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''Nature'' is a British weekly
scientific journal In , a scientific journal is a intended to further the progress of , usually by reporting new . Content Articles in scientific journals are mostly written by active scientists such as students, researchers and professors instead of profession ...
founded and based in
London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The , its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the as ' and retains b ...

London
,
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. As a multidisciplinary publication, ''Nature'' features
peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field Field may re ...
research from a variety of academic disciplines, mainly in science and technology. It has core editorial offices across the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States
, continental
Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both and , and is bordered by the to the ...

Europe
, and
Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict crite ...

Asia
under the international scientific publishing company
Springer Nature Springer Nature or the Springer Nature Group is a German-British academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content availab ...

Springer Nature
. ''Nature'' was one of the world's most cited scientific journals by the Science Edition of the 2019 ''
Journal Citation Reports ''Journal Citation Reports'' (''JCR'') is an annual publicationAnnual publications, more often simply called annuals, are periodical publications appearing regularly once per year."Annuals", in ''Encyclopedia of library and information science'' ( ...
'' (with an ascribed
impact factor#REDIRECT Impact factor The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index calculated by Clarivate that reflects the yearly average number of citations of articles published in the last two years ...
of 42.778), making it one of the world's most-read and most prestigious
academic journals An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most ...
. , it claimed an online readership of about three million unique readers per month. Founded in autumn 1869, ''Nature'' was first circulated by
Norman Lockyer Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (17 May 1836 – 16 August 1920) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, ...
and Alexander Macmillan as a public forum for scientific innovations. The mid-20th century facilitated an editorial expansion for the journal; ''Nature'' redoubled its efforts in explanatory and
scientific journalism Scientific journalism is the practice of including primary sources along with journalism, journalistic stories. The concept has been championed by Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and is inspired by the philosophy of Karl Popper. Primary-source hosti ...
. The late 1980s and early 1990s created a network of editorial offices outside of Britain and established ten new supplementary, speciality publications (e.g. ''
Nature Materials ''Nature Materials'', is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Nature Publishing Group. It was launched in September 2002. Vincent Dusastre is the launching and current chief editor. Aims and scope ''Nature Materials'' is focused on all ...
''). Since the late 2000s, dedicated editorial and current affairs columns are created weekly, and electoral endorsements are featured. The primary source of the journal remains, as established at its founding, research scientists; editing standards are primarily concerned with technical readability. Each issue also features articles that are of general interest to the scientific community, namely business, funding, scientific ethics, and research breakthroughs. There are also sections on books, arts, and short science fiction stories. The main research published in ''Nature'' consists mostly of papers (articles or letters) in lightly edited form. They are highly technical and dense, but, due to imposed text limits, they are typically summaries of larger work. Innovations or breakthroughs in any scientific or technological field are featured in the journal as either letters or news articles. The papers that have been published in this journal are internationally acclaimed for maintaining high research standards. Conversely, due to the journal's exposure, it has at various times been a subject of controversy for its handling of academic dishonesty, the
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

scientific method
, and news coverage. Fewer than 8% of submitted papers are accepted for publication. In 2007, ''Nature'' (together with ''
Science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ...
'') received the
Prince of Asturias Award The Princess of Asturias Awards ( es, Premios Princesa de Asturias, links=no, ast, Premios Princesa d'Asturies, links=no), formerly the Prince of Asturias Awards from 1981 to 2014 ( es, Premios Príncipe de Asturias, links=no), are a series of an ...
for Communications and Humanity.


History


Background

The enormous progress in science and mathematics during the 19th century was recorded in journals written mostly in
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
or , as well as in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
. Britain underwent enormous technological and industrial changes and advances particularly in the latter half of the 19th century. The most respected scientific journals of this time were the refereed journals of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a and the 's national . Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a by as The Royal Society. The society fulfils a number of roles: promoting sc ...
, which had published many of the great works from
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of s ...

Isaac Newton
and
Michael Faraday Michael Faraday (; 22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English scientist A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge ...

Michael Faraday
to
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English , and , best known for his contributions to the science of . His proposition that all species of life have descended from is now widely accepted and cons ...

Charles Darwin
. In addition, the number of popular science periodicals doubled from the 1850s to the 1860s. According to the editors of these popular science magazines, the publications were designed to serve as "organs of science", in essence, a means of connecting the public to the scientific world. ''Nature'', first created in 1869, was not the first magazine of its kind in Britain. One journal to precede ''Nature'' was ''Recreative Science: A Record and Remembrancer of Intellectual Observation'', which, created in 1859, began as a
natural history Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history ...

natural history
magazine and progressed to include more physical observational science and technical subjects and less natural history. The journal's name changed from its original title to ''Intellectual Observer: A Review of Natural History, Microscopic Research, and Recreative Science'' and then to the ''Student and Intellectual Observer of Science, Literature, and Art''. While ''Recreative Science'' had attempted to include more
physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abiotic component, non-living systems, in contrast to life science. It in turn has many branches, each referred to as a "physical science", together called the "physical sciences". ...
such as
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
and
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biological, geological ...
, the ''Intellectual Observer'' broadened itself further to include literature and art as well. Similar to ''Recreative Science'' was the scientific journal ''Popular Science Review'', created in 1862, which covered different fields of science by creating subsections titled "Scientific Summary" or "Quarterly Retrospect", with book reviews and commentary on the latest scientific works and publications. Two other journals produced in England prior to the development of ''Nature'' were the ''
Quarterly Journal of Science ''Quarterly Journal of Science'' was the title of two British scientific periodicals of the 19th century. The first was established in 1816 by William Thomas Brande, as the ''Quarterly Journal of Science, Literature and the Arts''. He edited it wi ...
'' and ''Scientific Opinion'', established in 1864 and 1868, respectively. The journal most closely related to ''Nature'' in its editorship and format was ''
The Reader ''The Reader'' (german: Der Vorleser) is a novel by German law professor and judge Bernhard Schlink, published in Germany in 1995 and in the United States in 1997. The story is a parable A parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose ...
'', created in 1863; the publication mixed science with literature and art in an attempt to reach an audience outside of the scientific community, similar to ''Popular Science Review''. These similar journals all ultimately failed. The ''Popular Science Review'' survived longest, lasting 20 years and ending its publication in 1881; ''Recreative Science'' ceased publication as the ''Student and Intellectual Observer'' in 1871. The ''Quarterly Journal'', after undergoing a number of editorial changes, ceased publication in 1885. ''The Reader'' terminated in 1867, and finally, ''Scientific Opinion'' lasted a mere 2 years, until June 1870.


Creation

Not long after the conclusion of ''The Reader'', a former editor,
Norman Lockyer Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (17 May 1836 – 16 August 1920) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, ...
, decided to create a new scientific journal titled ''Nature'', taking its name from a line by
William Wordsworth William Wordsworth (7 April 177023 April 1850) was an English Romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries ** Romantic music, of ...

William Wordsworth
: "To the solid ground of nature trusts the Mind that builds for aye". First owned and published by Alexander Macmillan, ''Nature'' was similar to its predecessors in its attempt to "provide cultivated readers with an accessible forum for reading about advances in scientific knowledge." Janet Browne has proposed that "far more than any other science journal of the period, ''Nature'' was conceived, born, and raised to serve polemic purpose." Many of the early editions of ''Nature'' consisted of articles written by members of a group that called itself the
X Club The X Club was a dining club of nine men who supported the theories of natural selection and academic liberalism in Victorian era, late 19th-century England. Thomas Henry Huxley was the initiator; he called the first meeting for 3 November 1864. ...
, a group of scientists known for having liberal, progressive, and somewhat controversial scientific beliefs relative to the time period. Initiated by
Thomas Henry Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge ...

Thomas Henry Huxley
, the group consisted of such important scientists as
Joseph Dalton Hooker Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (30 June 1817 – 10 December 1911) was a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, British botanist and explorer in the 19th century. He was a founder of geographical botany and Charles Darwin's closest friend. ...

Joseph Dalton Hooker
,
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has speciali ...

Herbert Spencer
, and
John Tyndall John Tyndall FRS (; 2 August 1820 – 4 December 1893) was a prominent 19th-century Irish physicist. His initial scientific fame arose in the 1850s from his study of diamagnetism Diamagnetic materials are repelled by a magnetic field A ...

John Tyndall
, along with another five scientists and mathematicians; these scientists were all avid supporters of
Darwin's theory of evolution Darwinism is a theory A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with such processes as obser ...
as
common descent Common descent is a concept in evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chem ...
, a theory which, during the latter half of the 19th century, received a great deal of criticism among more conservative groups of scientists. Perhaps it was in part its scientific liberality that made ''Nature'' a longer-lasting success than its predecessors.
John Maddox Sir John Royden Maddox, Royal Society, FRS (27 November 1925 – 12 April 2009) was a British theoretical chemist, turned physicist, and science writer. He was an editor of ''Nature (journal), Nature'' for 22 years, from 1966 to 1973 and 1980 ...
, editor of ''Nature'' from 1966 to 1973 and from 1980 to 1995, suggested at a celebratory dinner for the journal's centennial edition that perhaps it was the journalistic qualities of Nature that drew readers in; "journalism" Maddox states, "is a way of creating a sense of community among people who would otherwise be isolated from each other. This is what Lockyer's journal did from the start." In addition, Maddox mentions that the financial backing of the journal in its first years by the Macmillan family also allowed the journal to flourish and develop more freely than scientific journals before it.


Editors

Norman Lockyer Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (17 May 1836 – 16 August 1920) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, ...
, the founder of ''Nature'', was a professor at
Imperial College , mottoeng = Scientific knowledge, the crowning glory and the safeguard of the empire , established = 1907 by royal charter , type = Public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the ...

Imperial College
. He was succeeded as editor in 1919 by Sir Richard Gregory. Gregory helped to establish ''Nature'' in the international scientific community. His obituary by the Royal Society stated: "Gregory was always very interested in the international contacts of science, and in the columns of ''Nature'' he always gave generous space to accounts of the activities of the International Scientific Unions." During the years 1945 to 1973, editorship of ''Nature'' changed three times, first in 1945 to A. J. V. Gale and
L. J. F. Brimble Lionel John "Jack" Farnham Brimble (16 January 1904 in Radstock, Somerset – 15 November 1965 in London) was a botanist, author, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and editor of Nature (journal), Nature magazine. Early life He was born i ...
(who in 1958 became the sole editor), then to
John Maddox Sir John Royden Maddox, Royal Society, FRS (27 November 1925 – 12 April 2009) was a British theoretical chemist, turned physicist, and science writer. He was an editor of ''Nature (journal), Nature'' for 22 years, from 1966 to 1973 and 1980 ...
in 1965, and finally to David Davies in 1973. In 1980, Maddox returned as editor and retained his position until 1995. Philip Campbell became Editor-in-chief of all ''Nature'' publications until 2018.
Magdalena Skipper Magdalena Skipper is a British geneticist and the editor-in-chief of the journal ''Nature (journal), Nature''. She previously served as an editor of ''Nature Reviews Genetics'' and the open access journal ''Nature Communications''. Education Sk ...
has since become Editor-in-chief.


Expansion and development

In 1970, ''Nature'' first opened its Washington office; other branches opened in New York in 1985, Tokyo and Munich in 1987, Paris in 1989, San Francisco in 2001, Boston in 2004, and Hong Kong in 2005. In 1971, under
John Maddox Sir John Royden Maddox, Royal Society, FRS (27 November 1925 – 12 April 2009) was a British theoretical chemist, turned physicist, and science writer. He was an editor of ''Nature (journal), Nature'' for 22 years, from 1966 to 1973 and 1980 ...
's editorship, the journal split into ''Nature Physical Sciences'' (published on Mondays), ''Nature New Biology'' (published on Wednesdays), and ''Nature'' (published on Fridays). In 1974, Maddox was no longer editor, and the journals were merged into ''Nature''. Starting in the 1980s, the journal underwent a great deal of expansion, launching over ten new journals. These new journals comprise Nature Research, which was created in 1999 under the name Nature Publishing Group and includes ''Nature'', Nature Research Journals, Stockton Press Specialist Journals and Macmillan Reference (renamed NPG Reference). In 1996, ''Nature'' created its own website and in 1999 Nature Publishing Group began its series of ''Nature Reviews''. Some articles and papers are available for free on the Nature website, while others require the purchase of premium access to the site. , ''Nature'' claimed an online readership of about 3 million unique readers per month. On 30 October 2008, ''Nature'' endorsed an American presidential candidate for the first time when it supported
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th from 2009 to 2017. A member of the , Obama was the first African-American president of the United States. He previously serv ...

Barack Obama
during his campaign in America's 2008 presidential election. In October 2012, an Arabic edition of the magazine was launched in partnership with
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST; ar, مدينة الملك عبدالعزيز للعلوم والتقنية) in Riyadh Riyadh ( ar, الرياض, 'ar-Riyāḍ, Literal translation, lit.: 'The Gardens' Najdi Arabic, Najd ...
. As of the time it was released, it had about 10,000 subscribers. On 2 December 2014, ''Nature'' announced that it would allow its subscribers and a group of selected media outlets to share links allowing free, "read-only" access to content from its journals. These articles are presented using the
digital rights management Digital rights management (DRM) tools or technological protection measures (TPM) are a set of access control In the fields of physical security and information security, access control (AC) is the selective restriction of access to a place o ...
system ReadCube (which is funded by the Macmillan subsidiary Digital Science), and does not allow readers to download, copy, print, or otherwise distribute the content. While it does, to an extent, provide free online access to articles, it is not a true
open access Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. With open access strictly defined (according to the 2001 definition), or open access, barri ...

open access
scheme due to its restrictions on re-use and distribution. On 15 January 2015, details of a proposed merger with Springer Science+Business Media were announced. In May 2015 it came under the umbrella of
Springer Nature Springer Nature or the Springer Nature Group is a German-British academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content availab ...

Springer Nature
, by the merger of
Springer Science+Business Media Springer Science+Business Media, commonly known as Springer, is a German multinational company of books, s and peer-reviewed journals in science, humanities, technical and medical (STM) publishing. Originally founded in 1842 in , it expanded ...
and
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group Holtzbrinck Publishing Group () is a Privately held company, privately-held German company based in Stuttgart which Holding company, owns publishing companies worldwide. Through Macmillan Publishers, it is one of the Publishing#Book publishing, B ...
's
Nature Publishing Group Nature Research (formerly known as Nature Publishing Group) is a division of the international scientific publishing company Springer Nature Springer Nature or ''Springer Nature Group''  is a German-British academic publishing company cr ...
,
Palgrave Macmillan #REDIRECT Palgrave Macmillan#REDIRECT Palgrave Macmillan Palgrave Macmillan is a British academic and trade publishing company headquartered in the London Borough of Camden. Its programme includes textbooks, journals, monographs, professional and ...
, and
Macmillan Education Macmillan Education is a publisher of English Language teaching and school curriculum materials. The company is based in London and operates in over 40 countries worldwide. History In 2011 Macmillan Publishers Ltd was fined GBP 11.3 million by t ...
. Since 2011, the journal has published
Nature's 10 ''Nature'' 10 is an annual listicle of ten "people who mattered" in science, produced by the scientific journal ''Nature (journal), Nature''. Nominees have made a significant impact in science either for good or for bad. Reporters and editorial sta ...
"people who mattered" during the year, as part of their annual review.


Publication in Nature

According to ''
Science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ...
'', another academic journal, being published in ''Nature'' has been known to carry a certain level of prestige in academia. In particular, empirical papers are often highly cited, which can lead to promotions, grant funding, and attention from the mainstream media. Because of these
positive feedback Positive feedback (exacerbating feedback, self-reinforcing feedback) is a process that occurs in a which exacerbates the effects of a small disturbance. That is, the effects of a perturbation on a system include an increase in the magnitude ...
effects, competition among scientists to publish in high-level journals like ''Nature'' and its closest competitor, ''
Science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ...
'', can be very fierce. ''Nature''s
impact factor#REDIRECT Impact factor The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index calculated by Clarivate that reflects the yearly average number of citations of articles published in the last two years ...
, a measure of how many citations a journal generates in other works, was 38.138 in 2015 (as measured by Thomson ISI). However, as with many journals, most papers receive far fewer citations than the impact factor would indicate. ''Nature'''s journal impact factor carries a long tail. As with most other professional scientific journals, papers undergo an initial screening by the editor, followed by
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work (). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant . Peer review methods ar ...
(in which other scientists, chosen by the editor for expertise with the subject matter but who have no connection to the research under review, will read and critique articles), before publication. In the case of ''Nature'', they are only sent for review if it is decided that they deal with a topical subject and are sufficiently ground-breaking in that particular field. As a consequence, the majority of submitted papers are rejected without review. According to ''Nature''s original
mission statement A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market Market may refer to: *Market ...

mission statement
: This was later revised to:


Landmark papers

Many of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in modern history have been first published in ''Nature''. The following is a selection of scientific breakthroughs published in ''Nature'', all of which had far-reaching consequences, and the citation for the article in which they were published. * Wave nature of particles — * The
neutron The neutron is a subatomic particle, symbol or , which has a neutral (not positive or negative) charge, and a mass slightly greater than that of a proton. Protons and neutrons constitute the nuclei of atoms. Since protons and neutrons behav ...

neutron
*
Nuclear fission Nuclear fission is a in which the of an splits into two or more smaller . The fission process often produces s, and releases a very large amount of even by the energetic standards of . Nuclear fission of heavy elements was discovered on ...

Nuclear fission
* The structure of
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
* First molecular
protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily ...

protein
structure (
myoglobin Myoglobin (symbol Mb or MB) is an iron- and oxygen-binding protein found in the cardiac and skeletal muscle, skeletal Muscle, muscle tissue of vertebrates in general and in almost all mammals. Myoglobin is distantly related to hemoglobin. Compare ...

myoglobin
) — *
Plate tectonics upright=1.35, Diagram of the internal layering of Earth showing the lithosphere above the asthenosphere (not to scale) Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written L ...
*
Pulsars Animation of a rotating pulsar. The sphere in the middle represents the neutron star, the curves indicate the magnetic field lines and the protruding cones represent the emission zones. A pulsar (from ''pulse'' and ''-ar'' as in “quasar A ...
* The
ozone hole Ozone depletion consists of two related events observed since the late 1970s: a steady lowering of about four percent in the total amount of ozone Ozone (), or trioxygen, is an inorganic molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scannin ...
* First
cloning Cloning is the process of producing individual organisms with identical or virtually identical DNA, either by natural or artificial means. In nature, some organisms produce clones through asexual reproduction Asexual reproduction is a type o ...

cloning
of a
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...
( Dolly the sheep) — * The
human genome The human genome is a complete set of nucleic acid sequences for humans, encoded as DNA within the 23 chromosome pairs in cell nuclei and in a small DNA molecule found within individual Mitochondrial DNA, mitochondria. These are usually treated se ...

human genome


Controversies

In 2017, ''Nature'' published an editorial entitled "Removing Statues of Historical figures risks whitewashing history: Science must acknowledge mistakes as it marks its past". The article commented on the placement and maintenance of statues honouring scientists with known unethical, abusive and torturous histories. Specifically, the editorial called on examples of J. Marion Sims, the 'Father of gynecology' who experimented on African American female slaves who were unable to give informed consent, and Thomas Parran Jr. who oversaw the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. The editorial as written made the case that removing such statues, and erasing names, runs the risk of "whitewashing history", and stated "Instead of removing painful reminders, perhaps these should be supplemented". The article caused a large outcry and was quickly modified by Nature. The article was largely seen as offensive, inappropriate, and by many, racist. ''Nature'' acknowledged that the article as originally written was "offensive and poorly worded" and published selected letters of response. The editorial came just weeks after hundreds of white supremacists marched in
Charlottesville, Virginia Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville, is an in the of . It is the of , which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. It is named after . In 2019, an estimated 47,266 people lived within the city limits. The ...
in the
Unite the Right rally The Unite the Right rally was a white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville, is an independent city (United States), independent city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state) ...
to oppose the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, setting off violence in the streets and killing a young woman. When Nature posted a link to the editorial on
Twitter Twitter is an American microblogging Microblogging is an online broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical di ...

Twitter
, the thread quickly exploded with criticisms. In response, several scientists called for a boycott. On 18 September 2017, the editorial was updated and edited by Philip Campbell, the editor of the journal. When
Paul Lauterbur Paul Christian Lauterbur (May 6, 1929 – March 27, 2007) was an American chemist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2003 with Peter Mansfield for his work which made the development of magnetic resonance imaging Magne ...
and
Peter Mansfield Sir Peter Mansfield (9 October 1933 – 8 February 2017) was an English physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, ar ...
won a
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded yearly by the Nobel Assembly , native_name_lang = , image = Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.jpeg , size = , motto = , formation = 190113 March 1978(as a forma ...
for research initially rejected by ''Nature'' and published only after Lauterbur appealed against the rejection, ''Nature'' acknowledged more of its own missteps in rejecting papers in an editorial titled, "Coping with Peer Rejection": In June 1988, after nearly a year of guided scrutiny from its editors, ''Nature'' published a controversial and seemingly anomalous paper detailing
Jacques BenvenisteThe Benveniste affair ; is a major international controversy in 1988, when Jacques Benveniste published a paper in the prestigious scientific journal In academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is t ...
and his team's work studying human
basophil Basophils are a type of white blood cell. Basophils are the least common type of granulocyte, representing about 0.5% to 1% of circulating white blood cells. However, they are the largest type of granulocyte. They are responsible for inflammato ...
degranulation 300px, The degranulation process in a Mast cell. 1 = FcεR1;_4_=_preformed_mediators_(histamine.html" ;"title="IgE;_3_=_FCER1.html" ;"title="IgE.html" ;"title="antigen; 2 = IgE">antigen; 2 = IgE; 3 = FCER1">FcεR1; 4 = preformed mediators (histamin ...
in the presence of extremely dilute
antibody An antibody (Ab), also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig), is a large, Y-shaped protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as pathogenic bacteria and Viral disease, viruses. The antibody recognizes a unique mo ...

antibody
serum. The paper concluded that less than a single molecule of antibody could trigger an immune response in human basophils, defying the physical
law of mass action In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they unde ...
. The paper excited substantial media attention in Paris, chiefly because their research sought funding from
homeopathic Homeopathy or homoeopathy is a pseudoscientific Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characteri ...
medicine companies. Public inquiry prompted ''Nature'' to mandate an extensive and stringent experimental replication in Benveniste's lab, through which his team's results were refuted. Before publishing one of its most famous discoveries, Watson and 's 1953
paper Paper is a thin sheet material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition ...
on the
structure of DNA The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings ...
, ''Nature'' did not send the paper out for peer review.
John Maddox Sir John Royden Maddox, Royal Society, FRS (27 November 1925 – 12 April 2009) was a British theoretical chemist, turned physicist, and science writer. He was an editor of ''Nature (journal), Nature'' for 22 years, from 1966 to 1973 and 1980 ...
, ''Nature''s editor, stated: "the Watson and Crick paper was not peer-reviewed by ''Nature'' ... the paper could not have been refereed: its correctness is self-evident. No referee working in the field ... could have kept his mouth shut once he saw the structure". An earlier error occurred when
Enrico Fermi Enrico Fermi (; 29 September 1901 - 28 November 1954) was an Italian (later naturalized American) physicist and the creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the "architect of the nuclear age" and ...

Enrico Fermi
submitted his breakthrough paper on the weak interaction theory of
beta decay In , beta decay (''β''-decay) is a type of in which a (fast energetic or ) is emitted from an , transforming the original to an of that nuclide. For example, beta decay of a transforms it into a by the emission of an electron accompanie ...

beta decay
. ''Nature'' rejected the paper because it was considered too remote from reality. Fermi's paper was published by ''
Zeitschrift für Physik ''Zeitschrift für Physik'' (English: ''Journal for Physics'') is a defunct series of German peer-reviewed German scientific journal of physics established in 1920 by Springer Berlin Heidelberg. The series stopped publication in 1997, when they m ...
'' in 1934. The journal apologised for its initial coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in which it linked China and Wuhan with the outbreak, which may have led to racist attacks.


Retractions

A paper was published with important figure anomalies from an author with a past of publishing figure anomalies. A 2013 fraudulent paper was also published in ''Nature''. From 2000 to 2001, a series of five fraudulent papers by Schön scandal, Jan Hendrik Schön was published in ''Nature''. The papers, about semiconductors, were revealed to contain falsified data and other scientific fraud. In 2003, ''Nature'' retracted the papers. The Schön scandal was not limited to ''Nature''; other prominent journals, such as ''
Science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ...
'' and ''Physical Review'', also retracted papers by Schön.


Science fiction

In 1999, ''Nature'' began publishing science fiction short stories. The brief "vignette (literature), vignettes" are printed in a series called "Futures". The stories appeared in 1999 and 2000, again in 2005 and 2006, and have appeared weekly since July 2007. Sister publication ''Nature Physics'' also printed stories in 2007 and 2008. In 2005, ''Nature'' was awarded the European Science Fiction Society's Best Publisher award for the "Futures" series. One hundred of the ''Nature'' stories between 1999 and 2006 were published as the collection ''Futures from Nature'' in 2008. Another collection, ''Futures from Nature 2'', was published in 2014.


Publication

''Nature'' is edited and published in the United Kingdom by a division of the international scientific publishing company
Springer Nature Springer Nature or the Springer Nature Group is a German-British academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content availab ...

Springer Nature
that publishes academic journals, magazines, online databases, and services in science and medicine. ''Nature'' has offices in London, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Munich, and Basingstoke. Nature Portfolio, Nature Research also publishes other specialized journals including ''Nature Neuroscience'', ''Nature Biotechnology,'' ''Nature Methods'', the ''Nature Clinical Practice'' series of journals, ''Nature Structural & Molecular Biology'', ''Nature Chemistry'', and the ''Nature Reviews'' series of journals. Since 2005, each issue of ''Nature'' has been accompanied by a ''Nature Podcast'' featuring highlights from the issue and interviews with the articles' authors and the journalists covering the research. It is presented by Kerri Smith and features interviews with scientists on the latest research, as well as news reports from ''Nature'''s editors and journalists. The Nature Podcast was founded – and the first 100 episodes were produced and presented – by clinician and virologist Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist, Chris Smith of Cambridge and ''The Naked Scientists''. In 2007, Nature Publishing Group began publishing ''Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics'', the official journal of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics and ''Molecular Therapy'', the American Society of Gene Therapy's official journal, as well as the ''International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) Journal''. Nature Publishing Group launched ''Nature Photonics'' in 2007 and ''Nature Geoscience'' in 2008. ''Nature Chemistry'' published its first issue in April 2009. Nature Research actively supports the self-archiving process and in 2002 was one of the first publishers to allow authors to post their contributions on their personal websites, by requesting an exclusive licence to publish, rather than requiring authors to transfer copyright. In December 2007, Nature Publishing Group introduced the Creative Commons attribution-non-commercial-share alike unported licence for those articles in Nature journals that are publishing the primary sequence of an organism's genome for the first time. In 2008, a collection of articles from ''Nature'' was edited by John S. Partington under the title ''H. G. Wells in Nature, 1893–1946: A Reception Reader'' and published by Peter Lang. After a 2015 merger, Nature Publishing Group dissolved and was afterwards known as Nature Research.


See also

* Open-access (publishing) * Scientific journal


Citations


General bibliography

* * *


External links

*
Freely available scans of volumes 1–112 (1869–1923)

''Nature'' Index

For €9500, ''Nature'' journals will now make your paper free to read
{{DEFAULTSORT:Nature (Journal) 1869 establishments in England English-language journals Multidisciplinary scientific journals Natural sciences Nature Research academic journals Publications established in 1869 Weekly journals