I found this page: http://phys.org/space-news/ . It seems to me pretty good page with interesting news and so on and I like that it is free. But I noticed in comments people arguing about the validity of the information and so on. Are they just "trolls" or is this page really bad source of information, if that is so, how much can I trust it? Thanks in advance!

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    $\begingroup$ I checked out a couple of stories - it looks ok as a source of news. Good that it publishes abstracts and gives links to actual peer-reviewed papers. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ I've been reading and appreciating phys.org for years, and it's always rung true whenever it's discussing something I'm already familiar with. And of course almost all articles link to the actual peer-reviewed papers they discuss, except when they link to preprints in arXiv which are usually in the process of peer-review. In most if not all cases they also do their own "peer review" by quoting other established researchers in the same field who are not associated w/ work. After all these years I never knew there were comment sections. Had I known I certainly would not have payed any attention $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 20 at 1:24
  • $\begingroup$ ...to them. Certainly some will be trolls, many more just bored people who like to "well, what I think is..." everything they encounter on the internet. Perhaps there are a few, but don't waste your time. Instead, go read the actual papers cited in the phys.org article, and if you don't understand something, use it to start a Stack Exchange question. See uhoh's use of phys.org and phys.org's $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 20 at 1:24

4 Answers 4


I've been reading phys.org for years. It's right up there with physics.aps and physicsworld.

All good sources that provide decent refs. Comments are often where people who like to argue, argue. Sometimes they are useful, often not.


The problem with phys.org is that it mostly just reprints press releases from universities and other research institutions, rather than doing actual journalism. (You can tell by checking the byline; if it says something like "By Santa Fe Institute", then it's a press release.)

Proper science journalism involves, at a minimum, checking with other scientists in the field who are not affiliated with the study being reported, to provide some context beyond the sort of study-author and institutional hype that press releases tend to feature.

  • $\begingroup$ Actually, phys.org's articles frequently quote experts who are not authors nor associated with the research published. I think if you go there now and click through several articles you'll see that they generally do indeed meet your standard for "actual journalism". $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 20 at 1:11
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Ok, I looked at the first 39 stories on their front page (skipping the "Corporate Sponsor" pieces). There were 4 actual articles by Phys.org staff, 4 reprints from other sources (The Conversation, LA Times, Denver Post) — and 31 press releases. That’s about 80% press releases. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 20 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ Were these about Astronomy, Physics and similar hard sciences? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 20 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ The first 20 articles on the "Astronomy & Space" sub-page include 2 by Phys.org staff, 9 from other sources (AP, Orlando Sentinal, etc.), and 9 press releases. (A lot of the "other sources" articles relate to the launch industry.) For the "Physics" sub-page, it's 1 article by Phys.org and 19 press releases. For "Chemistry", it's (again) 1 by Phys.org and 19 press releases. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 20 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ I've added an answer about the "Space News" section, which is what the question asks about. I'll go look at Physics now. I'm curious have you found anything at all that you think is in any way less than reliable information? I think you are trying to suggest that if something is not "proper science journalism" that that makes it less reliable. Yes, a university press-release about a recent Phys Rev Letter can have errors in it, all written material can contain errors, even peer-reviewed. But I am pretty certain these will be few and far-between, and since they link to the source material... $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 21 at 0:24

Is phys.org/space-news reliable source?


...in comments people arguing about the validity of the information...

Well the question does not quote any of those arguing comments, so we can't investigate any specific claim, but comments from non-science and anti-science people, and cranks, trolls and conspiracy theorists are an uncountable noun, like muddy water.

I've looked through the most recent 20 articles in phys.org/space-news, and didn't see any comments that seriously called the article's facts into question.

What I see is that (as has been my experience over the last 10 years) the articles strive to be fact-driven and well-sourced. They do accumulate news from other news outlets by letting those journalists publish in this collection (e.g. look for authors like "Universe Today" and "NASA" and "ESO" below)

I also notice that almost all articles draw from arXiv preprints or journal articles or other authoritative source. Even when YouTube videos are included, they are from well-recognized sources.

For the speed, comprehensiveness and breadth of the news covered in phys.org/space-news the information is as reliable as you are going to get, and if you find what you think is a credible comment that some information is wrong ask about it in a new Stack Exchange question!

  1. Feb 20, 2024 New ultra-short-period exoplanet discoveredNew ultra-short-period exoplanet discovered by "Tomasz Nowakowski, Phys.org" links to arXiv preprint Ultra-Short-Period Planet Possibly Clinging to a High-Mean-Molecular-Weight Atmosphere After the First Gyr
  2. Feb 19, 2024 Brightest and fastest-growing: Astronomers identify record-breaking quasar by "ESO" links to Nature Astronomy The accretion of a solar mass per day by a 17-billion solar mass black hole and to two ESO YouTube videos
  3. Feb 19, 2024 There's one last place Planet Nine could be hiding by "Laurence Tognetti, Universe Today" links to arXiv preprint A Pan-STARRS1 Search for Planet Nine and to a TED talk video by Caltech astronomer and lead author.
  4. Feb 19, 2024 Rocket propellant tanks for NASA's Artemis III mission take shape by "Lee Mohon, NASA" links to a YouTube video by "NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center".
  5. Feb 19, 2024 NASA vows to battle 'organizational silence' as problems arise amid Artemis delays by "Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel" and sources members of "a panel held Jan. 31 at the SpaceCom conference at the Orange County Convention Center."
  6. Feb 19, 2024 New or retooled Cape Canaveral launch pads considered for SpaceX Starship by "by Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel" and links to spaceforcestarshipeis.com a US Air Force website
  7. Feb 19, 2024 Subglacial microbial life on Earth and beyond by " American Society for Microbiology" and links to an article in Science A Contemporary Microbially Maintained Subglacial Ferrous "Ocean" and the American Society for Microbiology's How Extremophiles Push the Limits of Life
  8. Feb 19, 2024 Pandora's Cluster explored by researchers by "by Tomasz Nowakowski , Phys.org" links to the arXiv preprint An improved Magellan weak lensing analysis of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744
  9. Feb 19, 2024 Japanese space debris inspection probe launched by "Editors' notes" sources ESA and Astroscale
  10. Feb 19, 2024 Mars samples project looms large in final spending talks by "Aidan Quigley, CQ-Roll Call" quotes US Senate Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Chair Jeanne Shaheen, D-N. and Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif, whose district includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, and Mike Garcia and a Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee member.
  11. Feb 17, 2024 Image: Hubble views a massive star forming by "NASA" sources the NASA.gov article.
  12. Feb 17, 2024 Newborn gas planets may be surprisingly flat, says new research by "Dimitris Stamatellos, The Conversation" links to the Astronomhy and Astrophysics paper The 3D structure of disc-instability protoplanets
  13. Feb 16, 2024 Another clue into the true nature of fast radio bursts by "Brian Koberlein, Universe Today" links to the arXiv preprint Rapid spin changes around a magnetar fast radio burst
  14. Feb 16, 2024 NASA's final tally shows spacecraft returned double the amount of asteroid rubble by "Marcia Dunn" seems unsourced
  15. Feb 16, 2024 Aurora borealis dynamics suggest the polar vortex is breaking up again by "University of Oulu" links to Scientific Reports Electricity consumption in Finland influenced by climate effects of energetic particle precipitation
  16. Feb 16, 2024 Ground-based lasers could accelerate spacecraft to other stars by "Matt Williams, Universe Today" links to Laser-Sustained Plasma for Deep Space Propulsion: Initial LTP Thruster Results and Design of a rapid transit to Mars mission using laser-thermal propulsion
  17. Feb X, 2024 Martians wanted: Apply here now for NASA's simulated yearlong Mars mission by "Roxana Bardan, NASA" is sourced to NASA
  18. Feb X, 2024 Lab study creates artificial magnetosphere to explore spontaneous excitation of chorus emissions by "National Institutes of Natural Sciences" and links to Nature Communications Experimental study on chorus emission in an artificial magnetosphere
  19. Feb 16, 2024 Even if we can't see the first stars, we could detect their impact on the first galaxies by "Evan Gough, Universe Today" links to the arXiv preprint How Population III Supernovae Determined the Properties of the First Galaxies
  20. Feb 16, 2024 NASA experiment sheds light on highly charged moon dust by "Elyna N. Niles-Carnes, NASA" is source to NASA.

Because of the .org, you probably can trust it, because it's an organization. Remember, anyone can write a comment.

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    $\begingroup$ anyone can make an organization too, but it takes a little more effort $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 5:10
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Stack Exchange! This is a very good point and I was going to find a place to make it until I saw that you have already. Personally, I almost never, ever pay any attention to comments outside of Stack Exchange comments. However, what you've written here, "... you probably can trust it, because it's an organization." while also a good Stack Exchange comment, does not rise to the level of a proper Stack Exchange answer post. Can you add some more information to support your assertion? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 20 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ Anyone can purchase a .org domain. It's no harder than .com. $\endgroup$
    – Sten
    Commented Feb 21 at 2:08

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