Reviews for "PLoS ONE"

Journal title Average duration Review reports (1st review rnd.)
(click to go to journal page) 1st rev. rnd Tot. handling Im. rejection Number Quality Overall rating Outcome Year
PLoS ONE Drawn back before first editorial decision after 121 days Drawn back 2017
Motivation: After three months after submitting my article, I sent a query to the journal to get an update on the submission. They informed they did not have an academic editor asigned to it.
I waited another month and since I got no new updates, I asked the journal again. They still had not get an editor for the paper. I am withdrawing the article after losing four precious months.
PLoS ONE Drawn back before first editorial decision after 230 days Drawn back 2017
Motivation: I sent the paper to PLoS ONE, because the topic was something that would be interesting to a wide audience (it was about a linguistic analysis on Pokemon names). Since PLoS ONE takes pride in its fast turn-around time, after 3 month of silence, I sent an inquiry almost every month. Every time, they came back to me with a boiler plate email saying that "I guarantee that your manuscript is getting our full attention". After 7.5 months, I decided that what they are claiming is simply not true.
PLoS ONE 13.1 wks 17.1 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 3 (good) Accepted 2017
Motivation: Once reviewers were found the process was quite quick. However, considering PLoS's claims of rapid publishing times, we found the process quite lengthy. We were contacted one month after our initial submission asking us to nominate an academic editor. Two weeks later, the academic editor contacted us again to ask us to nominate reviewers. Considering the fee to publish, it felt a little like we were doing their jobs for them.
PLoS ONE 5.7 wks 8.1 wks n/a 1 3 (good) 3 (good) Accepted 2017
Motivation: Overall the process was smooth, however the single review was a disappointment.
PLoS ONE n/a n/a 20.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2015
PLoS ONE 7.4 wks 7.4 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 1 (bad) Rejected 2015
PLoS ONE 9.4 wks 9.4 wks n/a 2 4 (very good) 4 (very good) Rejected 2017
Motivation: Reviewer critiques were extensive and well-documented. Reviewer feedback was useful in significantly revising and restructuring our manuscript before resubmission elsewhere.
PLoS ONE 6.4 wks 10.7 wks n/a 2 4 (very good) 5 (excellent) Accepted 2016
PLoS ONE 10.8 wks 23.9 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 0 (very bad) Rejected 2016
Motivation: We experienced serious delays and issues during the review process, raising serious concerns about the reliability and overall quality of the journal.

The first review round took 2.5 months. The revised version of our manuscript was submitted on February 1, 2017. Then, our understanding was that the manuscript passed the technical check and was submitted to the Academic Editor (likely the same who revised the paper the first time). In fact, the status of the manuscript in the editorial manager changed from "Manuscript submitted to the journal" to "With the Editor".

After two months, we asked an update on the revision status and we were told that our manuscript was "currently being sent out for assignment to an Academic Editor" (a different one?). After that, the status returned to "Manuscript submitted to the journal" and remained the same for 30 days.

After three months from the new submission, the Editorial Office failed to find an Academic
Editor and eventually stopped replying to our emails. Therefore, although all the requests from the reviewers were addressed properly, we decided to withdraw the manuscript from further consideration by the journal.
PLoS ONE 7.0 wks 7.3 wks n/a 2 4 (very good) 4 (very good) Accepted 2017
Motivation: When a reviewer was delayed in uploading their comments, the journal reached out to me to share a status update, which I greatly appreciated. Appreciated relatively quick turnaround times.
PLoS ONE 12.1 wks 14.1 wks n/a 1 5 (excellent) 4 (very good) Accepted 2016
Motivation: It took a long time to assign Editor. Once Editor was assigned, the process was much quicker.
PLoS ONE 21.1 wks 21.6 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 3 (good) Accepted 2017
Motivation: The time to first review was very slow, especially for a journal that advertises itself as accelerating science. However, given the speed at which the manuscript was processed after resubmission, the delay may have been on the reviewers end more than the journal. One of the reviews had very little substance and was not very helpful but the second was generally good.
PLoS ONE 15.0 wks 18.9 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 2 (moderate) Accepted 2016
Motivation: Lost editor during summer, although PLoS stated that the new editor would take delay into account, it stool took 15 weeks before we had an outcome. Review reports were brief but fair. Second round of reviewing went faster.
PLoS ONE 9.1 wks 9.1 wks n/a 2 4 (very good) 5 (excellent) Rejected 2015
Motivation: Reviewing process is smooth and valid reasons for rejection were given
PLoS ONE 17.4 wks 21.7 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 3 (good) Accepted 2015
PLoS ONE 9.6 wks 16.3 wks n/a 1 4 (very good) 4 (very good) Accepted 2015
PLoS ONE 9.7 wks 16.6 wks n/a 2 5 (excellent) 3 (good) Accepted 2016
Motivation: Good quality reviews but I was hoping for a quicker process. It was not that long however.
PLoS ONE 17.4 wks 17.5 wks n/a 2 2 (moderate) 2 (moderate) Rejected 2015
PLoS ONE 23.3 wks 23.7 wks n/a 1 3 (good) 4 (very good) Accepted 2016
Motivation: The paper was under review for almost six months and we only received the comments from one reviewer. Those were good but it was not the speedy review process we had expected. The editorial office was then super quick to make a decision.
PLoS ONE 15.7 wks 30.4 wks n/a 3 4 (very good) 2 (moderate) Accepted 2016
Motivation: The reviewers were helpful and fast, with two rounds taking only ~4-5 weeks total. We had the paper for two weeks for revision. The remainder, ~5.5 months, was dragged out by poor editorial handling. We waited >1 month before an editor and reviewers were found.

As an example of the poor editorial handling, the editorial office told us (because we complained about the slowness) that the second round of reviews had been completed, yet our status remained "under review" for 3 weeks afterward instead of "required reviews complete" or "awaiting editorial decision". And no further revisions were requested by reviewers, so the editor had no excuse to wait that length of time.

Publication production was very fast, taking only a week from formal acceptance to online publication.
PLoS ONE n/a n/a 16.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2016
Motivation: I do not have any complaining about the speed of the journal. However I am not able to apreciate the reasons for the rejection. Journals, like Plos One, claim that they are not interested in percieved impact. But in my expreience they do, (somewhere in the deep). My manuscript was about genome-wide identification of an enzyme family in a group of single-celled eukaryotes. Editor thinks that blasting for the presence or absence of genes from publicly avaible data is not a primary scientific research (a criterion for publication with PlosONE). But I can show countless number of these kind of studies. Even one published in Plos One. He also found my phylogenetic analyses limited. This sounds to me that editor seeks an impact. Therefore, Plos One and that kind of journals should stop involving the name of Academic Editor in the accepted manuscript. Some "arrogant" editors do not want to be part of a nonimpactful paper. That is my theory.
PLoS ONE 7.4 wks 10.1 wks n/a 2 4 (very good) 4 (very good) Accepted 2016
Motivation: They had a hard time finding a handling editor. But once they found one, she dealt with it amazingly fast, within 2 weeks.
PLoS ONE Drawn back before first editorial decision after 121 days Drawn back 2014
Motivation: As on previous occassions, Plos One failed to find a willing editor within a reasonable time frame. Hence, we decided to withdraw and has since published it elsewhere.
PLoS ONE 10.1 wks 11.0 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 3 (good) Accepted 2016
PLoS ONE 7.0 wks 7.0 wks n/a 1 0 (very bad) 0 (very bad) Drawn back 2013
Motivation: We received one review that was six pages, single-spaced. The review was incoherent with incomplete sentences and we had no idea what the reviewer even wanted. The review contained a misquote of Shakespeare. Because we had no idea what the reviewer even wanted, we chose to withdraw and go to another journal. The paper ended up being published in another journal with a higher impact factor.
PLoS ONE 8.6 wks 22.6 wks n/a 2 4 (very good) 3 (good) Accepted 2015
PLoS ONE 5.4 wks 6.9 wks n/a 2 5 (excellent) 4 (very good) Accepted 2016
Motivation: Nice and professional experience overall. It took 2 weeks to find the editor, but the reviewers returned their reports very quickly. The reports were carefully prepared and they were helpful, better than what I usually I get from specialised journals and conferences in my field. I did not have much interation with the editor, but he was efficient in the process with quick turnarounds. I like the policy that they don't judge the novelty and impact of the work, so in theory a technically and scientifically sound paper cannot be rejected due to the subjective view of a reviewer and/or editor. Once the paper was accepted it was published quicker than my previously published work with Elsevier and other major well-known publishers. I did not give a perfect score because there were some small annoying things: for figures they accept only ancient TIF and EPS formats and the process of their submission is tedious, the LaTeX template supports only rudimentary citing (no \citet command), the manuscript has to be submitted without figures included (which makes it difficult to read and it's non-sense), and the publisher doesn't send the proof of the typeset PDF to authors before publication (so the final published paper may contain errors; mine luckily didn't have any errors but I can imagine errors may happen). Furthermore, once the paper was accepted, the production department returned it to me for very minor things they could fix themselves in a few minutes. Overall, in my case PLOS ONE gave an impression of a serious, professional, well organised and efficient journal and I think that I will submit to PLOS ONE again.
PLoS ONE 7.0 wks 7.0 wks n/a 2 5 (excellent) 5 (excellent) Accepted 2016
PLoS ONE 12.4 wks 12.4 wks n/a 1 3 (good) 1 (bad) Rejected 2016
Motivation: Instead of the promised 'one month to review', we waited 3 months. Got an email that they were having trouble finding reviewers after 3 months. Then a few days later, they sent one apparently fairly hasty statistical review. There were several excellent comments that would have been readily addressed. The reviewer's main concern, however, indicate s/he had not read the manuscript very closely (did not understand the main dependent variable despite descriptions in methods and figures). This feels like we did not receive a proper peer review...and waiting this long only to then receive minimal review, is highly disappointing and beneath what I'd expect of PLoS ONE.
PLoS ONE 13.3 wks 39.7 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 3 (good) Accepted 2015
PLoS ONE 22.6 wks 32.6 wks n/a 2 2 (moderate) 0 (very bad) Accepted 2015
Motivation: Our paper was accepted, so my poor ratings are nothing to do with sour grapes. However, the editor did not seem especially well-informed in this subject area. While this can't be expected of a specialist journal, a massive enterprise such as PLoS One, with its legion of Editors, should be able to find a suitable editor (or to accept the Editor recommended by the authors). This caused difficulties because she did not challenge some of the frankly ridiculous comments/requests of one of the reviewers. Instead we had to make more and more changes (5 sets of revisions!), although to my mind the law of (exponential) diminishing returns was evident after the second revision. The Ed contented herself with (reading and then...?) following the requests from the reviewers for continual additional revisions. Eventually in complete exasperation, we challenged the reviewer to 'put up or shut up' and they finally conceded that they lacked unawareness of the literature. At that point I was very willing to withdraw the paper and send it elsewhere.
I also found the editor to be particularly thin skinned and frankly patronising, with her parting comment: "I WOULD LIKE TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO ONE ISSUE (WHICH MAY BE OF IMPORTANCE FOR YOUR FUTURE COMMUNICATION WITH EDITORS): all my communication I did address to you (by your name), all your communication to me had been addressed to "[Dear] Editor". I would recommend you to call your future Editors by name. this is just a good communication style" (all caps in original). Now, I agree that it is a courtesy to an Editor to use their name and title, but it is difficult to take lessons about "good communication" from someone who waited until the 6th(!) decision to letter to inform us that her feelings had been hurt! We could have used her name if she pointed out this trivial oversight after letter 1. Moreover the nature of the decision letters (to amend according to the wishes of the reviewers) did nothing to dispel the idea that one was dealing with a nameless automaton. Anyway, no more PLoS submissions for me, I think!
PLoS ONE 7.7 wks 7.7 wks n/a 2 1 (bad) 0 (very bad) Rejected 2015
Motivation: It took about 3 weeks before the paper was even sent out for review.

The editorial process was problematic for us. Our paper was rejected despite one positive and one negative, but flawed, review. Rather than attempting to obtain another opinion, the editor took it upon himself to reject.
PLoS ONE 8.3 wks 13.0 wks n/a 1 3 (good) 0 (very bad) Rejected 2015
Motivation: The first part of the process was rather smooth, but the story was not finished after the primary acceptance. On January 8th 2016 we were informed that during the technical check a potential competing interest between one of the authors and the manuscript-handling Academic Editor was discovered, as they have co-published together within the last five years. It was the journal who selected the handling editor (who was not among the suggested Academic Editors that we were requested to indicate in the submission form). Therefore it's the journal's full responsibility and conflict of interest issues should have been checked at the start of the submission procedure and not after the evaluation of the manuscript.
On January 11th 2016 we have been informed that our manuscript has been assigned to a new Academic Editor and already on January 12th we got the notice that our manuscript did not meet the criteria for publication and therefore has been rejected, giving a very short and scientifically rather doubtful opinion to which we were not asked to respond, thus overruling the decision of the first editor and the reviewers.
We perceived this procedure as enormously disrespectful towards the authors and the reviewers who deemed the manuscript suitable for publication. After having contacted the senior editors and the journal management team asking for a more detailed explanation regarding their decision, there was no reply until this date (29. 4. 2016).
PLoS ONE 12.0 wks 22.0 wks n/a 2 3 (good) 1 (bad) Rejected 2015
Motivation: Change of Editors between submissions. Very slow: was not sent for review for at least a month and needed prompting by email to get etc.
PLoS ONE 15.2 wks 16.2 wks n/a 2 1 (bad) 0 (very bad) Rejected 2015
Motivation: The reviews were of very low quality, we did submit an appeal but after almost 4 months of waiting for an answer we withdraw it
PLoS ONE 5.0 wks 7.0 wks n/a 2 4 (very good) 4 (very good) Accepted 2011
Motivation: Fast review process. Reviewers were experts in the field.
PLoS ONE 19.0 wks 19.0 wks n/a 2 1 (bad) 1 (bad) Rejected 2015
Motivation: The review took five month
The reviews were not good:
- the first reviewer contested the technique of recording (the technique was classic, the reviewer just did not like it)
- the second reviewver major comments were about syntax mistakes
PLoS ONE 7.1 wks 9.0 wks n/a 2 1 (bad) 2 (moderate) Accepted 2016
Motivation: Editor's input was minimal (essentially a proxy of the reviewer). A single reviewer was involved in the process initially and a second added later on. Minor revisions listed as Major.
PLoS ONE 14.0 wks 16.6 wks n/a 3 4 (very good) 2 (moderate) Accepted 2016
PLoS ONE 13.0 wks 27.7 wks n/a 2 4 (very good) 3 (good) Accepted 2014