Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Infobox Journal
title = Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

discipline = All sciences
abbreviation = "PNAS", "Proc Natl Acad Sci USA"
language = English
publisher = National Academy of Sciences
editor = Randy Schekman
country = USA
history = 1914–present
ISSN = 1091-6490
OCLC = 43473694
LCCN = 00-227001
JSTOR = 00278424
website =
The "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America", usually referred to as "PNAS", is the official journal of the United States National Academy of Sciences. "PNAS" is an important scientific journal that printed its first issue in 1915 and continues to publish highly cited research reports, commentaries, reviews, perspectives, feature articles, colloquium papers, profiles, letters to the editor, and actions of the Academy. Coverage in "PNAS" broadly spans the biological, physical, and social sciences. Although most of the papers published in the journal are in the biomedical sciences, "PNAS" recruits papers and publishes special features in the physical and social sciences and in mathematics. "PNAS" (abbreviated "Proc Natl Acad Sci USA" for referencing and indexing purposes [cite web | url = | title = List of journals | work = PubMed | accessdate = 2007-09-29 ] [cite web | url = | title = CAplus Core Journal Coverage List | work = American Chemical Society | accessdate = 2007-09-29 ] ) is published weekly in print, and daily online in "PNAS" "Early Edition" CODEN: PNASC8.


"PNAS" was established by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1914, with its first issue published in 1915. The NAS itself had been founded in 1863, a private institution, but chartered by the U.S. Congress, with the goal to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art." By 1914, the Academy was well established.

Prior to the start of the journal, NAS published three volumes of organizational transactions, consisting mostly of minutes of meetings and annual reports. In accordance with the guiding principles established by Astronomer George Ellery Hale, the foreign secretary of NAS 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 [] .


*1914-1918 - Arthur A. Noyes
*1918-1940 - Raymond Pearl
*1940-1949 - Robert A. Millikan
*1950-1955 - Linus Pauling
*1955-1960 - Wendell M. Stanley
*1960-1968 - Saunders Mac Lane
*1968-1972 - John T. Edsall
*1972-1980 - Robert Louis Sinsheimer
*1980-1984 - Daniel E. Koshland, Jr.
*1985-1988 - Maxine F. Singer
*1988-1991 - Igor B. Dawid
*1991-1995 - Lawrence Bogorad
*1995-2006 - Nicholas R. Cozzarelli
*2006-present - Randy Schekman

The first managing editor of the journal was mathematician Edwin Bidwell Wilson.

Peer review

All research papers published in "PNAS" are peer-reviewed [] . The standard mode is for papers to be submitted directly to "PNAS" rather than going through an Academy member. Members may handle the peer review process for up to 4 of their own papers per year--this is an open review process because the member selects and communicates directly with the referees. These submissions and reviews, like all for "PNAS", are evaluated for publication by the "PNAS" Editorial Board. Members may also communicate up to 2 papers from non-members to "PNAS" each year. This is an anonymous review process in that the identities of the referees are not revealed to the authors. Referees are selected by the NAS member. [cite web | url = | title = Information for authors from the PNAS website | work = PNAS website ] [cite journal | author = Alan Fersht | url = | title = Editorial: How and why to publish in PNAS | journal = PNAS | date = May 3, 2005 | volume = 102 | issue = 18 | pages = pp.6241–6242 | doi = 10.1073/pnas.0502713102 | pmid = 16576766 ] Cite journal | url = | title = Classic Papers from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | date = September 7, 1987 | accessdate = 2007-09-28 | author = Eugene Garfield | journal = Essays of an Information Scientist | volume = 10 | number = 36 | pages = 247]

Dual use papers and national security

In 2003, "PNAS" issued an editorial stating its policy on publication of sensitive material in the life sciences [] . "PNAS" stated that it would "continue to monitor submitted papers for material that may be deemed inappropriate and that could, if published, compromise the public welfare." This statement was in keeping with the efforts of several other journals. [cite news|first=Amy|last=Harmon|title=Journal Editors to Consider U.S. Security in Publishing|date=February 16, 2003|work=New York Times|url=] [citation|first=John|last=Fauber|title=Science articles to be censored in terror fight|journal=Milwaukee Journal Sentinel|date=February 16, 2003|url=] [cite journal|journal=PNAS|date=February 18, 2003|volume=100|issue=4|pages=1463|doi=10.1073/pnas.0630514100|title=PNAS policy on publication of sensitive material in the life sciences|first=Nicholas R.|last=Cozzarelli|pmid=12590130] In 2005 "PNAS" published an article titled "Analyzing a bioterror attack on the food supply: The case of botulinum toxin in milk" [] despite objections raised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [cite news|title=Provocative report on bioterror online|date=June 29, 2005|work=The Atlanta Journal-Constitution] The paper was published with a commentary by the president of the Academy at the time, Bruce Alberts, titled "Modeling attacks on the food supply" [] .


"PNAS" is widely read by researchers, particularly those involved in basic sciences, around the world. PNAS Online receives 11.6 million hits per month [] . The journal is notable for its policy of making research articles freely available online to everyone 6 months after publication (delayed open access), or immediately if authors have chosen the "open access" option (hybrid open access). Immediately free online access (without the 6-month delay) is provided for more than 140 developing countries and for some categories of papers such as colloquia. Abstracts, tables of contents, and online supporting information are free. Anyone can sign up to receive free tables of contents by email. [cite web | url = | title = PNAS electronic table of contents | work = PNAS website for signup and setting management ]

Because "PNAS" is self-sustaining and receives no direct funding from the government or the National Academy of Sciences, the journal charges authors publication fees and subscription fees to offset the cost of the editorial and publication process. The journal's impact factor for 2004 was 10.452, for 2005 was 10.231, and 2006 was 9.643 (as measured by Thomson ISI). "PNAS" is the second most cited scientific journal with 1,338,191 citations from 1994–2004 (the "Journal of Biological Chemistry" is the most cited journal over this period with 1,740,902 citations in total).

Classic papers

"PNAS" has been the first to publish many scientific breakthroughs across disciplines, including the following papers:

Edwin Hubble (1929) A relation between distance and radial velocity among extra-galactic nebulae. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 15, 168-173.

John F. Nash (1950) Equilibrium points in n-person games. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 36, 48-49.

Linus Pauling, & Robert Corey (1951) Atomic coordinates and structure factors for two helical configurations of polypeptide chains. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 235-240.

Linus Pauling & Robert Corey (1951) The structure of synthetic polypeptides. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 241-250.

Linus Pauling & Robert Corey (1951) The pleated sheet, a new layer configuration of polypeptide chains. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 251-256.

Linus Pauling & Robert Corey (1951) The structure of feather rachis keratin. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 256-261.

Linus Pauling & Robert Corey (1951) The structure of hair, muscle, and related proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 261-271.

Linus Pauling & Robert Corey (1951) The structure of fibrous proteins of the collagen-gelatin group. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 272-281.

Linus Pauling & Robert Corey (1951) The polypeptide-chain configuration in hemoglobin and other globular proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 282-285.

Linus Pauling & Robert Corey & Herman Branson (1951) The structure of proteins: two hydrogen-bonded helical configurations of the polypeptide chain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 235-240.

Julian Schwinger (1951) On the Green’s functions of quantized fields. I. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 452–455.

Julian Schwinger (1951) On the Green’s functions of quantized fields. II. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 37, 455–460.

Robert Briggs & Thomas J. King (1952) Transplantation of living nuclei from blastula cells into enucleated frogs’ eggs. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 38, 455-463.

Matthew Meselson & Franklin Stahl (1958) The replication of DNA in Escherichia coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 44, 671–682.

Kathleen Danna & Daniel Nathans (1971) Specific cleavage of Simian Virus 40 DNA by restriction endonuclease of Hemophilus influenzae. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 68, 2913-2917.

Frederick Sanger, S Nicklen, AR Coulson (1977) DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74, 5463-5467.

Allan Maxam and Walter Gilbert (1977) New method for sequencing DNA. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74, 560-564.

Towbin H, Staehelin T, Gordon J (1979) Electrophoretic transfer of proteins from polyacrylamide gels to nitrocellulose sheets: procedure and some applications. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 76, 4350-4354.


External links

* [ PNAS website]
** [ "Early Edition"]
** [ Commentaries]
** [ Reviews]
** [ Perspectives]
** [ Colloquium papers]
** [ Actions of the Academy]
** [ Special features]
* [ National Academy of Sciences]

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