Checklist for Revised Manuscripts for PLOS Medicine

Author Guidelines are available here. Figure Guidelines are available here.

Please follow these guidelines!

The following list highlights the most common problems with revised papers.

1) For the response to reviewers, please ensure that:

Your revisions address the specific points made by each reviewer. In your rebuttal letter you should list your responses to all the reviewers' and editors' comments and the changes you have made to the manuscript. Please upload this as a REBUTTAL LETTER file.

We also ask authors to provide a marked-up copy of the changes made from the previous article file as a SUPPORTING INFORMATION file.

2) In the text:

Structure of the paper (see the Guidelines for Authors for more details):

    The TITLE should be a clear description of the paper's content. For randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews/meta-analyses, and often other types of studies, the subtitle should include the study design.

  • The ABSTRACT should be divided into the following three sections with these headings: Background, Methods and Findings, and Conclusions. It should contain the all following elements, except for items in square brackets, which are only needed for some study types. Please use the same format for abstracts submitted as presubmission inquiries.
    • The Background section should describe clearly the rationale for the study being done. The final sentence should state the specific study hypothesis and/or study objectives.
    • In Methods and Findings, describe the participants or what was studied (e.g., cell lines, patient group; be as specific as possible, including numbers studied). Describe the study design/intervention/main methods used/what was primarily being assessed, e.g., primary outcome measure and, if appropriate, over what period.
      [If appropriate, include how many participants were assessed out of those enrolled, e.g., the response rate for a survey]
      [If critical to the understanding of the paper, describe how results were analyzed, i.e., which specific statistical tests were used]
      For the main outcomes provide a numerical result if appropriate (it nearly always is) and a measure of its precision (e.g. 95% confidence interval).
      Describe any adverse events.
      Describe the main limitations of the study.
      In Conclusions, provide a general interpretation of the results with any implications supported by the research and important recommendations for future research.
      [For a clinical trial, provide trial identification number(s) and name(s) (e.g., trial registration number, protocol number or acronym).]
  • The end of the INTRODUCTION should include a brief statement of the intention of the paper (e.g., "We aimed to investigate the association of x with y"). Results should not be included here.
  • Your DISCUSSION should start with a brief summary of your main findings. The discussion must include a section assessing the limitations of the study.

Other common issues:

  • Use SI values throughout where applicable.
  • If you are reporting P values they should be exact unless less than 0.001. P values should never be reported in isolation but must be accompanied by the results from which they are derived, along with a measure of error (e.g., mean and SD, or 95% CIs).
  • If you report relative risks, you should also report the associated actual differences and often the absolute risk.
  • In the relevant box of the submission form, you must declare all funding sources and state what their role was in the paper. Our standard phrase is: "The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript." If this statement is not correct you must amend as needed.

3) Please also adhere to the following production requirements:

  • Article files should be submitted in DOC, DOCX, or RTF format. Please see the Author Guidelines for more details. Instructions for submitting LaTeX files, including the PLOS LaTex template, can be found here:
  • TABLES must be in an editable format (Word or Excel) and comply with the Table Guidelines. They should be included in the article file. In Word, all tables must be made using the table function with their structure given by table cells (i.e., no tabs, no returns, no spaces).
  • FIGURES should be uploaded as individual files that comply with our Figure Guidelines. These figures must be TIF or EPS files.
  • SUPPORTING INFORMATION should be uploaded as individual files that have captions in the main article file. For more information about requirements, see our Supporting Information guidelines.
  • Please ensure that authors are entered in the correct order in the submission form and that the spellings of all names, institutions, and e-mail addresses are accurate. If any contributing authors have not replied to the previous e-mail sent requesting their contributions and competing interests, they must do so when the revised manuscript is submitted. We do not make final decisions regarding publication until all of these statements have been received.
  • You must indicate your agreement to the PLOS open access license.
  • If your paper is accepted for publication, we may highlight it on our homepage with a suitable striking image. Please feel free to suggest a suitable image from the paper or another source. If the image is judged to be suitable by the editors and your article is accepted, it may be featured on the homepage along with your article. It is PLOS Medicine policy not to use images of identifiable patients without their written consent. Please inform us of the source of the image if you provide one - anything we publish must be available under our open access license or in the public domain.

If you have any questions or require any assistance, please contact PLOSMedicine [at]