The Royal Society has today 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.
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 â€œlicensed 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.
Philosophical Transactions had to overcome early setbacks including plague, the Great Fire of London and even the imprisonment of Oldenburg, but against the odds the publication survived to the present day. Its foundation would eventually be recognised as one of the most pivotal moments of the scientific revolution.