US: A journal's second thoughts

Caterpillars and butterflies continue to vex the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, a prestigious journal that has found itself criticised for a publishing a paper that many say makes a mockery of evolutionary biology, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed.

While the editors have not publicly retracted the article, a scholar who played a key role in getting the article published released letters to Inside Higher Ed showing that the top editor of the journal has serious doubts about the article she backed. Further, this scholar claims (and has another letter to back her up) that her work is now being blackballed by the journal as a result.

The letters released by Lynn Margulis, a National Academies member who teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, may well please her critics - who have been pushing for a stronger public stance by the journal against the article that was published. But the letters also back up the claim of critics of the journal that its two-tiered review process for submissions did not ensure the same level of rigor for those pieces that had a sponsor such as Margulis.
Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site