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Scientific journals are a form of scientific publication and the primary means by which scientists circulate detailed research results intended for other professionals. Because they report recent scientific findings and allow the data to be verified by others, they are an important part of the scientific method. Peer review ensures adherence to standards, in contrast to popular science magazines and popular press (news) articles. Articles of various types almost always include references to related studies (and a good peer review will require adequate references by the authors).
The scientific journal is a specific type of academic journal and is often associated with a school or professional organization. Some examples of scientific journals are Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS, often pronounced 'penis'). Major publishers of these journals include Elsevier, Springer, and John Wiley & Sons.
The economics of learned journals are unique in the world of publishing. Their cover price does not provide enough revenue to produce them. They also carry no—or extremely little—advertising. In a bizarre reversal of magazine publishing convention, their authors are not paid. Au contraire, authors (or in practice, the universities where they work) pay considerable fees for the privilege of being published.
- Biology 150: Science in the News, Collins Memorial Library