How reputable is the magazine New scientist

Is New Scientist credible?

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A lot of people say that it isn't credible. See http://www.reddit.com/r/Physics/comments/ftid2/has_anyone_else_noticed_an_unusually_large_number/ for example.

But that being said, I still think that the vast majority of its articles are credible. It didn't even post yesterday's "bacteria found on meteorite" announcement. And while you can say that there are alternatives, there are some gems on new scientist that I really couldn't find anywhere else (especially the article about what happens with calcium channels after rats are decapitated).

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I would not trust anything I read in New Scientist. I have seen them get major things wrong too many times.

I don't think of "the vast majority of the articles are credible" type reasoning as being valid because you don't know whether you're looking at one of the credible articles or one of the nonsense articles. I guess if you really have the patience to fact check every single thing you read there it can be worth it. I am not that patient, I will prefer to follow news sources where acting as the publication's factchecker is not necessary.
Okay. What are some example articles that New Scientist got wrong?
Okay. What are some example articles that New Scientist got wrong?
Naming an issue on evolution "Darwin was Wrong" issue was a incredibly bad call, giving creationists just what they where hunting for. The issue did not of course support creationsm and topics were among other things horizontal gene transfer, which Darwin never discussed, making the selection of title purely a sensationalistic ploy.

Biologist P. Z. Myers discusses it in detail http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/new_scientist_says_darwin_was.php [Broken].

Granted, this is not specifically what you asked for, but I felt it was worth bringing up.
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I think they do what a lot of popular science magazines have to do to sell to a larger audience -- that is they write articles that are sometimes a bit ridiculous. Personally I like the magazine because it introduces me to wild and alternative ideas that I otherwise would not hear of. But that being said, I also take everything I read with a grain of salt, because I know a lot of the theories in there are speculative at best. The article "Darwin was Wrong," was probably include for controversy, it sells, especially in the US where Creationism is still big. But then again, the majority of people don't understand that the articles are speculative and alternative to mainstream ideas.
Years ago it used to be a very respectable magazine, and the standard place to look for scientific research job advertisements (both industrial and academic) in the UK. It was never as glossy-looking as Scientific American, but the content was at a similar level.

Then for whatever reason, it started trying to be "popular". Even though at the time I had access to a free library copy, I soon gave up reading it after that, not so much because of the lack of scientific credibility as the irritating "yoof kultcha" style of journalism.
Okay. What are some example articles that New Scientist got wrong?
Alas, I cannot back up my scurrilous accusations because I stopped reading around 2004-2005 after I kept getting bitten by their articles, so I can't remember exact details :P However my favorite one I remember from that era was when they posted a picture from one of the mars rovers excitedly claiming it showed standing water on mars. Then later had to post a correction after it was pointed out to them that it could not possibly show standing water since it was a picture of a wall. (Note: This was the website, not the magazine, which one assumes would have a lower publication standard.)
i've always been turned off by their hippie political bent, which tends to go hand-in-hand with nonsense.
Years ago it used to be a very respectable magazine, and the standard place to look for scientific research job advertisements.
Years ago I used to write for it too. But gradually stopped because they wanted increasingly gee whiz articles.

There was one particular story on the maturation of adolescent brains where they kept trying to rewrite the piece to fit with certain popular preconceptions. And I kept trying to limit the worst of the damage. After that, I had to give up - even though they paid so well!

In the magazine's defence, it is still good on news coverage. And who else has not gone down the same road? Scientific American?

And science itself is full of shallow popularisers. Stephen Pinker, Michio Kaku, don't get me started.

So you can look at it two ways. Either it is a good thing that there are many people jazzing science up (by dumbing it way down). Or that it is a bad thing that science is ever other than an enterprise of holy purity, truly understood by a vanishingly tiny percent of the population.

Good science journalism can and should achieve both of course - jazz it up, and also get it right. But it is really hard work. And in the New Scientist, the cover feature at least had to be all jazz to grab the fickle punter.
Well, at least New Scientist didn't fall for that "life on meteorite" story. In fact, it published an article citing a scientist who refuted it.

Anyways, on a related note, is space.com a credible source?
Maybe this should be sticked as a "Is <blank> credible?", without it being a PF citation question...

@simfish: No clue about space.com, sorry. In general I'd never trust one source for anything except peer reviewed journals, which you should trust only judiciously.
...In general I'd never trust one source for anything except peer reviewed journals, which you should trust only judiciously.
This.
...In general I'd never trust one source for anything except peer reviewed journals, which you should trust only judiciously.
That's true, but nothing will be 100% accurate. There are simply sources that are more accurate than others

The fact is - most people (professors included) simply don't have the time to read peer reviewed journals for everything. When I'm citing some research for an email or a forum post, I'm not always going to cite a journal article. Even if I've read it (because the person on the other side may be behind a paywall, or might not have the time to read it). Even professors cite science news sources for their blogs.
That's true, but nothing will be 100% accurate. There are simply sources that are more accurate than others

The fact is - most people (professors included) simply don't have the time to read peer reviewed journals for everything. When I'm citing some research for an email or a forum post, I'm not always going to cite a journal article. Even if I've read it (because the person on the other side may be behind a paywall, or might not have the time to read it).
True, citations are a different story from simply a 'trusted source'... the two are not always the same.
True, citations are a different story from simply a 'trusted source'... the two are not always the same.
Yeah. The point is, anyways, that if I cite Fox News, most academics are going to think that I'm stupid and can't discern the "worthy" from the "unworthy".

If I cite Scientific American, most academics will think that I have good reason for what I said.

If I cite space.com, on the other hand, I'm not sure what to predict. The website is non-professional, and non-professional sites are always red flags. Yet, there's neat stuff on there that's hard to find elsewhere.
Yeah. The point is, anyways, that if I cite Fox News, most academics are going to think that I'm stupid and can't discern the "worthy" from the "unworthy".
I won't lie, it's not a source I'd tend toward, but I can't think of any news outlet that fits that bill.

If I cite Scientific American, most academics will think that I have good reason for what I said.

If I cite space.com, on the other hand, I'm not sure what to predict. The website is non-professional, and non-professional sites are always red flags. Yet, there's neat stuff on there that's hard to find elsewhere.
Hmmm... I see your point... how much of what you'd cite on space.com could you find elsewhere? If it can be confirmed elsewhere that's trustworthy, I don't see why even Fox News should be off limits... and I HATE Fox News.
I won't lie, it's not a source I'd tend toward, but I can't think of any news outlet that fits that bill.
Well, Fox fell for that "meteorite life" story. I don't recall any other news outlets falling for that. Of course, that's just a single example. Most scientists, in any case, are liberals, and Fox News is automatic anathema to liberals, whether it deserves it or not.

Hmmm... I see your point... how much of what you'd cite on space.com could you find elsewhere? If it can be confirmed elsewhere that's trustworthy, I don't see why even Fox News should be off limits... and I HATE Fox News.
Good points. Yeah, that's the thing to do - google to see if it's elsewhere first.
I was agreeing with what you wrote there.
Ahhh Ok... thanks, sorry for not getting your point.

@SimFish: You're preaching to the choir re: Fox News believe me, but my point was more that if you show a good correlation between the facts on Space.com and other "trusted" sites... it's a good way to bypass pay-to-play articles, etc.

A big part of it is also your record... if you tend to cite things that are deceptive, expect scrutiny... AFAIK you don't do that. If you cited something from Space.com, I'd tend not to check too much unless it was an incredible claim.
I lost interest in New Scientist in the 1990's, but not in Scientific American, but soon afterwards lost all (laymans) interest in pop sci (why I was reading them). My reliable sources now are BBC, CNN and PF. I need more.