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Information for Authors


PNAS authors, editors, and reviewers come from around the globe. Submissions are welcomed from all researchers. Authors do not need to have a connection to an NAS member to publish in PNAS. More than 75% of published papers are submitted directly to PNAS, not Contributed papers by NAS members. To make its coverage more representative of the disciplines that comprise the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS has issued a Call for Papers in the Physical and Social Sciences.

Accepted papers must be of exceptional scientific importance and intelligible to a broad scientific audience. An NAS member makes the final decision for each paper.

PNAS is committed to transparency in its editorial review process (see our FAQ for authors). PNAS is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and subscribes to its principles.

Click here to view an infographic describing the submission and editorial review process.

Purpose and Scope

PNAS publishes research reports, Letters, Front Matter, Commentaries, Perspectives, and Colloquium Papers. In accordance with the guiding principles established by George Ellery Hale in 1914, PNAS publishes brief first announcements of Academy members' and foreign associates' more important contributions to research and of work that appears to a member to be of particular importance. PNAS is a general science journal and all papers should be intelligible to a broad scientific audience.

Research Reports describe the results of original research of exceptional importance. Each research article is published with a brief, author-written Significance Statement that describes the significance of the work. Unsolicited research reports are welcome.

Letters are brief online comments that allow readers to constructively address a difference of opinion with authors of a recent PNAS article. Readers may comment on exceptional studies or point out potential flaws in studies published in the journal. Letters may not include requests to cite the Letter writer's work, accusations of misconduct, or personal comments to an author. Letters are limited to 500 words and 10 references, and must be submitted within 6 months of the online publication date of the subject article. Unsolicited Letters are welcome.

Front Matter is an expanded front section aimed at a more general level of discussion, tackling the stories of science in interesting ways. Sections include Opinions, News Features, Science and Culture, Inner Workings, and Core Concepts. Front Matter is written only at the invitation of the Editorial Board.

Commentaries call attention to papers of particular note and are written only at the invitation of the Editorial Board.

Perspectives present a viewpoint on an important area of research. Perspectives focus on a specific field or subfield within a larger discipline and discuss current advances and future directions. Perspectives are of broad interest to nonspecialists and may add personal insight to a field, but should be balanced and objective. Perspectives are written only at the invitation of the Editorial Board and evaluated for publication using the same process as Direct Submissions.

Colloquium Papers are reports of scientific colloquia held under Academy auspices and are written only at the invitation of the Editorial Board.

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