The PLoS Medicine Editors, Krishna S. 2006. Drug Development Papers in PLoS Medicine: How We Try to Spot a Winner. PLoS Med 3(12): e547
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030547

Editors ask several general questions about any submitted paper: how important is the research question (both globally and in relation to the journal’s audience); what is the likelihood of the conclusions holding up over time (and when is it worth publishing preliminary results that would be important if confirmed but where confirmation is uncertain); and, for a highly selective general medical journal, do the results represent a substantial advance—be it in understanding pathogenesis, suggesting treatment options, or having implications for public health. The editors of PloS Medicine here discuss their strategy in deciding which drug development papers are appropriate for publication in a general medical journal.