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PLOS Responds to Ebola Outbreak with New Channel & Expedited Peer Review

Early sharing and expedited peer review of relevant research

In response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we are creating a PLOS Channel for Ebola Research.  The Channel will make it easy for researchers to keep up with developments and important research related to the outbreak. We will work with authors and our editorial boards to provide rapid review and facilitate the responsible dissemination of preprints. We believe these responses are urgently needed during serious and rapidly developing threats to public health.

All relevant articles published across PLOS will be included in the Ebola Channel, alongside major contributions curated from the broader literature. You can also send any questions or content recommendations to ebola@plos.org or tweet us @PLOSChannels using the hashtag #PLOSEbola.

How do I make my Ebola research available quickly?

We’ve created a taskforce to identify editors and reviewers, and to manage an expedited review process across all our journals and platforms.  For authors, we recommend the following:

  • If you want to share a single observation (no more than 1 figure or table with commentary) submit to PLOS Currents: Outbreaks
  • Submit any other research to one of the 7 PLOS journals; all Ebola-related submissions will be prioritized. (Note that fee waiver assistance is available as needed)
  • Share your data and manuscript ahead of submission: large datasets should be deposited in a relevant repository, and manuscripts submitted to a preprint server. Include the DOIs or accession numbers for datasets and preprint in your submission.

In addition to expediting research publications, PLOS believes all data on the Ebola outbreak should be shared as rapidly and openly as possible. We endorse the Wellcome Trust’s statement demanding availability of data and research on Ebola. Editorial consideration of research submissions to PLOS journals will not be prejudiced by the early sharing of data or preprints.

Lessons learned: delivering rapid responses to emergency outbreaks

PLOS saw surges in submissions in previous outbreaks, notably the Ebola outbreak of 2014 and the Zika outbreak of 2015/2016. In each emergency, we provided resources to serve the community. In addition, concerns about data sharing during the 2014 Ebola outbreak led PLOS and other journal editors to issue a joint statement encouraging early data sharing. A recent report in PLOS Medicine showed that, while increased use of preprints in the 2016 Zika outbreak accelerated the dissemination of research results, the proportion of published articles on Zika that were preceded by preprints remained low.

Our shared responsibility in public health emergencies

We believe research, healthcare, and publishing communities have a responsibility to work together to respond rapidly to public health emergencies. PLOS is committed to disseminating new research findings as efficiently and effectively as possible. We appreciate the opportunity to facilitate access to your work.

 

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