Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Copy editor, stat! PNAS spells its editor-in-chief’s name wrong — on a piece he co-authored

with 4 comments

pnas 3 5 13With apologies in advance to the good folks at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) for making a joke about something that could very well happen to any of us, we note the following correction:

Correction for Verman and Harris, PNAS introduces new magazine section

EDITORIAL Correction for “PNAS introduces new magazine section,” by Inder M. Verman and David J. Harris, which appeared in issue 7, February 12, 2013, of Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (110:2427; first published January 30, 2013; 10.1073/pnas.1300186110).

The editors note that the author name Inder M. Verman should instead appear as Inder M. Verma. The corrected author line appears below. The online version has been corrected.

Inder M. Verma and David J. Harris

Verma, of course, is the editor-in-chief of PNAS. Which only goes to show that errors do, after all, escape editors’ attention sometimes. As Harris tells us:

I saw it in the online table of contents for Early Edition (our pre-publication papers that come out daily) as soon as it came out and alerted our production team. They may have already been alerted to it by others. It’s one of those things where an infinite number of eyes can still miss something obvious!

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 6th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

  • Jess March 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    at least it wasn’t misspelled as vermin….

    • ferniglab March 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      “It’s one of those things where an infinite number of eyes can still miss something obvious!” is a great comment and highlights the importance of allowing the views of new pairs of eyes to be heard. Sense of humour helps too.

    • John Mashey March 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      This is reminiscent of a story I heard long ago, possibly apocryphal:
      Two authors were determined to write a perfect paper, and they worked very hard.
      When the paper was published, one of them noticed to his horror that they’d mis-cited his dissertation.

  • ezra abrams March 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Re copy editing
    About two years ago, the PNAS published a semi official account of genetics work relating to the Postal Anthrax scare. (march 2011, vol 108, page 5027)
    There were numerous typos in this important document; I wrote to the lead author (not even the courtesy of a reply) and to the PNAS, also no reply.

    another time,, I corresponded with an editor at PNAS about typos, and his attitude, iirc, was sort of who’s got the time..

    I don’t know how familiar RW readers are with papers (all highly paywalled) from Amer Chemical Soc, but the almost total lack of copy editing is amazing; granted, many of the papers are by foreign authors, and I a have the greatist respect for them – it is hard enough to write a good paper in your own language, let alone a second language.
    but still

    and of course, on commercial websites, people don’t even to pretend to care if there are typos
    (and don’t criticize me for a sloppy post – this is an informal piece of writing)

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