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.

In response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak, all PLOS journals will be prioritizing the review of relevant submissions. Please see this announcement before you choose where to submit research related to this outbreak.

Timely research of ongoing disease outbreaks will be prioritized. The submissions do not have to be full-length articles and preliminary research will be considered. Emphasis should be placed on the results and data, rather than on potential impact. We will consider discussion articles that have a specific focus on timely issues or ongoing outbreaks. These should not be purely theoretical but have a basis in current research and emphasis on the management or public health response to outbreaks. A list of our currently published Discussions is accessible here.

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


Our goal is to share ongoing research, and to:

  • Publish timely research of ongoing and recent disease outbreaks
  • Facilitate prompt review and publication of research in progress including single findings, negative results, replications and methods and protocols.

We aim to minimize the delay between the generation and publication of research by:

  • Deploying a streamlined peer-review process that decreases the time from submission to acceptance.
  • Proving rapid feedback and immediate credit for work completed.
  • Publishing articles immediately upon acceptance.

Publication Criteria

To be accepted for publication in PLOS Currents, research articles must be within the scope of the relevant section. In addition they must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. The study presents the results of primary scientific research.
  2. Results reported have not been published elsewhere.
  3. Experiments, statistics, and other analyses are performed to a high technical standard and are described in sufficient detail.
  4. Conclusions are presented in an appropriate fashion and are supported by the data.
  5. The article is presented in an intelligible fashion and is written in standard English.
  6. The research meets all applicable standards for the ethics of experimentation and research integrity.
  7. The article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for data availability.

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

Please note, we have been experiencing technical difficulties with our submission system. If you have a technical issue with the submission process, please contact [email protected] with your manuscript title and a brief description of the issue.