Detailed guidance for writing a PLOS Medicine Perspective article

Perspective articles are 800-1000 words, with up to 12 references, and they are aimed at general clinicians and clinical researchers worldwide (rather than specialists).

Please take readers through the following issues:

  1. The background: What did we know before this study? Why was this study done? What was the research question?
  2. The study: what did the researchers do and find?
  3. The strengths and limitations of the study
  4. The implications: what does this study mean for clinical practice, for researchers, or for health policymakers?
  5. The future: what are the next steps/unanswered research questions?

We want you to use a few sub-headings to guide readers through the piece.

You can see examples of PLOS Medicine Perspectives at:

A New Mouse Model to Study Acquired Lymphedema. Schneider M, Ny A, de Almodovar CR, Carmeliet P PLOS Medicine Vol. 3, No. 7, e264

Immunoprophylaxis against Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV-1. Gorny MK, Zolla-Pazner S PLOS Medicine Vol. 3, No. 7, e259

Please use the following PLOS house style for references: (a) please number them at the end of the relevant sentence (e.g. "Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), characterized by chronic or recurrent relapsing gastrointestinal inflammation, are broadly grouped by clinical and pathological features into two groups—Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) [6–8]."), and (b) In the numbered reference list at the end of the piece, the house style is "First five authors et al, year in parentheses, title, journal citation" (e.g. "Fadok VA, Bratton DL, Konowal A, Freed PW, Westcott JY, et al. (1998) Macrophages that have ingested apoptotic cells in vitro inhibit proinflammatory cytokine production through autocrine/paracrine mechanisms involving TGF-beta, PGE2, and PAF. J Clin Invest 101: 890–898.")

Finally, please include two statements with your article:

(a) Funding: Please state whether you received any specific funding to write your piece. If you did, please state whether the funder played any role in the article's preparation.

(b) Competing interests: Please state whether you have any competing interests related to the article (see