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Procedures for Submitting Manuscripts


Contact Information

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PNAS, 500 Fifth Street, NW, NAS 340, Washington, DC 20001 USA. Phone 202-334-2679, fax 202-334-2739, email pnas{at}nas.edu


Publication Fees

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PNAS depends, in part, on the payment of publication fees to finance its operations. Papers are accepted or rejected for publication and published solely on the basis of merit. All authors are assessed the following fees:

  • Regular research articles: $1,700 per article, with no additional fees for color figures or SI.
  • PNAS Plus articles: $2,830 per article, with no additional fees for color figures or SI.
  • Open access: Authors of research articles may pay a surcharge of $1,450 to make their article freely available through PNAS open access option. If your institution has a site license, the open access surcharge is $1,100. All articles are free online after 6 months.

Publication charges may be paid by credit card, check, or wire transfer. Upon receipt of the publication estimate, authors must log into the author billing system to provide payment arrangements and designate an individual responsible for payment and follow up. For questions regarding billing and payment of fees, email aubilling{at}dartmouthjournals.com, phone 802-560-8518, or fax 802-882-1639. Requests for waiver of charges should be submitted to pnas{at}nas.edu


Manuscript Submission

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Initial Submission.

All authors must submit their papers at www.PNAScentral.org. Only a single PDF file containing all text, figures, tables, and SI is required for initial Direct Submissions and initial Contributed Submissions. High-resolution files are not required for initial submission. The corresponding author (for initial Direct Submissions and initial PNAS PLUS articles) must include the following information for each coauthor: author order, first name, last Name, email address, and institution. Authors may upload a cover letter (optional), video files, and datasets separately. A length estimate is not required for initial submissions, but 6-page articles should be under 49,000 characters (including spaces, figures, and tables) and 10-page articles under 82,000. PNAS Plus submissions undergo the same review process as Direct Submissions. Authors writing their papers in LaTeX should use our LaTeX template. Authors will need to complete the License to Publish form and provide permissions for any previously published material.

Revised and Contributed Submission.

Authors of final Contributed papers, revisions, or resubmissions must provide publication-ready source files; guidelines for submitting source files appear below. Publication-ready file formats include Word and LaTeX. Only one paper text file should be submitted. SI text files should be uploaded separately. Figures and tables should not be included in main or SI text files. At the completion of the review process for Contributed papers, the member may designate a corresponding author to upload submission files.

Manuscript Length.

PNAS generally uses a two-column format averaging 67 characters, including spaces, per line. The maximum length of a regular research article is 6 pages (or 10 pages for PNAS Plus articles), including all text, spaces, and the number of characters displaced by figures, tables, and equations.

An online submission tool provides authors with an estimation of whether their manuscript fits within the PNAS length requirements (see Length Estimate Guidelines and FAQ). When submitting tables, figures, and/or equations in addition to text, keep the text for your manuscript under 39,000 characters (including spaces) for 6-page articles and 65,000 for 10-page articles.

Digital Figures.

High-resolution figure files are not required for initial submissions. Resolution of at least 300 dpi for all figures is required. EPS, Adobe Illustrator, high-resolution PDF, and PowerPoint are preferred formats for figures that will be used in the main text. Authors may submit PRC or U3D files for 3D images; these must be accompanied by 2D representations in TIFF, EPS, or high-resolution PDF format. (See SI below for supplementary material.) Color images must be in RGB (red, green, blue) mode. Include the font files for any text. Images must be final size, preferably one column width (8.7 cm). Figures wider than one column should be sized to 11.4 cm or 17.8 cm wide. Numbers, letters, and symbols should be no smaller than 6 points (2 mm) and no larger than 12 points (6 mm) after reduction and must be consistent. Composite figures must be preassembled. Figures must be submitted as separate files, not embedded in manuscript text. See the Digital Art Guidelines. Figures and tables may be enlarged to improve legibility of text.

Tables.

Each table should have a brief title above the table. Table footnotes should be below the table. Tables must be submitted as separate files, not embedded in the manuscript text. Publication-ready formats include Word and LaTeX.

SI.

The main text of the paper must stand on its own without the SI. Refer to SI in the manuscript at an appropriate point in the text. Number supporting figures and tables starting with S1, S2, etc. Authors are limited to no more than 10 SI files, not including movie files.

Authors who place detailed materials and methods in SI must provide sufficient detail in the main text methods to enable a reader to follow the logic of the procedures and results and also must reference the online methods. If a paper is fundamentally a study of a new method or technique, then the methods must be described completely in the main text.

Because PNAS edits SI and composes it into a single PDF, authors must provide the following file formats only:

  • Text: Supply Word, RTF, or LaTeX files (LaTeX files must be accompanied by a PDF with the same file name for visual reference).
  • Figures: Provide a brief legend for each supporting figure after the supporting text. Provide figure images in TIFF, EPS, PowerPoint, high-resolution PDF, JPEG, or GIF format; figures may not be embedded in manuscript text. When saving TIFF files, use only LZW compression; do not use JPEG compression. Do not save figure numbers, legends, or author names as part of the image. Composite figures must be preassembled.
  • 3D figures: Supply a composable U3D or PRC file so that it may be edited and composed. Authors may submit a PDF file but please note it will be published in raw format and will not be edited or composed.
  • Tables: Supply Word, RTF, or LaTeX files (LaTeX files must be accompanied by a PDF with the same file name for visual reference); include only one table per file. Do not use tabs or spaces to separate columns in Word tables. Tables should contain a minimum of two columns and two rows. Each column should include a column heading.
  • Datasets: Supply Excel (.xls), RTF, PDF, CSV, or TXT files. This file type will be published in raw format and will not be edited or composed.
  • Movies: Supply Audio Video Interleave (avi), Quicktime (mov), Windows Media (wmv), animated GIF (gif), or MPEG files and submit a brief legend for each movie in a Word or RTF file. All movies should be submitted at the desired reproduction size and length. Movies should be no more than 10 MB in size.
  • Still images: Authors must provide a still image from each movie file. Supply TIFF, EPS, high-resolution PDF, JPEG, or GIF files.
  • Appendices: PNAS prefers that authors submit individual source files to ensure readability. If this is not possible, supply a single PDF file that contains all of the SI associated with the paper. This file type will be published in raw format and will not be edited or composed.

Journal Cover Figures.

Authors are invited to submit scientifically interesting and visually arresting cover images. For examples, see www.danielhellerman.com/coverarchive. Illustrations need not be reprinted in the article but should be representative of the work. Images should be original, and authors grant PNAS a license to publish. Include a brief lay-language caption (50–60 words) and credit information (e.g., Image courtesy of...). Images should be 21 cm wide by 22.5 cm high. Files should be EPS or TIFF and should be in RGB (red, green, blue) color mode. Cover figure files may be submitted online when the paper is submitted or may be sent to PNASCovers{at}nas.edu; contact PNAS for instructions on submitting large files. Submissions provided outside the online submission system should include manuscript number, author name, phone, and email.


Manuscript Format

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Manuscript Order.

Many authors find it useful to organize their manuscripts with the following order of sections; title page, abstract, significance statement, introduction, results, discussion, materials and methods, acknowledgments, references, and figure legends. Provided that authors present information clearly and concisely, other variations to this format are allowed. Number all manuscript pages starting with the title page as page 1.

Title Page. Please note that information entered in the submission form will be used for publication purposes (e.g., author contact information and affiliations). Please also include the following information on the title page:

  • Classification: Select a major (Physical, Social, or Biological Sciences) and a minor category from the following. Dual classifications are permitted between major categories and in exceptional cases, subject to Editorial Board approval, within a major category.
  • PHYSICAL SCIENCES: Applied Mathematics; Applied Physical Sciences; Astronomy; Chemistry; Computer Sciences; Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; Engineering; Environmental Sciences; Mathematics; Physics; Statistics; and Sustainability Science.
  • SOCIAL SCIENCES: Anthropology; Economic Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Political Sciences; Psychological and Cognitive Sciences; Social Sciences; and Sustainability Science.
  • BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES: Agricultural Sciences; Anthropology; Applied Biological Sciences; Biochemistry; Biophysics and Computational Biology; Cell Biology; Developmental Biology; Ecology; Environmental Sciences; Evolution; Genetics; Immunology and Inflammation; Medical Sciences; Microbiology; Neuroscience; Pharmacology; Physiology; Plant Biology; Population Biology; Psychological and Cognitive Sciences; Sustainability Science; and Systems Biology.
  • Title: Titles should be no more than three typeset lines (generally 135 characters including spaces) and should be comprehensible to a broad scientific audience. The specific organism studied should be included. Please provide a short title of fewer than 50 characters including spaces for mobile devices and RSS feeds.
  • Author Affiliation: Include department, institution, and complete address, with the ZIP/postal code, for each author. Use superscripts to match authors with institutions. Authors are encouraged to supply their ORCID iD at submission.
  • Corresponding Author: The name, complete address, telephone number, and email address of the author to whom correspondence and proofs should be sent. Email addresses will appear in the article footnotes.
  • Keywords: Keywords are listed below the abstract of the published article. At least three keywords are required at submission.

Abstract. Provide an abstract of no more than 250 words on page 2 of the manuscript. Abstracts should explain to the general reader the major contributions of the paper. References in the abstract must be cited in full within the abstract itself and cited in the text.

Significance Statement. Authors must submit a 120-word-maximum statement about the significance of their research paper written at a level understandable to an undergraduate-educated scientist outside their field of specialty. The primary goal of the Significance Statement is to explain the relevance of the work in broad context to a broad readership. The Significance Statement appears in the paper itself and is required for all research papers.

Text. Describe procedures in sufficient detail so that the work can be repeated. Methods must be presented after results and discussion. Follow the spelling and usage given in Webster's Third New International Dictionary or the Random House Dictionary of the English Language. Avoid laboratory jargon. Correct chemical names should be given, and strains of organisms should be specified. Trade names should be identified by an initial capital letter with the remainder of the name lowercase. Names of suppliers of uncommon reagents or instruments should be provided. Use Système International units and symbols whenever possible. Statements of novelty and priority are not permitted in the text.

  • Language-Editing Services: Prior to submission, authors who believe their manuscripts would benefit from professional editing are encouraged to use a language-editing service (see list at www.danielhellerman.com/site/authors/language-editing.xhtml). PNAS does not take responsibility for or endorse these services, and their use has no bearing on acceptance of a manuscript for publication.
  • Use of URLs in Text: As a publisher, PNAS must be able to archive the data essential to a published article. Where such archiving is not possible, deposition of data in public databases, such as GenBank, ArrayExpress, Protein Data Bank, Unidata, and others outlined in the Information for Authors, is acceptable. Only links to websites that are permanent public repositories, such as self-perpetuating online resources funded by government, academia, and industry, are permitted. Links to an author's personal web page are not acceptable. PNAS allows authors to post their PNAS paper on their home page after the paper is published in PNAS.
  • Gene Nomenclature: Prior to submission, authors should consult Genecards, MGI Nomenclature page, HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee, or equivalent resources to ensure standardized nomenclature is used for species-specific gene and protein names. For proposed gene names that are not already approved, please submit the gene symbols to the appropriate nomenclature committee as these must be deposited and approved before publication of the article.
  • Abbreviations: Abbreviations should be accessible to a broad scientific audience; abbreviations that are specific to a particular field should be defined at first mention in the text.
  • Nomenclature and Style: Use international standards on nomenclature. PNAS uses Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (8th edition, 2014) as the primary style guide.

Footnotes. PNAS distinguishes author affiliations and footnotes from in-text footnotes by assigning a different set of footnote symbols to each type. Superscript lowercase letters separated by commas (no spaces) are used for author affiliations. Superscript numerals separated by commas (no spaces) are used for author footnotes. In-text footnotes should be preceded by a footnote symbol, used in the order *, ?, ?, §, ?, #, ||,**, ??, ??, §§, ??, ##.

Acknowledgments. List acknowledgments and funding sources; all abbreviations should be spelled out. PNAS collaborates with FundRef to use a standard taxonomy of funder names. Dedications are rarely allowed.

References. References must be in PNAS style. Only published or in-press papers and books may be cited in the reference list. For references to in-press articles, please confirm with the cited journal that the article is in press and include a DOI number and online publication date. Unpublished abstracts of papers presented at meetings or references to "data not shown" are not permitted. References should be cited in numerical order as they appear in text, and all references should be included in the main manuscript file. Because tables and figures will be inserted in the text where first cited, references in these sections should be numbered accordingly. Include the full title for each cited article. All authors may be named in the citation for initial submissions. For revisions or final submissions, if there are more than five authors, list the first author’s name followed by et al. Provide inclusive page ranges for journal articles and book chapters. Provide date of access for online sources

Journal articles are cited as follows:

10. Neuhaus J-M, Sitcher L, Meins F, Jr, Boller T (1991) A short C-terminal sequence is necessary and sufficient for the targeting of chitinases to the plant vacuole. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 88(22):10362-10366.

Cite research datasets in the references if they have a DOI, and list the authors, title, publisher (repository name), and identifier (DOI in URL format) as follows:

12. van Sebille E, Doblin M (2016) Data from “Drift in ocean currents impacts intergenerational microbial exposure to temperature.” Figshare. http://www.danielhellerman.com/10.6084/m9.figshare.3178534.v2.

Use MEDLINE/PubMed abbreviations of journal titles or use the full journal title for any journals not indexed in MEDLINE.

Articles or chapters in books are cited as follows:

14. Hill AVS (1991) HLA associations with malaria in Africa: some implications for MHC evolution. Molecular Evolution of the Major Histocompatibility Complex, eds Klein J, Klein D(Springer, Heidelberg), pp 403-420.

Figure Legends. Provide these separately from figures, after the references in the manuscript. For figures with multiple panels, the first sentence of the legend should be a brief overview of the entire figure; each panel must be explicitly referenced and described at least once in the figure legend. Graphs should include clearly labeled error bars described in the figure legend. Authors must state whether a number that follows the ± sign is a standard error (SEM) or a standard deviation (SD). The P value, magnification, or scale bar information should be provided when applicable. The number of independent data points (N) represented in a graph must be indicated in the legend. Numerical axes on graphs should go to 0, except for log axes.


Production Process

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After papers have been approved for publication, manuscript files are forwarded to the production team for copyediting and composition. In copyediting, editors will make minor stylistic changes to the manuscript to ensure it adheres to PNAS style requirements. Significant changes or concerns are noted as author queries on the page proofs and are referred to corresponding authors for review and approval.

Page Proofs. Corresponding authors will receive an email link to download page proofs for review about 2 to 3 weeks after article approval. Page proofs should be checked carefully against the manuscript, and corrections should be returned within 48 hours. Alterations should be limited to serious changes only and the correction of errors. Extensive corrections, additions, deletions, and rephrasing of sentences are not permitted at the page proof stage. If submitted, substantive changes will be subject to editorial review and a surcharge of $50 per page.


Updates

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See www.danielhellerman.com/site/authors/index.xhtml for the latest version of the Information for Authors.

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