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 26 days Drawn back 2017
Motivation: We submitted a manuscript which was returned 3.7 weeks later with a note from the Academic Editor requesting revisions to the abstract, clarity on access to data, and more details on the methods. The editorial office also requested a copy of the LaTeX source document and some details on roles and conflicts of interest. We turned all this around in around 4 days and resubmitted. The Editorial Manager interface indicates that the manuscript is out for review. However, it's been over 90 days since the original submission and any inquiries have been responded to promptly with what appears to be polite boilerplate text from the editorial office. This experience is in contrast to an earlier submission, which underwent final disposition (acceptance) including a revision in 87 days. It's possible that the process is simply overwhelmed by many submissions and this is an outlier experience but I must confess to a loss of confidence. So we've requested withdrawal of the manuscript and will find another journal.
PLoS ONE 38.7
weeks
38.7
weeks
n/a 2 1
(bad)
2
(moderate)
Rejected 2017
Motivation: We sent our work to PLOS One because it is supposed to provide high-quality, fast reviews. We asked every couple of months, and the paper, at least up to the 6th month, did not have an assigned editor yet. We finally got the reviews after 8 months, with one reviewer advising acceptance and one reviewer rejection, and got an outright rejection. I believe that we should have gotten a third review, and that the two reviews we got are not high quality and were not fast. Overall, a disappointing (and slow) experience.
PLoS ONE Drawn back before first editorial decision after 239 days Drawn back 2017
Motivation: We decided to submit to PLoS ONE because we wanted to make our research and especially the underlying data and codes open access. The administrative procedure went really smooth and the search for an academic editor was on its way quite fast. Afterwards it took 3 months to assign the paper to an academic editor. After three more months we were informed that the Journal is again looking for an academic editor. After in total 8 months we decided to withdraw our work. During the whole process (at different points in time) we proposed two potential academic editors from the Journal's list and 4 reviewers from our field.
PLoS ONE 17.4
weeks
69.4
weeks
n/a 1 0
(very bad)
0
(very bad)
Drawn back 2015
Motivation: After submission of the first revision, the editor was unavailable. Plos ONE did not find a new editor for about one year. So we decided to withdraw our manuscript and submit elsewhere.
PLoS ONE 8.4
weeks
22.4
weeks
n/a 2 1
(bad)
0
(very bad)
Rejected 2017
Motivation: The reviewers in my opinion did not even try to understand the concept of the study. The authors tried their best. Added more explanations where ever asked. But the reviewers made lame reviews in the end targeting english proficiency of the first author. The first author is a native english speaker. The manuscript was still sent to a language expert and they found the english absolutely fine. After wasting approximately 4 months the journal rejected the paper without giving detailed reasons. Therefore to conclude, they could neither find competent reviewers and neither helped the authors when the reviewers were not doing a satisfactory job. Pathetic experience!
PLoS ONE 2.7
weeks
5.0
weeks
n/a 2 5
(excellent)
5
(excellent)
Accepted 2017
Motivation: The process was quick, the reviewers were focused and their remarks contributed to the paper.
The communication with the editor was very swift and pleasant.
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
weeks
17.1
weeks
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
weeks
8.1
weeks
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
weeks
7.4
weeks
n/a 2 3
(good)
1
(bad)
Rejected 2015
PLoS ONE 9.4
weeks
9.4
weeks
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
weeks
10.7
weeks
n/a 2 4
(very good)
5
(excellent)
Accepted 2016
PLoS ONE 10.8
weeks
23.9
weeks
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
weeks
7.3
weeks
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
weeks
14.1
weeks
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
weeks
21.6
weeks
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
weeks
18.9
weeks
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
weeks
9.1
weeks
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
weeks
21.7
weeks
n/a 2 3
(good)
3
(good)
Accepted 2015
PLoS ONE 9.6
weeks
16.3
weeks
n/a 1 4
(very good)
4
(very good)
Accepted 2015
PLoS ONE 9.7
weeks
16.6
weeks
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
weeks
17.5
weeks
n/a 2 2
(moderate)
2
(moderate)
Rejected 2015
PLoS ONE 23.3
weeks
23.7
weeks
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
weeks
30.4
weeks
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
weeks
10.1
weeks
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
weeks
11.0
weeks
n/a 2 3
(good)
3
(good)
Accepted 2016
PLoS ONE 7.0
weeks
7.0
weeks
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
weeks
22.6
weeks
n/a 2 4
(very good)
3
(good)
Accepted 2015
PLoS ONE 5.4
weeks
6.9
weeks
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
weeks
7.0
weeks
n/a 2 5
(excellent)
5
(excellent)
Accepted 2016
PLoS ONE 12.4
weeks
12.4
weeks
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
weeks
39.7
weeks
n/a 2 3
(good)
3
(good)
Accepted 2015
PLoS ONE 22.6
weeks
32.6
weeks
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
weeks
7.7
weeks
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
weeks
13.0
weeks
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
weeks
22.0
weeks
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.