Thursday, 3 November 2011

Royal Society journal archive - free open access

The Royal Society has announced that its world-famous historical journal archive – which includes the first ever peer-reviewed scientific journal – has been made permanently free to access online. Around 60,000 historical scientific papers are accessible via a fully searchable online archive, with papers published more than 70 years ago now becoming freely available. These include both historic and modern papers on Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and South Asia, as well as the British colonies of Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Early papers include descriptions of plants, animals and diseases; observations of earthquakes, magnetism, meteors, and atmospheric conditions; and letters and reports from expeditions.

The Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific publisher, with the first edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society appearing in 1665. Henry Oldenburg – Secretary of the Royal Society and first Editor of the publication – ensured that it was “licensed by the council of the society, being first reviewed by some of the members of the same”, thus making it the first ever peer-reviewed journal.

The move is being made as part of the Royal Society’s ongoing commitment to open access in scientific publishing. Opening of the archive is being timed to coincide with Open Access Week, and also comes soon after the Royal Society announced its first ever fully open access journal, Open Biology.

Search the journal archive here

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