October 24, 2008

PNAS envy?

Filed under: publishing — Duncan Hull @ 6:02 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lincoln with Stars & Stripes by tanakawhoThe United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an “honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare”. Set up by none other than Abraham Lincoln himself, the academy publishes a prestigious scientific journal, called the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, better known as just “PNAS” and available at www.pnas.org. This publication is  part of a supposedly elite club of high-profile journals – Nature, Science and PNAS (NSPNAS) – that many scientists from all around the world, strive to publish in. Now, there are those that think the world would be a better place if we concentrated on what scientists have to say, rather than where they say it. But currently, life doesn’t always work that way. Better journals, usually tend to have better reviewers and these are often the most important places to publish results.

So I’m completely envious and very impressed by colleagues who can get their papers published in PNAS [1,2,3] – because this is no easy task. I’ve often wondered what this feeling was called and now I know. Chris Lee has given this envy a name in a thought provoking essay called why do we care where we publish?

The condition I suffer from is apparently called “PNAS envy”. Not to be confused with another similar sounding envy. I feel slightly better now it has a name – but no less envious [4,5].


  1. Luke Hakes et al (2007) Specificity in protein interactions and its relationship with sequence diversity and coevolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104(19):7999-8004. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0609962104
  2. Chris G. Knight et al (2004) Global analysis of predicted proteomes: functional adaptation of physical properties. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 101(22):8390-8395. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0307270101
  3. Chris G. Knight et al (2007) Association of parameter, software, and hardware variation with large-scale behavior across 57,000 climate models. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 104(30):12259-12264. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0608144104
  4. Derek Lowe (2008). PNAS: Read it or not? “Front door” and “back door” publishing in PNAS
  5. Yours Truly (2007) NSPAS: Nature, Science or PNAS: A crude score for benchmarking scientists
  6. More commentary on this post over at friendfeed

[Abraham Lincoln with Stars and Stripes photo by tanakawho]

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