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About PLOS Computational Biology

PLOS Computational Biology (eISSN 1553-7358, ISSN 1553-734X) is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published monthly by PLOS as an official journal of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).

PLOS Computational Biology is run by an international Editorial Board, headed by the Editor-in-Chief, Ruth Nussinov (National Cancer Institute and Tel Aviv University, Frederick, MD, USA and Tel Aviv, Israel).

Journal Scope

PLOS Computational Biology features works of exceptional significance that further our understanding of living systems at all scales—from molecules and cells, to patient populations and ecosystems—through the application of computational methods. Readers include life and computational scientists, who can take the important findings presented here to the next level of discovery.

Research articles must be declared as belonging to one of the following categories: General, Methods or Software. Software articles form a specific sub-category. More information about Software articles can be found in Section 8 of the Author Guidelines.

Research articles should model aspects of biological systems, demonstrate both methodological and scientific novelty, and provide profound new biological insights. Research articles with limited novelty may be more appropriate for PLOS ONE.

Generally, reliability and significance of biological discovery through computation should be validated and enriched by experimental studies. Inclusion of experimental validation is not required for publication, but should be referenced where possible. Inclusion of experimental validation of a modest biological discovery through computation does not render a manuscript suitable for PLOS Computational Biology.

Research articles specifically designated as Methods papers should describe outstanding methods of exceptional importance that have been shown, or have the promise to provide new biological insights. The method must already be widely adopted, or have the promise of wide adoption by a broad community of users. Enhancements to existing published methods will only be considered if those enhancements bring exceptional new capabilities.

For all submissions, authors must clearly provide detail, data, and software to ensure readers' ability to reproduce the models, methods, and results.

Methods articles and Software articles require presubmission inquiries. Presubmission inquiries for general research articles are encouraged, but not essential.

Journal Contents

Outstanding primary research articles on all aspects of computational biology applied to different and integrated biological scales, from molecules and cells to patient populations and ecosystems.

Invited and submitted reviews and perspectives on topics of broad interest to the readership. Historical reviews and high-quality tutorials (including multimedia presentations) teaching important concepts in the field of computational biology. Software articles describing outstanding open source software of exceptional importance that has been shown to provide new biological insights.

Announcements of activities of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) and other information of interest to scientists in this and related fields.

Please refer to our Author Guidelines when you are preparing your manuscript for submission. If you are unsure whether your paper is suitable for PLOS Computational Biology, you can send a Presubmission Inquiry.

Open Access

PLOS applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to all works we publish. Under the CC BY license, authors retain ownership of the copyright for their article, but authors allow anyone to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy articles in PLOS journals, so long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.

Publications Fees

To provide Open Access, PLOS uses a business model to offset expenses—including those of peer review management, journal production and online hosting and archiving—by charging a publication fee to the authors, institutions or funders for each article published.

Publication fees vary by journal and are payable for articles upon acceptance.

PLOS believes that lack of funds should not be a barrier to Open Access publication. Since its inception, PLOS has provided individual fee support and institutional fee support programs. The current offering includes:

PLOS Global Participation Initiative (Low- and Middle-Income Country Assistance)

Authors' research which is funded primarily (50% or more of the work contained within the article) by an institution or organization from eligible low- and middle-income countries will receive partial (group 2 countries) or full (group 1 countries) fee funding paid by the PLOS Global Participation Initiative (GPI). Group 2 PLOS GPI country authors who need to request additional support should apply for PLOS Publication Fee Assistance instead of the PLOS GPI.

PLOS Publication Fee Assistance (PFA)

Publication Fee Assistance is intended for authors who demonstrate financial need. Information about an applicant's application status for fee assistance will not be disclosed to journal editors or reviewers. PLOS publication decisions will continue to be based solely on editorial criteria.

PLOS Institutional Fee Support Program

PLOS currently offers an institutional program to support Open Access scientific publishing. Participating institutions have arrangements with PLOS to administer payment for full publication fees for their institutions' authors. To be eligible, authors must be a corresponding author affiliated with the institution or agency in the Institutional Account Program (fully paid or restricted). (Special note to UK authors — certain institutions will restrict payment to cover for Wellcome Trust and RCUK research grant recipients only.) Authors who need to request additional support should apply for PLOS PFA.

Additional External Funds

Authors may also be eligible for direct funding from their institution or funder, which may be different from the PLOS Institutional program. See additional Open Access funds for examples. To confirm amounts and details of funding and eligibility, contact the organization as indicated.

Measuring Impact

At PLOS, we believe that articles in all journals should be assessed on their own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which they were published.  PLOS journals have therefore initiated a program to provide a growing set of measures and indicators of impact at the article level that will include citation metrics, usage statistics, blogosphere coverage, social bookmarks, community rating and expert assessment. The long-term vision is to bring the views and activities of entire communities to bear, using the wealth of opportunities offered online, to provide new, meaningful and efficient mechanisms for research assessment. For more information on article-level metrics see the PLOS blog.

About the International Society for Computational Biology

The International Society for Computational Biology is a scholarly society dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of living systems through computation. Founded in 1997, the ISCB communicates the significance of our science to the larger scientific community, governments, and the public at large. The ISCB serves a global membership by impacting government and scientific policies, providing high quality publications and meetings, and through distribution of valuable information about training, education, employment and relevant news from related fields. For more information about the ISCB, visit www.iscb.org.

About PLOS

PLOS is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information about PLOS, visit www.plos.org.