|Edited by||Richard White|
|License||Creative Commons Attribution|
|ISO 4||Sci. Rep.|
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. 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.
Critics, such as Derek Lowe, argue that Scientific Reports has a tendency to publish junk science, and have questioned the review process.  In September 2016 it became the largest journal in the world by number of articles, overtaking PLOS ONE.
Abstracting and indexing
The journal is abstracted and indexed in the Chemical Abstracts Service, the Science Citation Index, and selectively Index Medicus/MEDLINE/PubMed. 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.
Peer review and acceptance rate
The journal has been described as a megajournal, conceptually similar to PLOS ONE, with a business model based on article processing charges. The journal's editorial board is extremely large, with several thousand listed members. 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", but this procedure has been questioned.
The acceptance rate for Scientific Reports was reported to be 48%, based on the published rate by the journal in 2019.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA in short, approached Scientific Reports to retract a paper by scientists at the National Institutes of Health in which rhesus macaques were used for experiments in which they were "deprived of water, strapped into restraint chairs and shown videos of shapes engaging in human-like behaviors while experimenters measured their eye movements".
A paper published in July 2020 which linked body weight to integrity caused consternation among social media users, questioning why Scientific Reports agreed to publish this paper. The paper was eventually retracted in January 2021.
Scientific Reports retracted a 2019 paper in January 2021 which claimed that: "both Creationism and Big Bang theory are wrong, and that black holes are the engines driving the universe".
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.
A study published in Scientific Reports on 24 June 2019 claimed that the sun was causing global warming. Based on severe criticism from the scientific community, Scientific Reports started an investigation on the validity of this study and it was retracted by the editors in March 2020.
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. The paper was later corrected.
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’. 
Resignations of editorial board members
In November 2017, 19 editorial board members stepped down due to the journal not retracting a plagiarised 2016 study. 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. The trial ran for a month.
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- Oransky, Ivan. "Weekend reads: The fake author with more than 200 papers; accusations of 'heinous plagiarism'; PETA requests a retraction". Retraction Watch.
- Marcus, Adam. "Springer Nature journal retracts BMI, honesty paper". Retraction Watch.
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- Marcus, Adam. ""Confrontation is an important element of physics progress:" Paper on black holes retracted". Retraction Watch.
- Marcus, Adam. "An author realized a paper had plagiarized his thesis. It took the journal four years to retract it". Retraction Watch.
- 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)
- Vaughan, Adam. "Journal criticised for study claiming sun is causing global warming". NewScientist. NewScientist. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
- 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.
- Oransky, Oran (11 June 2019). ""Permeable to bad science:" Journal retracts paper hailed by proponents of homeopathy". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
- 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.
- Marcus, Adam (18 September 2019). "'Text neck' — aka 'horns' — paper earns corrections". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
- 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.
- Palus, Shannon (10 June 2016). "Author denies accusations of blatant duplication". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- 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.
- Precision Vaccinations. "HPV Vaccine Research From Japan Withdrawn". www.precisionvaccinations.com. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- Offord, Catherine (6 November 2017). "Mass Resignation from Scientific Reports's Editorial Board". The Scientist. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
- Bohannon, John (27 March 2015). "Updated: Editor quits journal over pay-for-expedited peer-review offer". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aab0391.
- Cressey, Daniel (27 March 2015). "Concern raised over payment for fast-track peer review". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2015.17204. S2CID 167469822.
- Jackson, Alex (21 April 2015). "Fast-track peer review experiment: First findings". Of Schemes and Memes Blog.
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