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Row at US journal widens

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A dispute between the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and an academy member has put the fate of three studies in question. In the wake of rows over a controversial paper published by the journal online in August — but not in print — two additional papers linked to the same academy member are now in limbo.

Last month, PNAS editor-in-chief Randy Schekman wrote to academy member Lynn Margulis, a cell biologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, asking for "a satisfactory explanation for [her] apparent selective communication of reviews" for a paper she ushered through the peer-review process. Schekman made the demand after a report in Scientific American cited Margulis as saying that she obtained "6 or 7" reviews before netting "2 or 3" favourable ones that recommended publication.
 
 

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