Journal of Irreproducible Results

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Journal of Irreproducible Results  
Discipline Science humor
Language English
Edited by Norman Sperling
Publication details
Society for Basic Irreproducible Research (United States)
Publication history
1955 to present
Frequency Bimonthly
ISSN 0022-2038

The Journal of Irreproducible Results (JIR) is a magazine of science humor.[1] JIR was founded in Israel in 1955 by virologist Alexander Kohn and physicist Harry J. Lipkin, who wanted a humor magazine about science, for scientists.[2] It contains a mix of jokes, satire of scientific practice, science cartoons, and discussion of funny but real research.

It has passed through several hands and is published in San Mateo, California, as of 2015.


Medical researcher George H. Scherr was publisher from 1964 to 1989, after which JIR was published by Blackwell Scientific Publications. Marc Abrahams was editor from 1991 to the last Blackwell issue in 1994, when he left to form the rival Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) and create the Ig Nobel Prize.

In 1994, Blackwell returned JIR to George Scherr, who was publisher and editor until 2003, during which time he pursued a number of legal complaints against Abrahams and AIR, even as the journal's publication became erratic.

JIR received attention from American military intelligence when a copy of one of their articles was found among other papers in an abandoned terrorist headquarters in Kabul. The article was a highly unrealistic and farcical explanation of how to build a nuclear weapon that some unwitting Al Qaida member had filed away. Nonetheless the discovery prompted a short-lived official investigation.[3][4]

Astronomer Norman Sperling, an assistant editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, became editor and publisher of the journal in 2004, with promises to rejuvenate it.


  1. ^ Romano, Carlin (October 7, 1993). "Proof, With Footnotes, That Scientists Can Be Funny". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on January 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ Abrahams, Marc (December 28, 2015). "Sad news; Harry Lipkin is gone". Improbable Research. Archived from the original on January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ Ridgeway, James (November 20, 2001). "Al Qaeda Duped?: Nuke Manual Looks Like Internet Hoax". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ Highfield, Roger (November 20, 2001). "Al-Qa'eda's atom plans were spoof science". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 

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