Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (often abbreviated PNAS or PNAS USA) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journal. It is the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences, published since 1915, and publishes original research, scientific reviews, commentaries, and letters. According to Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2022 impact factor of 9.4.[1] PNAS is the second most cited scientific journal, with more than 1.9 million cumulative citations from 2008 to 2018.[2] In the mass media, PNAS has been described variously as "prestigious",[3][4] "sedate",[5] "renowned"[6] and "high impact".[7]

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Edited byMay Berenbaum
Publication details
Hybrid, delayed (after 6 months)
9.4 (2023)
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
ISSN0027-8424 (print)
1091-6490 (web)
OCLC no.43473694

PNAS is a delayed open-access journal, with an embargo period of six months that can be bypassed for an author fee (hybrid open access). Since September 2017, open access articles are published under a Creative Commons license. Since January 2019, PNAS has been online-only, although print issues are available on demand.



PNAS was established by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1914,[note 1][8][9]: 30  with its first issue published in 1915. The NAS itself was founded in 1863 as a private institution, but chartered by the United States Congress, with the goal to "investigate, examine, experiment and report upon any subject of science or art."

Prior to the inception of PNAS, the National Academy of Sciences published three volumes of organizational transactions, consisting mostly of minutes of meetings and annual reports. For much of the journal's history, PNAS published brief first announcements of Academy members' and associates' contributions to research.[10] In December 1995,[11] PNAS opened submissions to all authors without first needing to be sponsored by an NAS member.

Members were allowed to communicate up to two papers from non-members to PNAS every year. The review process for these papers was anonymous in that the identities of the referees were not revealed to the authors. Referees were selected by the NAS member.[10][12][13] PNAS eliminated communicated submissions through NAS members as of July 1, 2010, while continuing to make the final decision on all PNAS papers.[14]

95% of papers are peer reviewed Direct Submissions and 5% are contributed submissions.[15][16][failed verification]

In 2022 NAS established PNAS Nexus, an interdisciplinary open-access journal published by Oxford Academic.[17][18]

American national security concerns


In 2003, PNAS issued an editorial stating its policy on publication of sensitive material in the life sciences.[19] 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.[20][21] In 2005 PNAS published an article titled "Analyzing a bioterror attack on the food supply: The case of botulinum toxin in milk",[22] despite objections raised by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.[23] 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".[24]

Contributed review concerns


The controversial Younger Dryas impact hypothesis, which evolved directly from pseudoscience and now forms the basis for the pseudoarchaeology of Graham Hancock's Ancient Apocalypse, was first published in PNAS using a nonstandard review system, according to a comprehensive refutation by Holliday et al (2023).[25] According to this 2023 review, "Claiming evidence where none exists and providing misleading citations may be accidental, but when conducted repeatedly, it becomes negligent and undermines scientific advancement as well as the credibility of science itself. Also culpable is the failure of the peer review process to prevent such errors of fact from entering the literature. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 'contributed review' system for National Academy at least partially responsible. The 'pal reviews' (as some refer to them) were significantly curtailed in 2010, in part due to the YDIH controversy."



The following people have been editors-in-chief of the journal:

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


  1. ^ The Stankus book reference states 1918 as the year instead of 1914.


  1. ^ "Journal Citation Reports". Clarivate. Retrieved July 2, 2024.
  2. ^ "InCites [v2.54] – Sign In". Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Discovery (could pave way for better diabetes treatments)". The News-Star. Vol. 86, no. 264. Monroe, Louisiana. July 6, 2015. p. 2D – via
  4. ^ "Ben-Gurion study highlights gene that could lead to new therapies for ALS". South Florida Sun Sentinel. September 21, 2016. p. A52 – via
  5. ^ Lear, John (August 11, 1986). "On Our Knees". The Gettysburg Times. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. p. 4 – via
  6. ^ Byerman, Mikalee (October 26, 2008). "Survival skills". Living Green. Reno Gazette-Journal. Vol. 27, no. 300. Reno, Nevada. p. 7 – via
  7. ^ "U of U programs frequently cited as references". School News. The Daily Spectrum. Vol. 27, no. 167. St. George, Utah. August 16, 1993. p. B2 – via
  8. ^ "Assistant professor's research gets published". Poughkeepsie Journal. Poughkeepsie, New York. October 13, 2009. p. 1D – via
  9. ^ Stankus, Tony (1990). Scientific journals: Improving library collections through analysis of publishing trends. Haworth Press. ISBN 0-886656-905-7 – via Internet Archive.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: ignored ISBN errors (link)
  10. ^ a b Information for Authors
  11. ^ Schekman, R. (2007). "Introducing Feature Articles in PNAS" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (16): 6495. Bibcode:2007PNAS..104.6495S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0702818104. PMC 1871811. S2CID 84888136.
  12. ^ Fersht, Alan (May 3, 2005). "Editorial: How and why to publish in PNAS". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (18): 6241–6242. Bibcode:2005PNAS..102.6241F. doi:10.1073/pnas.0502713102. PMC 1088396. PMID 16576766.
  13. ^ Garfield, Eugene (September 7, 1987). "Classic Papers from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PDF). Essays of an Information Scientist. 10 (36): 247. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
  14. ^ Schekman, Randy (2009). "PNAS will eliminate Communicated submissions in July 2010". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (37): 15518. Bibcode:2009PNAS..10615518S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0909515106. PMC 2747149.
  15. ^ Verma, Inder M. (October 7, 2014). "Simplifying the Direct Submission process". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111 (40): 14311. Bibcode:2014PNAS..11114311V. doi:10.1073/pnas.1417688111. PMC 4210033. PMID 25246596.
  16. ^ "About Direct Submission | PNAS".
  17. ^ "About the Journal". Oxford University Press. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  18. ^ "PNAS Nexus". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  19. ^ Cozzarelli, Nicholas R. (2003). "PNAS policy on publication of sensitive material in the life sciences". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 100 (4): 1463. Bibcode:2003PNAS..100.1463C. doi:10.1073/pnas.0630514100. PMC 149849. PMID 12590130.
  20. ^ Harmon, Amy (February 16, 2003). "Journal Editors to Consider U.S. Security in Publishing". Archives. The New York Times.
  21. ^ Fauber, John (February 16, 2003). "Science articles to be censored in terror fight". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  22. ^ Wein, L. M. (2005). "Analyzing a bioterror attack on the food supply: The case of botulinum toxin in milk". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (28): 9984–9989. Bibcode:2005PNAS..102.9984W. doi:10.1073/pnas.0408526102. PMC 1161865. PMID 15985558.
  23. ^ "Provocative report on bioterror online". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. June 29, 2005.
  24. ^ Alberts, B. (2005). "Modeling attacks on the food supply". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (28): 9737–9738. Bibcode:2005PNAS..102.9737A. doi:10.1073/pnas.0504944102. PMC 1175018. PMID 15985557.
  25. ^ Holliday, Vance T.; Daulton, Tyrone L.; Bartlein, Patrick J.; Boslough, Mark B.; Breslawski, Ryan P.; Fisher, Abigail E.; Jorgeson, Ian A.; Scott, Andrew C.; Koeberl, Christian; Marlon, Jennifer; Severinghaus, Jeffrey; Petaev, Michail I.; Claeys, Philippe (July 26, 2023). "Comprehensive refutation of the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH)". Earth-Science Reviews. 247: 104502. Bibcode:2023ESRv..24704502H. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104502. S2CID 260218223.
  26. ^ Sinsheimer, Robert L. (August 29, 1976). "Caution May Be an Essential Scientific Virtue". Los Angeles Times. Vol. XCV, no. 270. p. IV:5 – via Robert L. Sinsheimer is head of Caltech's biology division and chairman of the editorial board of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  27. ^ Robbins, Gary (December 28, 2017), "Renowned Salk Institute scientist loses a top post due to gender discrimination claims", Los Angeles Times