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Prior publication: PNAS policy

D. R. Forsdyke forsdyke at post.queensu.ca
Fri May 7 11:22:59 EST 1999

PNAS (April 1999 p 4215) states that the "paramount goal" is free
scientific exchange. It considers work "already ... published" (and
therefore not acceptable for publication in PNAS) by the following three

1. REPLICABILITY. Presented previously in sufficient detail to allow

2  PUBLIC ACCESSIBIITY. "publically accessible with a fixed content"

3. REVIEW.  "validated by review"

     Since a paper on the WWW can always be altered electronically by
someone with access to the file, it is not "fixed content". It may or
may not have been reviewed by others, in a formal or informal sense. It
may or may not contain sufficient detail to permit replication of
results. Until we can make an electronic form "hard" like GenBank (which
exists at at least three independent sites), an electronic publication
is a non-publication as far as PNAS is concerned. More importantly, it
has to exist in a citeable form.

Sincerely, Donald Forsdyke. Discussion Leader. Bionet.journals.note

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