For practical reasons, the Pasteur Institute in Paris recently decided to publish its venerable Annales de l’Institut Pasteur in English. The new title is Research in Virology (or Immunology or Micro biology, depending on the specialty). Institute officials explained that almost 100% of the articles submitted to the journal in 1987 were in English, compared to about 15% in 1973. The officials also noted that the journal’s French title gave researchers the impression that it was not open to the international scientific community. As a result, papers were submitted here.

In deference to Francophiles, the conversion to English is not absolute. French-language articles accepted by the journal will continue to be published in French Also, French abstracts will still accompany English-language articles.

However, this has not prevented the expected reaction—or overreaction—by the French media. Le Monde suggested that the change “sounds the death-knell for French-language science” (see Nature, vol. 338,...

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