IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

In defense of PNAS

Sat Jan 2 08:52:12 EST 1993

In article Lazzaro (1992) Bnt.jrnl.note 1231, 2011  John Lazarro says:         n

Quote Forsdyke:
>> The idea of privileged
>>access to publication in a prestigious journal based on membership of some
>>hierarchy seems to conflict with the proposed first article.  PNAS is a      -
>>tive platform for the scientific viewpoints of some senior scientists, but
>>others. Sounds very un-American!
>>                                Sincerely, Don Forsdyke (Discussion Leader)
Lazzaro replies:
>Then you must really hate edited books. Imagine, a publisher lets a
>distinguished person (just one! not every distinguished person is the
>entire field!) pick a group of authors based on the person's own
>prejudicial choice of the best science in a field (imagine that!
>making decisions based on personal taste!).

Forsdyke's response: Here the publisher and the distinguished person he choses
                     make their choices from the entire field of distinguished
                     scientists, not the particular group of distinguished
                     scientists who happen to be members of a particular club.

Lazzaro continues:                     Scientific publications are all
>about documentation, communication, and inspiration -- documents exist
>to serve the readers, not the authors.

Forsdyke replies: The readers are best served by unbiased access as possible to
                  the best authors in the field, who should NOT be selected on
                  the basis of race, religion, sex, creed, colour or membership
                  of a particular club.

>I am arguing for diversity -- science is much better served by a
>plurality of "publication rules" than a single standard.  Both
>"strong-editor" and "weak-editor" publications should be allowed to
>flourish, and PNAS is a specific example of a distributed
>"strong-editor" format.

Forsdyke replies: Being a "strong editor" means that you argue for diversity.
You do not grant preferential authorship to members of a particular club, which
has accepted as members certain distinguished scientists, but not others.

Lazzaro continues: I resent making certain styles of
>publications "illegal" -- censorship of form is just as pernicious as
>censorship of content.

Forsdyke replies: Censorship means deciding on the form and/or content of
some form of publication, based NOT on the merits of the publication per se,
but on the  perception of what is "good" for the reader. Basing publication on
what club the authors happen to belong to would seem to me a form of censorship
            Yours sincerely,
            Don Forsdyke. Discussion Leader.

More information about the Jrnlnote mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net