Scientific Reports

Scientific Reports is an online peer-reviewed open access scientific mega journal published by Nature Research, covering all areas of the natural sciences. The journal was launched in 2011.[1] The journal has announced that their aim is to assess solely the scientific validity of a submitted paper, rather than its perceived importance, significance or impact.[2]

Scientific Reports  
Scientific Reports Logo.svg
DisciplineNatural sciences
Edited byRichard White
Publication details
LicenseCreative Commons Attribution
3.998 (2019)
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4Sci. Rep.
OCLC no.732869387

In 2016, a blog post on the Scholarly Kitchen stated that the journal was becoming the largest one in the world, overtaking PLOS ONE.[3] This occurred in September 2016.[4] Some[5] have suggested that Scientific Reports has a tendency to publish junk science, and have questioned the review process.

Abstracting and indexingEdit

The journal is abstracted and indexed in the Chemical Abstracts Service,[6] the Science Citation Index, and selectively Index Medicus/MEDLINE/PubMed.[7] According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2-year impact factor of 4.011 in 2018 and a 5-year impact factor of 4.525.[8]

Peer review and acceptance rateEdit

The journal has been described as a megajournal,[4] conceptually similar to PLOS ONE, with a business model based on article processing charges.[9] The journal's editorial board is extremely large, with several thousand listed members.[10] The Guide to Referees states that to be published, "a paper must be scientifically valid and technically sound in methodology and analysis", and reviewers have to ensure manuscripts "are not assessed based on their perceived importance, significance or impact",[11] but this procedure has been questioned.[5]

The acceptance rate for Scientific Reports was reported to be 48%, based on the published rate by the journal in 2019.[12]


Controversial articlesEdit

It took Scientific Reports more than four years to retract a plagiarized study from a bachelor's thesis of a Hungarian mathematician. The paper entitled, "“Modified box dimension and average weighted receiving time on the weighted fractal networks" was published in December 2015, and the plagiarism was reported in January 2016 by the former bachelor student. In April 2020, the paper was eventually retracted.[13]

A study published in Scientific Reports on 24 June 2019 claimed that the sun was causing global warming.[14] Based on severe criticism from the scientific community, Scientific Reports started an investigation on the validity of this study[15] and it was retracted by the editors in March 2020.[16]

A 2018 paper claimed that a homeopathic treatment could attenuate pain in rats. It was retracted 8 months later after "swift criticism" from the scientific community.[17][18]

A controversial 2018 paper suggested that too much bent-neck staring at a cell phone could grow a “horn” on the back of someone's head. The study also failed to mention the conflict of interests of the first author.[19] The paper was later corrected.

The face of Donald Trump was hidden in an image of baboon feces in a paper published in 2018. The journal later removed the image.[20]

Allegedly duplicated and manipulated images in a 2016 paper that were not detected during peer review led to criticism from the scientific community.[21] The article was retracted in June 2016.[22]

A 2016 study proclaimed that a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine caused impaired mobility and brain damage in mice. This paper alarmed public health advocates in Japan and worldwide because of the potential side effects of the HPV vaccine on humans. The study was retracted two years later because ‘the experimental approach does not support the objectives of the study’. [23]

Resignations of editorial board membersEdit

In November 2017, 19 editorial board members stepped down due to the journal not retracting a plagiarised 2016 study.[24] The article was eventually retracted in March, 2018.

In 2015, editor Mark Maslin resigned because the journal introduced a trial of a fast-track peer-review service for biology manuscripts in exchange for an additional fee.[25][26] The trial ran for a month.[27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ann Koopman (January 10, 2011). Nature Launches New Open Access Journal: Scientific Reports, Library News, Thomas Jefferson University. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Criteria for publication". Scientific Reports. Nature Publishing Group.
  3. ^ Davis, Phil (23 August 2016). "Scientific Reports On Track To Become Largest Journal In The World". The Scholarly Kitchen. Retrieved 24 August 2016.; "Scientific Reports Overtakes PLOS ONE As Largest Megajournal". The Scholarly Kitchen. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Mega-journals: the future, a stepping stone to it or a leap into the abyss?". Times Higher Education. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b Lowe, Derek (15 June 2016). "More on Scientific Reports, And on Faked Papers". Science Translational Medicine. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  6. ^ "CAS Source Index". Chemical Abstracts Service. American Chemical Society. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Scientific Reports". NLM Catalog. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Scientific Reports". 2018 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Science ed.). Clarivate Analytics. 2019.
  9. ^ "Nature's open-access offering may sound death knell for subs model". The Times Higher Education. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Editorial Advisory Panel and Editorial Board". Scientific Reports. Nature Publishing Group.
  11. ^ "Guide to Referees". Scientific Reports. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Marcus, Adam. "An author realized a paper had plagiarized his thesis. It took the journal four years to retract it". Retraction Watch.
  14. ^ V. V. Zharkova, S. J. Shepherd, S. I. Zharkov & E. Popova (2019). "Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale". Scientific Reports. 9 (1): 9197. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-45584-3. PMC 6591297. PMID 31235834.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Vaughan, Adam. "Journal criticised for study claiming sun is causing global warming". NewScientist. NewScientist. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  16. ^ Zharkova, V. V.; Shepherd, S. J.; Zharkov, S. I.; Popova, E. (2020). "Retraction Note: Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 4336. Bibcode:2020NatSR..10.4336Z. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-61020-3. PMC 7055216. PMID 32132618.
  17. ^ Oransky, Oran (11 June 2019). ""Permeable to bad science:" Journal retracts paper hailed by proponents of homeopathy". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  18. ^ Guglielmi, Giorgia (20 October 2018). "Peer-reviewed homeopathy study sparks uproar in Italy". Nature. 562 (7726): 173–174. Bibcode:2018Natur.562..173G. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-06967-0. PMID 30301997.
  19. ^ Marcus, Adam (18 September 2019). "'Text neck' — aka 'horns' — paper earns corrections". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  20. ^ Oransky, Oran (21 December 2018). ""Unusual aspects" of a figure — aka a cartoon of Trump's face in baboon feces — disappear from a journal". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  21. ^ Palus, Shannon (10 June 2016). "Author denies accusations of blatant duplication". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  22. ^ Samie, Nima; Muniandy, Sekaran; Kanthimathi, M. S.; Haerian, Batoul Sadat; Azudin, Raja Elina Raja (2016). "Retraction: Novel piperazine core compound induces death in human liver cancer cells: possible pharmacological properties". Scientific Reports. 6: 29056. Bibcode:2016NatSR...629056S. doi:10.1038/srep29056. PMC 4916487. PMID 27328968.
  23. ^ Precision Vaccinations. "HPV Vaccine Research From Japan Withdrawn". Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  24. ^ Offord, Catherine (6 November 2017). "Mass Resignation from Scientific Reports's Editorial Board". The Scientist. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  25. ^ Bohannon, John (27 March 2015). "Updated: Editor quits journal over pay-for-expedited peer-review offer". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aab0391.
  26. ^ Cressey, Daniel (27 March 2015). "Concern raised over payment for fast-track peer review". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2015.17204. S2CID 167469822.
  27. ^

External linksEdit