Maria Rosenzweig's letter in the August 17, 1992, issue of The Scientist (page 12) draws an inaccurate picture of scientific publication, certainly as regards microbiology. She states that "Journals ...publish manuscripts of well-known scientists regardless of ...merit...." As editor of the Canadian Journal of Microbiology and of Archives of Microbiology, I have on many occasions had to reject papers by quite well-known scientists. It is rare that such scientists--or any others--have had manuscripts accepted without revision. From my experience with other microbiology journals, I am sure that they set similar standards.

Of course, most well-known scientists deserve their reputations and hand in solid, well-written manuscripts that are ultimately published. But then, many or most beginning scientists do get their papers published, too. All undergo a reviewing process, and one of the pleasures of editing comes from seeing how much time and trouble many referees, especially the well-known ones, take...

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