Nature (journal)

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Nature is one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals, first published on 4 November 1869. It is the world's most cited interdisciplinary science journal.[1] Most scientific journals are now highly specialized, and Nature is among the few journals (the other weekly journals Science and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are also prominent examples) that still publish original research articles across a wide range of scientific fields. There are many fields of scientific research in which important new advances and original research are published as either articles or letters in Nature.

Research scientists are the primary audience for the journal, but summaries and accompanying articles make many of the most important papers understandable for the general public and to scientists in other fields. Toward the front of each issue are editorials, news and feature articles on issues of general interest to scientists, including current affairs, science funding, business, scientific ethics and research breakthroughs. There are also sections on books and arts. The remainder of the journal consists mostly of research articles, which are often dense and highly technical. Because of strict limits on the length of articles, in many cases the printed text is actually a summary of the work in question with many details relegated to accompanying supplementary material on the journal's website.

In 2007 Nature (together with Science) received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanity.[2]



Scientific magazines and journals preceding Nature

Nineteenth-century Britain was home to a great deal of scientific progress; particularly in the latter half of the 19th century, Britain underwent enormous technological and industrial changes and advances.[3] The most respected scientific journals of this time were the refereed journals of the Royal Society, which had published many of the great works from Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday through to early works from Charles Darwin. In addition, during this period, the number of popular science periodicals doubled from the 1850s to the 1860s.[4] According to the editors of these popular science magazines, the publications were designed to serve as “organs of science,” in essence, a means of connecting the public to the scientific world.[4]

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