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I have heard extreme opinions defending and opposing the importance of scientific journals and magazines. The extremes have desensitized my reaction. Yet, this opinion shocked me: “Publishing in PLOS Genetics will hurt my reputation.”

I am so shocked as not to be sure what to make out of it. Perhaps the reputation of Enrico Fermi was ruined by describing theoretically a law of nature (the weak force) in the lowly Zeitschrift für Physik after nature magazine rejected the seminal work. Perhaps Hans Krebs’s reputation was similarly ruined by describing the Krebs cycle in the lowly Enzymologia after nature magazine rejected the seminal work. Actually, there is a long list of scientists whose careers were not ruined because they published seminal and visionary results in obscure journals after rejections by the prestigious journals and magazines. I can only conclude that scientists fearing damage to their reputations by publishing in PLOS Genetics have low confidence in the timeless importance of their “high–impact” work !

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