Journal of Scientific Exploration

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Journal of Scientific Exploration  
Language English
Edited by Stephen E. Braude
Publication details
Publication history
Frequency Quarterly
ISSN 0892-3310
LCCN 88648133
OCLC no. 15153049

The Journal of Scientific Exploration is a quarterly peer-reviewed[1][2] academic journal of fringe science that was established in 1987.[3] The journal is currently edited by philosopher and parapsychologist Stephen E. Braude and published by the Society for Scientific Exploration.

According to its mission statement, the journal provides a forum for research on topics "outside the established disciplines of mainstream science."[4] The editors of the journal state that the periodical "publishes claimed observations and proffered explanations that will seem more speculative or less plausible than in some mainstream disciplinary journals. Nevertheless, those observations and explanations must conform to rigorous standards of observational techniques and logical argument."[5] Critics of the journal regard it as a forum for promoting, not investigating, fringe science.[6][7][8]

Topics and policies[edit]

The journal's website describes the publication's purpose as providing "a professional forum for presentations, criticism, and debate concerning topics which are for various reasons ignored or studied inadequately within mainstream science", and describes the Journal as a "critical forum of rationality and observational evidence for the often strange claims at the fringes of science."[4]

Responding in part to opinion survey results indicating that many mainstream scientists were interested in reasoned examination and debate about unidentified flying objects, the journal was initially established to provide a forum for three main fields that had largely been neglected by mainstream science: ufology, cryptozoology, and parapsychology. It has also published research articles, essays, and book reviews on many other topics, including the philosophy of science, pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, alternative medicine, the process of peer review for controversial topics,[9] astrology, consciousness, reincarnation, minority opinion scientific theories, and paranormal phenomena.[4][10]

Academic reception[edit]

The Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists says that the journal has reports about anomalies in science, particularly in the parapsychological and extraterrestrial fields.[11][12] Some academics have noted that the journal publishes on anomalous issues, topics often on the fringe of science.[13] The journal is indexed in EBSCO Information Services, which provides a range of library database services.

Of the Society for Scientific Exploration and Journal of Scientific Exploration, journalist Michael Lemonick writes, "Pretty much anything that might have shown up on The X-Files or in the National Enquirer shows up first here. But what also shows up is a surprising attitude of skepticism."[14]

Kendrick Frazier, editor of Skeptical Inquirer and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry fellow has suggested that:

"The JSE, while presented as neutral and objective, appears to hold a hidden agenda. They seem to be interested in promoting fringe topics as real mysteries and they tend to ignore most evidence to the contrary. They publish 'scholarly' articles promoting the reality of dowsing, neo-astrology, ESP, and psychokinesis. Most of the prominent and active members are strong believers in the reality of such phenomena."[6]

Clinical community psychologist and professor of social psychology at the University of Connecticut, Seth Kalichman regards the journal as a publisher of pseudoscience, with the journal serving as a "major outlet for UFOology, paranormal activity, extrasensory powers, alien abductions etc".[7]

Philosopher of science Noretta Koertge described the journal as an "attempt to institutionalize pseudoscience".[8]


Past editors-in-chief have been:[10]


  1. ^ "Academic Search Complete: Magazines and Journals". EBSCO. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  2. ^ "Journals Indexed in ERIC". Education Resources Information Center. 
  3. ^ "Journal of Scientific Exploration". Society for Scientific Exploration. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  4. ^ a b c "Journal of Scientific Exploration". Society for Scientific Exploration. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  5. ^ "JSE Instructions for Authors". Society for Scientific Exploration. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  6. ^ a b "CSICOP Responds to the Recent UFO Report Sponsored by the Society for Scientific Exploration" (Press release). Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 6 July 1998. Archived from the original on 2000-08-16. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  7. ^ a b Kalichman, S. C. (2005). Denying Aids: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy. Springer. p. 71. ISBN 9780387794754. 
  8. ^ a b Massimo Pigliucci; Maarten Boudry (16 August 2013). Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press. pp. 175–. ISBN 978-0-226-05182-6. 
  9. ^ Campanario, J. M.; Martin, B. (2004). "Challenging dominant physics paradigms" (PDF). Journal of Scientific Exploration. 18 (3): 421–438. 
  10. ^ a b Haisch, B.; Sims, M. (2004). "A Retrospective on the Journal of Scientific Exploration" (PDF). Journal of Scientific Exploration. 18 (1): 15–25. 
  11. ^ "Journals: Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group". Royal College of Psychiatrists. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  12. ^ "Journals and Other Media at the Department of History of the University of North Texas". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. 
  13. ^ Cross, A. (2004). "The Flexibility of Scientific Rhetoric: A Case Study of UFO Researchers". Qualitative Sociology. 27 (1): 3–34. doi:10.1023/B:QUAS.0000015542.28438.41. 
  14. ^ Lemonick, M .D. (24 May 2005). "Science on the Fringe". Time. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 

External links[edit]