Embargo Policy

The following guidelines apply to articles published in PLOS journals. PLOS’s policy is to not discuss any manuscript submitted to any of the PLOS journals with anyone other than the corresponding author before the manuscript has been accepted for publication in the journal and assigned a publication date. Unless otherwise noted, all information provided by PLOS is subject to a press embargo whose date and time will be clearly stated.

It is our policy that, if we choose to press release an article, we will release advance notice of that article, including a link to the PDF, to our restricted media list, typically 2-7 days ahead of publication. Distribution and use of all advance materials—including the content of media releases and articles—are subject to the PLOS embargo policy. The releases include contact information for the corresponding authors and/or institutional press officers, along with relevant institutional affiliations, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

PLOS believes that this embargo policy serves scientists, journalists, and the public by ensuring that the article is available to everyone when it is reported in the media. The policy also allows fair and equal access to our content, ensuring that no one reporter or organization receives preferential treatment or advantage over any other. It also gives the media the opportunity to research and accurately report on scientific articles while ensuring that publicity does not appear before the articles are accessible to the public. Furthermore, it gives authors the chance to comment on research before it is reported in the media. It is likewise designed to give public information officers adequate time to coordinate coverage with scientists at their institutions.

Eligibility to Access Embargoed Materials

Journalists and freelancers writing for daily or weekly publications that are registered with EurekAlert are eligible to receive advance, embargoed material from PLOS. Science bloggers of good standing may also be eligible to receive advance, embargoed material from PLOS. Bloggers wishing to apply for inclusion in our press list should do so through the form below, and should include links to six of their own blog postings that were written in the last six months and that discuss the content of primary research papers. In general, such posts should conform to the guidelines set out by Research Blogging.Org. Public information officers are eligible to receive advance, embargoed materials from their own institutions only. Eligible individuals must agree to follow the terms of the embargo policy. Individuals who break the embargo policy will be removed from the media release circulation list for a period to be determined by the editors of PLOS.

Journalists, PIOs, and bloggers are asked to credit the appropriate journal, such as PLOS ONE or PLOS Medicine, as the source of the study and, in addition, to provide a link to the journal and/or the original paper in any online coverage. Supporting materials provided by PLOS, such as graphics and video, are to be properly credited to the appropriate source, which will be stated in the press release.

Conditions of the PLOS Embargo Policy

  • Stories or reports on articles and other selected materials may not be published, broadcast, posted online, or placed in the public domain before the embargo date and time. Precise embargo dates and times will be clearly marked on all advance material.
  • Advance material is for background research only. Recipients may share embargoed materials only with experts in the field to seek comment, but such materials must be clearly identified as embargoed and must include the embargo date and time. Recipients are responsible for taking all necessary steps to ensure that all third parties honor the embargo.
  • Public information officers may not distribute embargoed materials in the public domain before the embargo date. However, embargoed materials may be distributed to the media by public information officers one week before the embargo date, using services such as EurekAlert, which has strict policies governing media access to embargoed materials. Such releases must be clearly identified as embargoed and must include the embargo date and time. PIOs are responsible for taking all necessary steps to ensure that all third parties honor the embargo.
  • Failure to adhere to the embargo policy will result in suspension of privileged access to all embargoed materials from PLOS publications.

PLOS Press List Application and Embargo Policy Agreement

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A Note to Scientists

Authors and potential authors are encouraged to communicate with other researchers (for example, in the context of formal presentations at a conference), and this embargo policy is intended to have no adverse effect on such discourse. However, scientists should be cautious about discussing their unpublished work with the media to ensure that the work is not reported ahead of publication and that the work receives the maximum attention once the peer-reviewed article is publicly available in a PLOS journal. Regardless, prior publicity in the media will not affect decisions to publish a paper in a PLOS journal.