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Information for Authors in Developing Countries

As part of its mission to widen the distribution of scientific literature, PLOS is particularly concerned with the disparities in access to information between developed and developing countries. PLOS provides immediate, free, and unrestricted access to all the scientific and medical literature that it publishes. In addition, PLOS is also dedicated to establishing a medium for publishing science from the developing world. Thus, a major goal of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases is to promote and profile the efforts of researchers, health practitioners, and public-health experts in endemic countries in order to help build science and health capacity in those regions.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases offers the following means of support to authors in developing countries:

  • PLOS believes that lack of funds should not be a barrier to Open Access publication. Since its inception, PLOS has provided individual fee support and institutional fee support programs. The current offering includes:

    • PLOS Global Participation Initiative (Low- and Middle-Income Country Assistance). Authors' research which is funded primarily (50% or more of the work contained within the article) by an institution or organization from eligible low- and middle-income countries will receive partial (group 2 countries) or full (group 1 countries) fee funding paid by the PLOS Global Participation Initiative (GPI). Group 2 PLOS GPI country authors who need to request additional support should apply for PLOS Publication Fee Assistance instead of the PLOS GPI.
    • PLOS Publication Fee Assistance (PFA). Publication Fee Assistance is intended for authors who demonstrate financial need. Information about an applicant's application status for fee assistance will not be disclosed to journal editors or reviewers. PLOS publication decisions will continue to be based solely on editorial criteria.
    • PLOS Institutional Fee Support Programs. PLOS currently offers two institutional programs to support Open Access scientific publishing. Participating institutions have arrangements with PLOS to administer payment for partial or full publication fees for their institutions' authors. To be eligible, authors must be a corresponding author affiliated with the institution or agency in the Institutional Account Program (fully paid or restricted) or Institutional Membership Program (10% publication fee discount). Authors who are eligible for Institutional Membership Program discounts and need to request additional support should apply for PLOS PFA instead of the Institutional Membership Program.
    • Additional External Funds. Authors may also be eligible for direct funding from their institution or funder, which may be different from the PLOS Institutional programs. See additional Open Access funds for examples. To confirm amounts and details of funding and eligibility, contact the organization as indicated.
  • Editorial Support. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases is organized to provide additional editorial support for authors in developing countries. Papers that are accepted for publication will receive additional support from our editorial staff or professionals from our partner organizations.
  • International Editorial Board. About 40% of our Associate Editors—who handle peer review of research articles—are based in developing countries. These experts understand the issues involved in confronting these diseases in their endemic settings, and they will help to ensure that the journal is a voice for researchers in these countries.
  • Worldwide Readership. As an open-access journal, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases articles will always be freely available online via the journal Web site as well as through PubMed Central. Our open-access license means that readers are free to download, print, distribute, and translate your work, provided that they give you credit and cite the source. This means that your work will have the broadest possible audience: the entire world. And recent studies suggest that open-access articles are downloaded and cited more frequently.
  • Influence. Your research has the chance to be highly influential. Select papers about neglected tropical diseases published in PLOS journals have been downloaded many thousands of times, have been mentioned in international news sources, and have had an important impact on health policy. For example, a paper in PLOS Medicine led to a UN mandate to integrate control of the NTDs into the UN's malaria control efforts.

Providing access to reliable health information for health workers in developing countries is potentially the single most cost-effective and achievable strategy for sustainable improvement in health care.

- BMJ 314: 90 [Free Full Text]