What to do when matters arise?

28th September 2020


One of the major principles underlying Scientific Reports' ethos is that submissions to the journal are not judged based on perceived significance or interest. While we encourage readers to discuss our papers in the comments section of the article, we appreciate that an ability to provide a substantial scientific critique of a published article in a way that ensures its visibility and recognition – through a peer-reviewed, indexed article – is an important part of the scientific discourse. A refutation is, after all, the yin to the yang of conjecture in Karl Poppers' description of the scientific advance. At Scientific Reports we believe that conjectures deserve to be refuted in their original venue and we have always welcomed papers that refute our published articles.

In October 2018 Nature announced a new article format to accommodate this type of scientific discussion – Matters Arising. This format was formally introduced at Scientific Reports late last year. For these submissions, the original handling editor and reviewers, but also advisors independent of the original review process, are asked for their input, which guides editorial decision-making. If we decide to consider a Matters Arising further, we would always give the original authors an opportunity to respond and defend their work.

Our policy around Matters Arising is explained in more detail on our policy pages.

If you are interested in contributing a Matters Arising submission to Scientific Reports, please contact us at scientificreports@nature.com.