Yes. Every accepted article receives a permanent identifier so that the PLOS Currents articles can be cited in other publications. A typical citation is:

Shui Shan Lee and Ngai Sze Wong. Characterizing the initial diffusion pattern of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 using surveillance data. PLOS Curr: Influenza. 2010 March 10: RRN1151.

How is PLOS Currents peer-reviewed?

Every article that is submitted to PLOS Currents is reviewed by a group of scientists with relevant expertise. These experts are usually members of the Board of Reviewers for the section of PLOS Currents to which the authors have submitted (e.g., PLOS Currents: Influenza). The Editors of the section are responsible for overseeing this process.

The goals of the review process are to determine as rapidly as possible if the conception, structure and presentation of the submission indicate that it is a legitimate work of science and does not contain any obvious methodological, ethical or legal violations.

The review procedure used on PLOS Currents is designed to minimize the delay between the generation and publication of new findings, whilst preserving a level of editorial quality control. Submissions are not judged in terms of their likely ‘significance’, and authors are not required to revise the work unless specific flaws are identified.

What is the difference between PLOS Currents and the PLOS Journals?

The peer review process at PLOS Currents is different from that carried out by the PLOS Journals. Specifically, the peer review process on PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine is the responsibility of professional staff editors, who are advised by academic editors and external reviewers. For the PLOS Community Journals – PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Pathogens and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases – peer review is handled by editorial boards of leading researchers who also seek the opinions of other relevant experts. For all of these journals, the goal is to determine the significance of the work and whether it fits within the editorial scope of the journal, in addition to being of the requisite quality in terms of rigour, and adherence to accepted reporting and ethical guidelines. For PLOS ONE, peer review is handled by academic editors who seek the opinions of other relevant experts, but the question asked is only whether the submission has been rigorously and ethically conducted and properly reported; no account is taken of the potential significance or target audience for the work.

The key differences between the process for PLOS Currents and the PLOS journals are thus:

  • submissions are not usually sent for review beyond the named Board of Reviewers;
  • the Reviewers typically do not send lengthy and detailed reports on the submissions;
  • and many articles are published without significant revision

The second major difference between PLOS Currents and the PLOS Journals is that the submissions to PLOS Currents are written, reviewed and published using a web-based tool called Google Knol. Authors are in complete control over the content and appearance of their submissions, and once they have passed the review process, articles are published immediately. Upon publication they are also archived at PubMed Central, where they are given a unique ID, so that the work can be cited.

Why should researchers submit to content to PLOS Currents?

PLOS Currents is an open-access publication forum to share results and ideas with minimal delay. Researchers submitting work to PLOS Currents are also contributing to an effort to dramatically enhance the process of research communication, and to accelerate the research cycle itself. Their work will also be publicly archived, searchable in PubMed, and citable by other interested researchers.

Can I re-publish contents of my PLOS Currents article when submitting to another PLOS Journal?

Submissions to the PLOS Journals may include the results of experiments or studies, including figures, which have been communicated previously in PLOS Currents. To be published in another PLOS Journal, the new submission must be judged to be a substantive advance on the previously published work, as well as satisfying the specific editorial criteria for publication in the PLOS Journal. A simple recapitulation of results that have been communicated in PLOS Currents will not be considered for publication in a PLOS Journal.

How can I support PLOS Currents?

If you are a researcher in a field covered by PLOS Currents, please consider submitting your results and ideas to PLOS Currents. You are also encouraged to use PLOS Currents as a colloquium: initiate or participate in discussions, or add comments, ratings and tags to the content in PLOS Currents, and make the content more valuable to the whole community. You can also alert your colleagues and others to noteworthy contributions; and provide links from other relevant sites or blogs. And please be sure to cite any work that you find useful on the site.

How do I prepare and submit a contribution to PLOS Currents?

Authors assemble their content at the Annotum site for the Currents section of their choice, where it can be edited and discussed with other users at the authors’ discretion. Once the authors deem their work to be ready, they can submit the contribution, where it will be considered by the Board of Reviewers, and given a rapid decision.

The accepted contributions are immediately published in PLOS Currents and are also simultaneously archived at PubMed Central

Authors wishing to edit their article can go back to the original Annotum submission, make their edits and resubmit the article. New versions will be considered by the Board of Reviewers, and if accepted the new version will be added to PLOS Currents and archived at PubMed Central, along with any previous versions, so that users have access to a full version history.

Is there a publication charge like there is for the PLOS Journals?

There are currently no publication charges for PLOS Currents. However, it is possible that we will introduce a small publication charge in future to cover the running costs.

Who owns the copyright on my contribution?

All content in PLOS Currents is open access and available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. All users of the content are required to cite the original PLOS Currents authors and the source.

Can contributions to PLOS Currents be deleted or retracted?

Once a submission has been included in PLOS Currents, it will be permanently archived. If errors are identified, authors or users can use comments to update the contributions. Authors also have the option to revise their contribution and resubmit the revision for publication. All new versions will be reviewed by the Board of Reviewers. If a contribution is found to be unethical, fraudulent or otherwise inappropriate after publication, a retraction notice will be appended to the article.

Will there be more PLOS Currents sections?

We plan to refine and enhance the processes and features of PLOS Currents as we learn from our experience of using this platform, and from the suggestions and comments from authors and the broader scientific community. We anticipate expanding PLOS Currents in the future, and welcome suggestions for new sections.