Royal Society opens up its journal archive

The Royal Society continues to support scientific discovery by allowing free access to more than 250 years of leading research.  Their world-famous journal archive has been opened up and all articles more than 70 years old have been made permanently free to access. 

The Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific publisher and, as such, their archive is the most comprehensive in science.  It comprises more than 69,000 articles, from the very first published in 
the world’s first peer-reviewed journal Philosophical Transactions to the first article published in the recently launched journal Open Biology.

Thomas Henry Huxley FRS wrote in 1870: ‘If all the books in the world, except the Philosophical Transactions were to be destroyed, it is safe to say that the foundations of physical science would remain unshaken, and that the vast intellectual progress of the last two centuries would be largely, though incompletely, recorded.’

Professor Uta Frith FRS, Chair of the Royal Society library committee, says: ‘The release of these papers opens a fascinating window on the history of scientific progress over the last few centuries and will be of interest to anybody who wants to understand how science has evolved since the days of the Royal Society’s foundation.’

The move to open up their publishing archive is part of the Royal Society’s ongoing commitment to open access in scientific publishing.  It also comes soon after the launch of the Society’s first ever fully open access journal, Open Biology