Are you SUBMITTING a paper for the first time?
The PLOS figure, table, and supporting information guidelines are recommendations. The more closely your paper's figures, tables, and supporting information adhere to these guidelines, the faster and more smoothly it will proceed through all stages. View our video short on how to check your image quality in our submission system.
About submission system's “View Artwork Quality” results. At submission, a figure's quality check warnings may be disregarded. However, before a paper can be formally accepted, all warnings must be addressed except “Alpha Channel,” “AQC error,” and “Testing in Progress.”
Is your paper about to be ACCEPTED?
Upon acceptance, the PLOS figure, table, and supporting information guidelines become requirements. Although our staff offer guidance and advice, PLOS does not provide graphics services. Preparation of figures, tables, and Supporting Information is the responsibility of the author.
The Copyright and License Policies that apply to articles also apply to figures. Please do not submit any figures, photos, or tables that have been previously copyrighted unless you have and can supply written permission from the copyright holder to publish under the CC-BY or CC0 license. Without this, we cannot publish the figures.
Submitted image files should not be manipulated or adjusted in any way that could lead to misinterpretation of the information present in the original image. Inappropriate manipulation includes, but is not limited to:
Digital images in manuscripts nearing acceptance for publication may be scrutinized for any indication of improper manipulation. If evidence is found of inappropriate manipulation, we reserve the right to ask for original data and, if that is not satisfactory, we may decide not to accept the manuscript and may also contact the authors' institutions to ask them to assist with investigation.
For papers that include identifying, or potentially identifying, information, authors must download the Consent Form for Publication in a PLOS Journal (PDF), which the individual, parent, or guardian must sign once they have read the paper and been informed about the terms of PLOS open-access license. The signed consent form should not be submitted with the manuscript, but authors should securely file it in the individual's case notes, and the methods section of the manuscript should explicitly state that consent authorization for publication is on file, using wording like: “The individual in this manuscript has given written informed consent (as outlined in PLOS consent form) to publish these case details.” Examples of such identifying information include, but are not limited to: photographs, radiographs, pedigrees (family trees), and geospatial maps that can identify a specific location such as a house. If you require further information, please contact the relevant journal before submission of your paper.
PLOS can accept only TIFF or EPS for publication. Figures should be uploaded separately, not embedded in the article file. See the table below for a summary of requirements. The following applies only to graphics published directly as figures within articles. Supporting Information figures have fewer requirements.
|All figures||Dimensions||Maximum: 17.35 cm W x 23.35 cm H
Minimum: 8.3 cm W
|Column fitting||Sized to fit columns in the final printed PDF|
|Color mode||RGB (8 bit/channel) or grayscale only|
|Within-figure text||Arial, Times, or Symbol 8-12 point|
|Number/title/caption/image credit||Number/title/caption/image credit|
|Lines/rules/strokes||Minimum 0.5 point|
|Multi-panel figures||Figure file must contain all parts in one file|
|White space||Crop out excess from around image content|
|File size||Under 10 MB|
|Orientation||Vertical, not turned sideways|
|Layers||Flattened, no layers|
|Alpha channels||No alpha channels|
|Background color||White, not transparent|
|EPS||Text||Must be converted to outlines or saved with embedded fonts|
|CS5||Save as CS4-compatible|
|Multimedia||PLOS cannot directly publish multimedia files in articles, but encourages their submission as Supporting Information.|
The following applies only to tables published directly within articles. Tables submitted as Supporting Information have fewer requirements. Tables submitted for direct publication should be included at the very end of the article file, not submitted as separate files.
For detailed information, see our complete Table Specifications.
|Layout||Tables must be primarily cell-based and fully editable.|
|Structuring the table||Do not use the following to organize data or structure the table:
|Software||Word (preferred), Excel, LaTeX|
|Graphics||No graphics, boxes, or embedded tables.|
|Dimensions||Very large tables are acceptable, but may be set vertically and/or span several pages in the final PDF.|
|Text||Colored fonts will not appear in published version; use bold or italic for emphasis.|
|Parts||No parts. Make Table 1A and Table 1B into Tables 1 and 2, or combine into one table.|
Supporting Information is not published directly in the article; rather, a link to the file is provided in the online version of the published article. The information contained in these files is ancillary to the article's content, although occasionally important data are included if the file size is excessive or the file type is not supported in the main article.
For more detailed information, see our complete Supporting Information Guidelines.