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An update on Lab and Study Protocols at PLOS ONE

Author: Emily Chenette, Editor-in-Chief, PLOS ONE

PLOS empowers researchers to transform science by offering more options for credit, transparency and choice. The launch of Lab Protocols and Study Protocols in PLOS ONE earlier this year supported this crucial goal by bringing reproducibility and transparency to research, and enabling those who contributed to study design to receive credit for their contributions.  

Today, we’re delighted to share the news that two Study Protocols have now been published in PLOS ONE.

The first, by Satoru Joshita and colleagues, describes a protocol for studying the prevalence and etiology of portopulmonary hypertension in a cohort of Japanese people with chronic liver disease. 

The second, by John Cole and colleagues, provides the protocol for the Copy Number Variation and Stroke (CaNVAS) Risk and Outcome study. This study aims to identify copy-number variations that are associated with a risk of ischemic stroke in diverse populations. 

Cole writes, “Very little is known about the genetics of stroke outcome. In CaNVAS, copy number variation (CNV) variation as associated with both stroke-risk and-outcome will be explored on a large scale basis. Providing the scientific community with the CaNVAS protocol early in the study will help identify other researchers interested in these efforts, with the goal to increase collaboration and scientific discovery regarding CNV throughout the project.”

Furthermore, by having their Study Protocols reviewed and published, these authors have had the opportunity to ensure that their study designs are robust and reproducible before the research is completed. They’re also contributing to reducing publication bias by sharing the study aims before the results are available. 

If you’re interested in submitting your own Study Protocol for consideration, our Submission Guidelines have more information about the submission and review process. One author-friendly feature of Study Protocols is that they are eligible for expedited review if the study has received funding after peer review from an external funding source. 

We also encourage researchers to share their detailed, verified research methodology by publishing a Lab Protocol in PLOS ONE. This unique article type was developed in partnership with, and consists of two interlinked components: 1) a step-by-step protocol on, with access to specialized tools for communicating methodological details and facilitating use of the protocol; and 2) a peer-reviewed PLOS ONE article contextualizing the protocol, with sections discussing applications, limitations and expected results. Several Lab Protocols are under review right now, and we look forward to publishing the first article soon! 

Thank you to our authors, reviewers, editors and readers for contributing to these article types and supporting Open Science at PLOS ONE.

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