Talk:Nature (journal)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Former good article Nature (journal) was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 5, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
June 8, 2009 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Resource Exchange
WikiProject icon If you have access to this resource, or if you need to verify a citation from this reference, check out WikiProject Resource Exchange. WikiProject icon
WikiProject Academic Journals (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Academic Journals, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Academic Journals on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
See WikiProject Academic Journals' writing guide for tips on how to improve this article.
WikiProject History of Science (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of the History of Science WikiProject, an attempt to improve and organize the history of science content on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion. You can also help with the History of Science Collaboration of the Month.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Magazines (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Magazines, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of magazines on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
See WikiProject Magazines' writing guide for tips on how to improve this article.


Just to comment on removing " (in contrast to Science where articles tend to review recent changes to a subject in a more accessible way)" - as a subscriber to Science and regular reader of Nature, there is absolutely no average tendency for the research publications in Science to be less technical or more accessible than those in Nature. ~ Reaverdrop

Having been born in the first half of the 20th Century, I am old enough to remember the prominence, if not preeminence, of mathematical and scientific journals written in German or French. This is why in American universities, German and French reading examinations were a requirement for the Ph.D. in the sciences, particularly German in Chemistry. Therefore, I was surprised at the lack of reference to German and French journals in the main body of this article. Frankly, it was written in a chauvinistic POV. I suspect that is why this section was completely ignored in the German and French editions of Wikipedia. That is why I am editing this section to include the historical context of British (English) journals within the wider European context. I think it is still incomplete without the context of American scientific societies. (BTW, more of my chemistry articles were published in RSC journals than in ACS journals.) Laburke (talk) 02:47, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

nature as a "sex appeal" journal[edit]

In my experience in astronomy/physical cosmology, people publish a Letter in Nature when they have a neat result and feel like they need some publicity, but AFAIK nobody (in these fields) really takes Nature seriously for proper research articles. The small size of the Letter format means that a lot of work goes in to compressing the paper, and people who disagree or are sceptical about something don't have access to the full calculations and discussions. Maybe in biology Nature is taken more serioiusly, but not in astro/cosmo. Of course, it's still good for your cv, so people still send articles there, and unfortunately, mainstream media access is still important for getting jobs etc or sometimes even for persuading colleagues that your work is useful - as the wikipedia articles states. So Nature will still hang around for some time yet... Boud 12:52, 1 December 2005 (UTC)


BBC NEWS: 10. Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia that is compiled and updated by volunteers and has frequently had its accuracy called into question, is about as reliable as the Encyclopedia Britannica, according to a study by Nature. (

What about that? --Zhengfu 12:07, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Here's an update. [1] Turns out the Nature information was fabricated.
That claim was made by people with a financial interest in denigrating the results and was rejected by Nature. --CalJW 11:36, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
What a load of crap CalJW. Nature made a claim against a company and they defended themselves. The fact is, they didn't "claim" that Nature had done wrong, they provided a huge amount of evidence to back their assertion that Nature had come up with a load of crap. Nature fabricated some evidence (the fact that the owners of Britannica pointed this out doesn't make that any less true, no matter how much they earn from the company), accused Britannica of being wrong about things it didn't even contain, claimed that the differing opinions of their chosen experts were proof of errors and inaccuracies - instead of what they were: just differing opinions - and refused to provide all of their data or even the identities of most of their "experts" (how scientific, and how typical of Nature given their history on peer reviewing and publishing dodgy reports). Incidentally, if Britannic's opinion is invalid on this, then surely one could say "well of course Nature rejected this accusation; they have a financial interest in defending their work"! Right? There is more than enough evidence in this document that the Nature analysis is at best dodgy, at worst downright untrustworthy: Now I know what you want to say now, so I will pre-empt you: the location of this file is utterly irrelevant to its contents. (talk) 01:18, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Operation "Brownbeard"[edit]

Come on, guys. We are allowed a lit bit of fun...

"Wikipedia has already responded with a blitzkrieg code-name "Operation Brownbeard" to correct all reported errors before old man Christmas neutralizes their numerically supperior and ultra-loyal army of encyclopedists. "Nature error" casualities will be counted, compiled, aggregated, folded, spindled and mutilated and then reported here with all deliberate speed. Not since the advent of the Napoleonic code has the civilized (see WP:CIV) seen an assault and disorder and ignorance of this magnitude. Bots are already said to be rolling up the typographyical errors in army group "A to G" while army group "Q to Z" seems to have gotten bogged down in the massive area of "S". -- Fplay 16:41, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

That's complete unnecessary. -- Zanimum 12:03, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia article[edit]

I am going to remove the section (again). It has gotten silly. Nature is one of the oldest and most notable scholarly journals in existence. None of it's countless individual articles deserves a mention really at all, except for ones that were news events in their own right. This is nowhere near that, and it is clear self-indulgence and self-reference. Now not only is there an entire paragraph of the stuff (oozing with pride), it has apparently supplanted the article's intro...? This is completely unacceptable, and really quite silly. And there's no way this is a current event. It comes out with new articles every week. This isn't notable to the journal itself (self-reference aside) and is way POV. Dmcdevit·t 20:19, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree, it has no place here. Bartimaeus 21:49, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

(Cross-posted to Fplay's talk page) Still not quite satisfied with having that notice at the top. The point is that this has no place in an article about Nature. It's in the Wikipedia article, and that's where it belongs. How is the fact that it reviewed wikipedia notable at all to it? Nature has a more than a century-long history of scientific breakthroughs published. This story, sadly, is not that. In fact, the article about analyzing the mammoth's DNA recently made big news, much bigger news than this. This is just any other article. It's mentioned in Wikipedia, good, but it has no place in Nature (journal). If some publication with an article here published a review of EB (as I'm sure loads have), would you mention it in that publication's article? No way. What it amounts to is shameless self-promotion. Dmcdevit·t 09:39, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

I removed the notice. It has no place there, and putting it in a "selfref" tag doesn't help. Putting that link at the top of the article on Nature does not improve Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. Instead it degrades it, by making it appear self-absorbed and more interested in touting its own merits than in recording knowledge in a fair and unbiased manner. It's much like the NPOV policy. Articles must be written in a neutral, unbiased tone not just to avoid argument, but because that is the style in which encyclopedias are written. Putting a a note like that at the top of the article on Nature gives the article a tone that is inappropriate for a serious encyclopedia.--Srleffler 00:59, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Yeah, sure, fine. My whole motivation was driven by an early vesion of the template that only pointed to "Nature (journal)". It got updated to ponit to the appropriate Wikipedia: page (although I still find it a little hard to read and recognize the link) so now the any reader of the 38 marked articles-with-errors has somewhere to go to find out what is going on. -- Fplay 01:08, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Removed 12/20:

Recently it has been reported (Internet encyclopaedias go head to head) by a Nature investigation that Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries [2].

This is good text, but unfortunately still violates the guideline to avoid self-references. A good encyclopedia does not blow its own horn, and as others have pointed out this article is not significant to the journal Nature. --Srleffler 07:51, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Here's an update. [3] Turns out the Nature information was fabricated.

  • Turns out your update is from Andrew Orlowski of the Register, a regular Wikipedia basher (this isn't an exaggeration). I would suggest bypassing his crap and read Britannica's actual report. Also, Nature has already written a response to Britannica's report. Both are worth reading. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-03-24 06:08

Important third party input[edit]

User friendly has weighed in on Nature vs. Encyclopedia Brittanica here. (Warning, sense of humor needed.) -- llywrch 15:33, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Incorrect articles[edit]

Just a comment - the section Famous Nature papers that were fraudulent or incorrect referring to the physicist Jan Hendrik Schön implies that hisis the only major work to be retracted from nature.

While this was a major scandal, Nature does in fact retract many papers; it seems like the RNAi field in particular is rife with either fraudulent results or those that cannot be replicated. Dr Aaron 14:13, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

weekly / fortnightly?[edit]

Would be great if someone could add the periodicity of publication to the box in the right hand side of the top of the page, indeed to all articles about magazines

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences[edit]

I'm changing PNAS to Proceedings of the Royal Society, since PNAS in US, and PRS is UK and more relevant to Nature. Science (journal) will remain, since it is probably Nature's major competitor. If there are any objections, note them, but I'll have changed it before I can read them.--Superluser 03:15, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I would say that PNAS is a better choice, because a) it has a much higher impact factor (in the same league as Nature and considerably above PRSoc, although admittedly way below Nat and Sci); b) PRSoc is *not* pan disciplinary- it is actually two journals, A and B, which specialise in the physical and life sciences respectively. PNAS is a single journal that covers the full gamut of physical and life sciences, and some mathematics and social sciences as well. However, it's certainly not a big deal either way. Badgerpatrol 10:05, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
However, it's certainly not a big deal either way. Agreed. You've got some good reasons for your view. I happen to still disagree and think that it would be better to have a UK publication there, but I'm not going to get into a revert war over this. If someone else has a strong opinion, I'm willing to listen, but either way is fine, in my opinion. It's just that my fine way is better.--Superluser 03:47, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Nature is not a UK journal. It is an international journal, published in the UK. Of this week's articles and letters, only 2 out of the 14 were by UK-based first authors. The news stories have a similarly international flavour.I certainly would not support altering this article for purely nationalistic reasons. PRSoc A and B, eminent though though they are, are not in the same class as Nature impact-wise (PNAS pretty much is, or at least up there anyway) and PRSoc is not in the same format as Nature either (PRSoc is not a single, pan-discipline journal). I'm glad we can agree to disagree however. All the best, Badgerpatrol 09:48, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Good Article comments[edit]

Not a review, per se, just a few comments re. your GA effort.

Firstly to say that this is an excellent article and on the whole a pleasure to read - I've always struggled to think of anything to write for articles about journals!

However, there are a few improvements that I imagine a GA reviewer might suggest to be made before they passed it.

  • Firstly, you may consider having a look at WP:LEDE for guidelines on the introductory paragraphs. I think some of this content could be moved to the main article.
  • I also wonder whether "nature podcast" has enough content to merit a page of its own. It's customary to include a short description under a "see also" link so the reader has an idea why they want follow the link; in this case, the description would be a similar length to the article. I'd propose merging the podcast into the main article.
  • Lists: e.g. Landmark papers, nature family: See WP:LIST. These need incorporating into the article or removing, as they are not encyclopaedic content.
  • Consider merging the Notes and References sections.
  • Keep focussed - there's perhaps too much text regarding other journals around during the early days of Nature. Remember this is an article about Nature; a list of other publications is not overly informative on this subject; statements such as "Nature was similar to many other journals around at the time, but was the only one to last more than 20 years" (although obviously better written) would probably suffice.
There's probably more grounds for including a mention of notable editors, certainly Gregory - but a reader is not getting much out of reading just the names and timeframes of editors.
  • Important events: reads a lot like a list: could be a lot more concise. For example, you could replace other branches opened in New York, Tokyo, Munich, Paris, San Francisco, and Boston in 1985, 1987, 1987, 1989, 2001, and 2004, respectively with other branches opened worldwide from 1985 or some such.
  • Context: The average reader won't understand what an impact factor of 29 is. Perhaps a sentence to explain an put the magnitude of the number into context, to avoid forcing the user to click the blue link, would be of benefit.
  • Brackets - try to avoid, replacement with commas ought to work.
  • Peer review: Avoid over-abundant section headings. Incorporate into "Publishing in nature"?
  • Links - avoid duplicating the content of the infobox.

Verisimilus T 09:03, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Wow! Thanks for the detailed feedback, that will help loads in improving this article! I'm unclear on two points however. Per WP:EL I believe that it's appropriate to link to an official Web site in the infobox and in external links. In fact, a quick survey of articles, including Wednesday's FA Slayer shows that linking in both places is standard practice. Secondly, per WP:EMBED, lists within an article are not always unencyclopedic and in fact sometimes encouraged. I would argue that this is the case with both Nature Family and landmark papers. It would make little sense to remove links to the other Nature publications and it would similarly make little sense to rewrite this as prose. Per WP:EMBED this is dealt with appropriately. The other points, however, are excellent and I will work to incorporate that guidance. --JayHenry 04:20, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

More comments[edit]

  1. How, then, was Nature able to outlast other scientific journals created at the same time in England and become arguably one of the most prestigious scientific journals in modern society? sounds more like an essay than an encyclopedia.
  2. (along with other weekly journals such as Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) interrupts the flow of the sentence—it would be better in a separate sentence.
  3. created in 1869 is mentioned several times, perhaps more than necessary.
  4. Perhaps it was in part its scientific liberality that made Nature a longer-lasting success than its predecessors. sounds like a point of view or original research, so should have a citation to support it.
  5. There was some talk about free online publication, Nature does publish some material freely online, and don't some or all of the old articles appear free of charge? They also have email alerts, and news updates.
  6. There could be some mention of who the audience and readership is, and the wide availablility in libraries, and what the circulation figures are. There could be some talk about the contents or how the magazine is organised. Has it always been published weekly? How many pages are typical, and what size is it? Are any special technologies used to produce or print it?
  7. The images are either fair use or public domain.

GB 12:23, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Very good points, GB, especially about those essayish sentences. I'm very busy today, but I plan on addressing these concerns tonight (and the remaining concerns from Verisimilus), so please don't fail the GA yet because I think that after I've made a handful of adjustments this will be in really good shape. --JayHenry 15:29, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
  • technical point-- see WP:CITE for the way to unify some of the references. DGG (talk) 03:28, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Sea Serpents[edit]

So, when I read this article, I was expecting to read something about nature's tendency to indulge "sea serpents", ie: people who were quite into comparing the electromagnetic waves felt on earth to, say, occasions of spontaneous human combustion. I was under the opinion that it was that kind of "science mag". Am I just totally mislead on this issue, or is there a massive gap in the entry about Nature? I would love to hear from you... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

What are you talking about, now? Nature is not a "science mag", it's one of the top peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world. -- (talk) 23:17, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:NatureCover2001.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:NatureCover2001.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 17:39, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Web site launched in 1996, not 1997[edit]

As stated here [4] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ark25 (talkcontribs) 15:01, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Page number[edit]

The article does not mention the continuous page number sequence across issues. Anwar (talk) 10:50, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Page editors, please fix a wrong claim[edit]

Introduction makes a statement "Although most scientific journals are now highly specialized, Nature is one of the few journals, along with other weekly journals such as Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that still publishes original research articles across a wide range of scientific fields." , which is incorrect because Nature nowadays is not one journal covering a wide area, but an umbrella group of highly specialized, quasi-independent journals (at least that what their editors openly claim). Best regards.NIMSoffice (talk) 04:48, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

First let me express an opinion: I am delighted that NIMS is contributing to Wikipedia. The contributions of such institutes will surely help to improve Wikipedia's standing in the academic world.
To address the above request to fix a wrong claim, I would say two things:
  1. Anyone can edit the article. If you disagree with a statement and can produce verifiable references to back up your view, by all means correct the article yourself.
  2. While it is certainly correct that Nature has created what it refers to as a "family" of journals (in addition to the Nature journal, their website refers to "Nature research journals", "Nature Protocols", "Nature Reviews journals" and "Nature Clinical Practice journals") Nature itself still claims that it publishes a wide range of articles in the fields of science and technology.
In other words, the article is not necessarily incorrect but perhaps needs to be expanded to mention the other journals in the Nature "family". --TraceyR (talk) 11:17, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Nature (journal)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

GA onhold.svg This article has been reviewed as part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/Project quality task force in an effort to ensure all listed Good articles continue to meet the Good article criteria. In reviewing the article, I have found there are some issues that may need to be addressed, listed below. I will check back in seven days. If these issues are addressed, the article will remain listed as a Good article. Otherwise, it may be delisted (such a decision may be challenged through WP:GAR). If improved after it has been delisted, it may be nominated at WP:GAN. Feel free to drop a message on my talk page if you have any questions, and many thanks for all the hard work that has gone into this article thus far.

There seems to be relatively less references than expected. In addition, some of them are self-referenced and poorly formatted. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:14, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

I take the liberty to delist this article as a GA; as a month has passed and no significant work has been done. I agree with the above assessment. The history section is the only part that is well referenced, but this is based almost entirely on a single source, and cannot therefore be considered balanced. Lampman (talk) 14:10, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Suppport to eugenics for many decades[edit]

From 1870 decade, until 1940 decade, this American magazine was a main supporter of eugenics.On September, 1939, this American magazine published the so called Eugenics manifesto.This manifesto can be read in this site: [Eugenics manifesto].Agre22 (talk) 18:11, 9 May 2009 (UTC)agre22

Other Nature journals[edit]

The section on the other journals published by the NPG would seem to be out of place here and better at its place in the article on NPG. Any objections to a move of that content? --Crusio (talk) 13:28, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Distinction between the journal and a magazine of the same name[edit]

As can be seen here at Google Books and here at WorldCat, from the 1920s to the 1950s there used to be a Nature Magazine targeted at a general audience and published out of Baltimore by the American Nature Association. According to this reference at Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Natural History (magazine) "absorbed" Nature Magazine in January 1960.

I am about to add a WP:hatnote to draw attention to this, and have wikified a small number of references to the American Nature Association. (talk) 04:47, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Forgot to mention that this link provided some context to me about this topic. (talk) 04:54, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I assembled this information into a stubby article at Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/American Nature Association, though I am far from certain I was able to establish the result was notable enough. (talk) 05:23, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Finance and organisation[edit]

There are several interesting figures in this statement to the Select Committee on Science and Technology: [5]. Obviously, some figures are equivocally phrased to inflate the number, but it is an interesting spit down of costs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:00, 23 July 2012 (UTC)