About the importance of knowing an academy member (S. Jiang, "Does It Pay To Know An Academy Member?" Letters, The Scientist, 12[8]:9, April 13, 1998) in order to be published in Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences : I think the right calculation to be done to answer this question is to count which proportion of manuscripts submitted through track I [an academy member] is finally accepted (or maybe simply sent to the reviewers) compared to those submitted through track II [authors submitting directly to PNAS editors]. Also, an interesting thing to know would be how many manuscripts submitted (through track II) by non-American authors go to reviewing, compared to those submitted by U.S.-based authors. The number of days elapsed from acceptance to publication is, in my opinion, irrelevant to judge whether any bias toward "outsiders" exists.

Paola Londei
University of Rome, Italy

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