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I noticed that PNAS website contains the section for the so-called "nonresearch articles" (original orthography is retained), otherwise referred to as "collected articles": http://www.pnas.org/site/misc/collectedpapers.xhtml. Upon a brief look at the section and its categories, it seems that articles published there range from "core concepts" articles (somewhat similar to a brief Wikipedia article) to a topic or field review articles and beyond (papers, based on symposiums and other events).

My question is twofold:

  • what is the level of acceptance, if known, for articles, targeting the above-mentioned section;

  • what is the scientific, academic and career value of publishing in that PNAS' section (in other words, is it worth considering targeting this outlet [particularly, for a beginning researcher])?

  • Please note that this question is different from my other question on publishing in PNAS in that the former is about publishing in a specific section of the publishing outlet, whereas the latter is concerned with publishing there in general. – Aleksandr Blekh Feb 27 '16 at 3:44
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I had a look at the latest collection paper (Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene). This turned out to be a PNAS Direct Submission, which appears to be a pretty standard peer-review process and definitely the standard way to submit papers to PNAS ("Direct Submissions now account for more than 95% of papers submitted and 78% of papers published in PNAS"). I couldn't find out any sort of invitation for collected papers, so my guess is that these are papers that have already been published through standard peer-review, which have been grouped after the fact by PNAS editors. So this isn't a "PNAS section", but just a thematic collection of papers that have been normally published in PNAS (which, in 2014, had an acceptance rate of 17%).

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  • I appreciate your nice answer (+1). It has valuable information and insights. However, I suspect that your conclusions might be applicable only to certain, but not all domains, represented in PNAS. Hopefully, my question will pick up some additional interest (I have posted a small bounty for it, but, ironically, it has expired just yesterday) and people from other domains could clarify the situation in this regard. Again, thank you for your feedback. – Aleksandr Blekh Mar 7 '16 at 0:47

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