Britain's Royal Society Makes Journal Archive Free Online

Some 60,000 historical scientific papers and the world's first peer-reviewed scientific journal are included in the permanently free archive.

About 60,000 scientific papers, including Isaac Newton's first published scientific paper and Benjamin Franklin's account of his experiment with a kite and lightning, are now and will be permanently available free online from Britain's Royal Society, which announced the searchable online archive Oct. 26. The Royal Society began publishing its original journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, in 1665, and it is the world's first peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The move was made as part of the Royal Society's commitment to open access in scientific publishing and timed to coincide with Open Access Week. The society recently announced its first ever fully open access journal, Open Biology.

Professor Uta Frith, chair of the Royal Society library committee, said, "I'm delighted that the Royal Society is continuing to increase access to its wonderful resources by opening up its publishing archives. 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."

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