PLOS Code of Conduct
for Editorial Board Members
PLOS Editorial Board members follow PLOS Ethical Publishing Practice policies, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, and PLOS journal policies.
As an Editorial Board member with PLOS, you commit to the following
- Research Ethics & Integrity | Abide by the highest standards set by the scientific community and model them in your work for PLOS. Notify the journal if you have any work under investigation at an institution or journal.
- Selfless Editing & Peer Review | Facilitate peer review without self-interest. Avoid advancing your own work, including through the following:
- Do not use your knowledge of potentially competing work, in progress or submitted elsewhere, to influence your timing and editorial judgment of manuscripts.
- All specific citation requests should be relevant to the submission. Avoid requesting or alluding to the citation of your own, your collaborators’ or the reviewers’ work during peer review. Alert the journal office to excessive or irrelevant citation requests by reviewers of their (or your) own work.
- Recuse yourself from manuscripts where you have an actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest, unless approved by the journal office. Adhere to guidelines in Competing Interests.
- Ethical Peer Review | Be aware of Ethics for Peer Reviewers and alert the journal to potentially unethical peer review practices.
- Confidentiality | Don’t discuss research with outside parties before publication. Alert the journal to potential breaches of confidentiality.
- Editorial Judgment & Quality | Support high-quality and timely peer review. Dedicate time to active manuscript editing.
- Respond to invitations, reminders, and staff queries; set unavailability dates.
- Notify the office of changes in your availability to edit manuscripts currently assigned to you.
- Use best practices when making editorial decisions and selecting or suggesting reviewers. Provide clear, well-reasoned, and constructive feedback for your decisions and recommendations.
- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion | Be aware of your own bias, including unconscious bias, and how it might affect your work. Be inclusive and encourage others to be as well. Take action to prevent bias toward any individual, group, or region.
- Values in Action | Represent PLOS values and treat all individuals with kindness and respect. Report any instances of potential discrimination or harassment. Be mindful of how your editorial actions impact the careers and lives of authors and reviewers.
- Affiliation | Declare all institutional and commercial affiliations when you join the Editorial Board, and notify the journal staff of any significant changes.
PLOS identifies and discusses potential lack of adherence to the Code of Conduct with the editors involved, and this may affect their eligibility for Editorial Board membership. If you have a concern that you’d like to discuss with the journal staff, please email the journal office.