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''Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society'' is a
scientific journal In academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship. Most academic work is published in academic journal articles, books or thesis' form. The part of academic written ...
published by the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exis ...
. In its earliest days, it was a private venture of the Royal Society's secretary. It was established in 1665, making it the first journal in the world exclusively devoted to science, and therefore also the world's longest-running scientific journal. It became an official society publication in 1752. The use of the word ''philosophical'' in the title refers to
natural philosophy Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin ''philosophia naturalis'') was the philosophy, philosophical study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. From the ancient world, a ...
, which was the equivalent of what would now be generally called ''science''.


Current publication

In 1887 the journal expanded and divided into two separate publications, one serving the
physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science Natural science is a branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a b ...
('' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences'') and the other focusing on the
life sciences This list of life sciences comprises the branches of science The branches of science, also referred to as sciences, "scientific fields", or "scientific disciplines," are commonly divided into three major groups: *Formal sciences: the stu ...
('' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences''). Both journals now publish themed issues and issues resulting from papers presented at the Discussion Meetings of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exis ...
. Primary
research article Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship. Most academic work is published in academic journal articles, books or thesis' form. The part of academic written output that is not formally ...
s are published in the sister journals ''
Proceedings of the Royal Society ''Proceedings of the Royal Society'' is the parent title of two scientific journal In academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software an ...

Proceedings of the Royal Society
'', ''
Biology Letters ''Biology Letters'' is a peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a professio ...
'', ''
Journal of the Royal Society Interface The ''Journal of the Royal Society Interface'' is a monthly peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by ...
'', and '' Interface Focus''.


Origins and history


Origins

The first issue, published in London on 6 March 1665, was edited and published by the Society's first secretary,
Henry Oldenburg Henry Oldenburg by Jan van Cleve (III), 1668 Henry Oldenburg (also Henry Oldenbourg) Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (c. 1619 as Heinrich Oldenburg – 5 September 1677) was a German theologian known as a diplomat, a natural philosopher and one ...

Henry Oldenburg
, four-and-a-half years after the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exis ...
was founded. The full title of the journal, as given by Oldenburg, was ''Philosophical Transactions, Giving some Account of the present Undertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious in many considerable parts of the World''. The society's council minutes dated 1 March 1664 (in the
Old Style calendar Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) indicate a dating system from before and after a calendar change, respectively. Usually this is the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar as enacted in various European countries between ...
; equivalent to 11 March 1665 in the modern New Style calendar) ordered that "the Philosophical Transactions, to be composed by Mr Oldenburg, be printed the first Monday of every month, if he have sufficient matter for it, and that that tract be licensed by the Council of this Society, being first revised by some Members of the same". Oldenburg published the journal at his own personal expense and seems to have entered into an agreement with the society's council allowing him to keep any resulting profits. He was to be disappointed, however, since the journal performed poorly from a financial point of view during his lifetime, just about covering the rent on his house in Piccadilly. Oldenburg put out 136 issues of the ''Transactions'' before his death in 1677. The familiar functions of the scientific journal—registration (date stamping and provenance), certification (
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field Field may r ...
), dissemination and archiving—were introduced at inception by ''Philosophical Transactions''. The beginnings of these ideas can be traced in a series of letters from Oldenburg to
Robert Boyle Robert Boyle (; 25 January 1627 – 31 December 1691) was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a group ...

Robert Boyle
: * 4 November 1664"We must be very careful as well of regist'ring the person and time of any new matter, as the matter itselfe, whereby the honor of the invention will be reliably preserved to all posterity" (registration and archiving) * December 1664"...all ingenious men will thereby be incouraged to impact their knowledge and discoverys" (dissemination) * The council minutes of 1 March 1665 made provisions for the tract to be revised by members of the council of the Royal Society, providing the framework for peer review to eventually develop, becoming fully systematic as a process by the 1830s. The printed journal replaced much of Oldenburg's letter-writing to correspondents, at least on scientific matters, and as such can be seen as a labour-saving device. Oldenburg also described his journal as "one of these philosophical commonplace books", indicating his intention to produce a collective notebook between scientists. Issue 1 contained such articles as: an account of the improvement of optic glasses; the first report on the
Great Red Spot The Great Red Spot is a persistent high-pressure region in the atmosphere of Jupiter The atmosphere of Jupiter is the largest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System. It is mostly made of molecular hydrogen and helium in roughly Sun#Compositi ...
of
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the List of Solar System objects by size, largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, but ...
; a prediction on the motion of a recent comet (probably an Oort cloud object); a review of
Robert Boyle Robert Boyle (; 25 January 1627 – 31 December 1691) was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a group ...

Robert Boyle
's ''Experimental History of Cold''; Robert Boyle's own report of a deformed calf; "A report of a peculiar lead-ore from Germany, and the use thereof"; "Of an Hungarian Bolus, of the Same Effect with the Bolus Armenus"; "Of the New American Whale-Fishing about the Bermudas", and "A Narrative Concerning the Success of Pendulum-Watches at Sea for the Longitudes". The final article of the issue concerned "The Character, Lately Published beyond the Seas, of an Eminent Person, not Long Since Dead at Tholouse, Where He Was a Councellor of Parliament". The eminent person in question was
Pierre de Fermat Pierre de Fermat (; between 31 October and 6 December 1607 – 12 January 1665) was a French mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of suc ...

Pierre de Fermat
, although the issue failed to mention his last theorem. Oldenburg referred to himself as the "compiler" and sometimes "Author" of the ''Transactions'', and always claimed that the journal was entirely his sole enterprise—although with the Society's imprimatur and containing reports on experiments carried out and initially communicated by of many of its Fellows, many readers saw the journal as an official organ of the Society. It has been argued that Oldenburg benefitted from this ambiguity, retaining both real and perceived independence (giving the publication an air of authenticity) and the prospect of monetary gain, while simultaneously enjoying the credibility afforded by the association. The Society also enjoyed the benefits of ambiguity: it was able to communicate advances in natural philosophy, undertaken largely in its own name, without the worry that it was directly responsible for its content. In the aftermath of the
Interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next (coming from Latin ''i ...
, the potential for censorship was very real. Certainly the tone of the early volumes was set by Oldenburg, who often related things he was told by his contacts, translated letters and manuscripts from other languages, and reviewed books, always being sure to indicate the provenance of his material and even to use this to impress the reader. By reporting ongoing and often unfinished scientific work that may otherwise have not been reported, the journal had a central function of being a scientific news service. At the time of ''Philosophical Transactions''' foundation, print was heavily regulated, and there was no such thing as a free press. In fact, the first English newspaper, ''
The London Gazette ''The London Gazette'' is one of the official journals of record or Government gazette A government gazette (also known as an official gazette, official journal, official newspaper, official monitor or official bulletin) is a periodical ...
'' (which was an official organ of government and therefore seen as sanitized), did not appear until after ''Philosophical Transactions'' in the same year. Oldenburg's compulsive letter writing to foreign correspondents led to him being suspected of being a spy for the Dutch and interned in the
Tower of London The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle A castle is a type of structure built during the predominantly by the or royalty and by . Scholars debate the sc ...

Tower of London
in 1667. A rival took the opportunity to publish a pirate issue of ''Philosophical Transactions'', with the pretense of it being Issue 27. Oldenburg repudiated the issue by publishing the real 27 upon his release. Upon Oldenburg's death, following a brief hiatus, the position of Editor was passed down through successive secretaries of the Society as an unofficial responsibility and at their own expense.
Robert Hooke Robert Hooke FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Family Resources ...
changed the name of the journal to ''Philosophical Collections'' in 1679—a name that remained until 1682, when it changed back. The position of editor was sometimes held jointly and included
William Musgrave William Musgrave (1655–1721) was a British physician and antiquary. Life He was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, where he was a fellow from 1677 to 1692. In 1680 he spent a brief period at the University of Leiden. He ...
(Nos 167 to 178) and
Robert Plot Robert Plot (13 December 1640 – 30 April 1696) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observati ...
(Nos 144 to 178).A. J. Turner, 'Plot, Robert (bap. 1640, d. 1696)',
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography The ''Dictionary of National Biography'' (''DNB'') is a standard work of reference on notable figures from History of the British Isles, British history, published since 1885. The updated ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'' (''ODNB'') ...
,
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press A university press is an academic publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for fre ...

Oxford University Press
, 2004


Eighteenth century

By the mid-eighteenth century, the most notable editors, besides Oldenburg, were
Hans Sloane Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Baronet (16 April 1660 – 11 January 1753), was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is ...

Hans Sloane
,
James Jurin James Jurin Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, FRCP (baptised 15 December 168429 March 1750) was an English scientist and physician, particularly remembered for his early work in capillary action and in t ...
and Cromwell Mortimer. In virtually all cases the journal was edited by the serving secretary of the society (and occasionally by both secretaries working in tandem). These editor-secretaries carried the financial burden of publishing the ''Philosophical Transactions''. By the early 1750s, the ''Philosophical Transactions'' came under attack, most prominently by John Hill, an actor, apothecary, and naturalist. Hill published three works in two years, ridiculing the Royal Society and the ''Philosophical Transactions''. The Society was quick to point out that it was not officially responsible for the journal. Yet, in 1752 the Society took over the ''Philosophical Transactions''. The journal would henceforth be published "for the sole use and benefit of this Society"; it would be financially carried by the members' subscriptions; and it would be edited by the Committee of Papers. After the takeover of the journal by the Royal Society, management decisions including negotiating with printers and booksellers, were still the task of one of the Secretaries—but editorial control was exercised through the Committee of Papers. The Committee mostly based its judgements on which papers to publish and which to decline on the 300 to 500-word abstracts of papers read during its weekly meetings. But the members could, if they desired, consult the original paper in full. Once the decision to print had been taken, the paper appeared in the volume for that year. It would feature the author's name, the name of the Fellow who had communicated the paper to the Society, and the date on which it was read. The Royal Society covered paper,
engraving Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a burin Burin may refer to: Tools * Burin (engraving), a tool with a narrow sharp face at the tip used for engraving and other pu ...

engraving
and printing costs. The Society found the journal to be a money-losing proposition: it cost, on average, upwards of £300 annually to produce, of which they seldom recouped more than £150. Because two-fifths of the copies were distributed for free to the journal's natural market, sales were generally slow, and although back issues sold out gradually it would usually be ten years or more before there were fewer than 100 left of any given print run. During the Presidency of
Joseph Banks Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, (19 June 1820) was an English Natural history, naturalist, botanist, and patron of the natural sciences. Banks made his name on the 1766 natural-history expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador. He took part in ...
the work of the Committee of Papers continued fairly efficiently, with the President himself in frequent attendance. There was a number of ways in which the President and Secretaries could bypass or subvert the Royal Society's publishing procedures. Papers could be prevented from reaching the Committee by not allowing them to be read in the first place. Also—though papers were rarely subjected to formal review—there is evidence of editorial intervention, with Banks himself or a trusted deputy proposing cuts or emendations to particular contributions. Publishing in the ''Philosophical Transactions'' carried a high degree of prestige and Banks himself attributed an attempt to unseat him, relatively early in his Presidency, to the envy of authors whose papers had been rejected from the journal.


Nineteenth century

''Transactions'' continued steadily through the turn of the century and into the 1820s. In the late 1820s and early 1830s, a movement to reform the Royal Society rose. The reformers felt that the scientific character of the Society had been undermined by the admission of too many gentleman dilettantes under Banks. In proposing a more limited membership, to protect the Society's reputation, they also argued for systematic, expert evaluation of papers for ''Transactions'' by named referees. Sectional Committees, each with responsibility for a particular group of disciplines, were initially set up in the 1830s to adjudicate the award of
Royal Medal The Royal Medal, also known as The Queen's Medal and The King's Medal (depending on the gender of the monarch at the time of the award), is a silver-gilt , silver-gilt (with sections ungilded), and nautilus shell, 1527–1528, France, V&A Museum ...
s. But individual members of these committees were soon put to work reporting on and evaluating papers submitted to the Royal Society. These evaluations began to be used as the basis of recommendations to the Committee of Papers, who would then rubber-stamp decisions made by the Sectional Committees. Despite its flaws—it was inconsistent in its application and not free of abuses—this system remained at the heart of the Society's procedures for publishing until 1847, when the Sectional Committees were dissolved. However, the practice of sending most papers out for review remained. During the 1850s, the cost of the ''Transactions'' to the Society was increasing again (and would keep doing so for the rest of the century); illustrations were always the largest expense. Illustrations had been a natural and essential aspect of the scientific periodical since the later seventeenth century. Engravings (cut into metal plates) were used for detailed illustrations, particularly where realism was required; while wood-cuts (and, from the early nineteenth century, wood-engravings) were used for diagrams, as they could be easily combined with letterpress. By the mid-1850s, the ''Philosophical Transactions'' was seen as a drain on the Society's finances and the treasurer,
Edward Sabine Sir Edward Sabine ( ; 14 October 1788 – 26 June 1883) was an Irish astronomer, geophysicist, ornithologist, explorer, soldier and the 30th president of the Royal Society. He led the effort to establish a system of magnetic observatorie ...
, urged the Committee of Papers to restrict the length and number of papers published in the journal. In 1852, for example, the amount expended on the ''Transactions'' was £1094, but only £276 of this was offset by sales income. Sabine felt this was more than the Society could comfortably sustain. The print run of the journal was 1000 copies. Around 500 of these went to the fellowship, in return for their membership dues, and since authors now received up to 150 off-prints for free, to circulate through their personal networks, the demand for the ''Transactions'' through the book trade must have been limited. The concerns with cost eventually led to a change in printer in 1877 from
Taylor & Francis Taylor & Francis Group is an international company originating in England that publishes books and academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication ...
to Harrison & Sons—the latter was a larger commercial printer, able to offer the Society a more financially viable contract, although it was less experienced in printing scientific works. While expenditure was a worry for the Treasurer, as Secretary (from 1854),
George Gabriel Stokes Sir George Gabriel Stokes, 1st Baronet, (; 13 August 1819 – 1 February 1903) was an Irish English physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge ...

George Gabriel Stokes
was preoccupied with the actual content of the ''Transactions'' and his extensive correspondence with authors over his thirty-one year term. He took up most of his time beyond his duties as
Lucasian Professor The Lucasian Chair of Mathematics () is a mathematics professorship in the University of Cambridge, England; its holder is known as the Lucasian Professor. The post was founded in 1663 by Henry Lucas, who was Cambridge University's Member of Par ...
at
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
. Stokes was paramount in establishing a more formalized refereeing process at the Royal Society. It was not until Stokes'
Presidency A presidency is an Administration (government), administration or the Executive (government), executive, the collective administrative and governmental entity that exists around an office of President (government title), president of a state or nati ...

Presidency
ended in 1890 that his influence over the journal diminished. The introduction of fixed terms for Society officers precluded subsequent editors from taking on Stokes' mantle, and meant that the Society operated its editorial practices more collectively than it had done since the mechanisms for it were established in 1752. By the mid-nineteenth century, getting a paper published in the ''Transactions'' still relied on the paper first being read by a Fellow. Many papers were sent immediately for printing in abstract form in ''
Proceedings of the Royal Society ''Proceedings of the Royal Society'' is the parent title of two scientific journal In academic publishing Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software an ...

Proceedings of the Royal Society
''. But those which were being considered for printing in full in ''Transactions'' were usually sent to two referees for comment before the final decision was made by the Committee of Papers. During Stokes' time, authors were given the opportunity to discuss their paper at length with him before, during and after its official submission to the Committee of Papers. In 1887, the ''Transactions'' split into series "A" and "B", dealing with the physical and biological sciences respectively. In 1897, the model of collective responsibility for the editing of the ''Transactions'' was emphasized by the re-establishment of the Sectional Committees. The six sectional committees covered
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
,
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
,
zoology Zoology ()The pronunciation of zoology as is usually regarded as nonstandard, though it is not uncommon. is the branch of biology that studies the Animal, animal kingdom, including the anatomy, structure, embryology, evolution, Biological class ...
,
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
, geology, and (together)
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. T ...

chemistry
and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

physics
, and were composed of Fellows of the Society with relevant expertise. The Sectional Committees took on the task of managing the refereeing process after papers had been read before the Society. Referees were usually Fellows, except in a small number of cases where the topic was beyond the knowledge of the fellowship (or at least, of those willing to referee). The Sectional Committees communicated referee reports to authors; and sent reports to the Committee of Papers for final sanction. The Sectional Committees were intended to reduce the burden on the Secretaries and Council. Consequently, the Secretary in the 1890s, Arthur Rucker, no longer coordinated the refereeing of papers, nor did he generally correspond extensively with authors about their papers as Stokes had done. However, he continued to be the first port of call for authors submitting papers.


Twentieth century

Authors were increasingly expected to submit manuscripts in a standardized format and style. From 1896, they were encouraged to submit typed papers on foolscap-folio-sized paper to lighten the work of getting papers ready for printing, and to reduce the chance of error in the process. A publishable paper now had to present its information in an appropriate manner, as well as being of remarkable scientific interest. For a brief period between 1907 and 1914, authors were under even more pressure to conform to the society's expectations, due to a decision to discuss cost estimates of candidate papers alongside referees' reports. The committees could require authors to reduce the number of illustrations or tables or, indeed, the overall length of the paper, as a condition of acceptance. It was hoped that this policy would reduce the still-rising costs of production, which had reached £1747 in 1906; but the effect appears to have been negligible, and the cost estimates ceased to be routine practice after 1914. It was only after the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
that the Society's concerns about the cost of its journals were finally allayed. There had been a one-off surplus in 1932, but it was only from 1948 that the ''Transactions'' began regularly to end the year in surplus. That year, despite a three-fold increase in production costs (it was a bumper year for papers), there was a surplus of almost £400. Part of the post-war financial success of the ''Transactions'' was due to the rising subscriptions received, and a growing number of subscriptions from British and international institutions, including universities, industry, and government; this was at the same time as private subscriptions, outside of fellows, were non-existent. By the early 1970s, institutional subscription was the main channel of income from publication sales for the society. In 1970–1971, 43,760 copies of ''Transactions'' were sold, of which casual purchasers accounted for only 2070 copies. All of the Society's publications now had a substantial international circulation; in 1973, for example, just 11% of institutional subscriptions were from the United Kingdom; 50% were from the United States. Contributions, however, were still mostly from British authors: 69% of Royal Society authors were from the United Kingdom in 1974. A Publications Policy Committee suggested that more overseas scientists could be encouraged to submit papers if the requirement to have papers communicated by Fellows was dropped. This did not happen until 1990. There was also a suggestion to create a "C" journal for molecular sciences to attract more authors in that area, but the idea never materialized. The conclusion in 1973 was a general appeal to encourage more British scientists (whether Fellows or not) to publish papers with the Society and to pass on the message to their overseas colleagues; by the early 2000s, the proportion of non-UK authors had risen to around a half; and by 2017 it had passed 80%. As the twentieth century came to a close, the editing of the ''Transactions'' and the Society's other journals became more professional with the employment of a growing in-house staff of editors, designers and marketers. In 1968 there were about eleven staff in the Publishing Section; by 1990, the number had risen to twenty-two. The editorial processes were also transformed. In 1968 the Sectional Committees had been abolished (again). Instead, the secretaries,
Harrie Massey Sir Harrie Stewart Wilson Massey (16 May 1908 – 27 November 1983) was an Australian mathematical physicist who worked primarily in the fields of atomic and atmospheric physics Within the atmospheric sciences, atmospheric physics is the a ...
(physicist) and
Bernard Katz Sir Bernard Katz, FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Family Reso ...
(physiologist), were each assigned a group of Fellows to act as Associate Editors for each series ("A" and "B") of the ''Transactions''. The role of the Committee of Papers was abolished in 1989 and since 1990 two Fellows (rather than the Secretaries) have acted as the Editors with assistance from
associate editor Image:Seattle Daily Times news editor quarters - 1900.jpg, "Quarters of the news editor", one of a group of four photos in the 1900 brochure ''Seattle and the Orient'', which was collectively captioned "The Seattle Times, The Seattle Daily Times ...
s. The editors serve on the Publishing Board, established in 1997 to monitor publishing and report to the Council. In the 1990s, as these changes to the publishing and editorial teams were implemented, the Publishing Section acquired its first computer for administration; the ''Transactions'' were first published online in 1997.


Famous and notable contributors

Over the centuries, many important scientific discoveries have been published in the ''Philosophical Transactions''. Famous contributing authors include:


Public domain and access

In July 2011 programmer Greg Maxwell released through ''
The Pirate Bay The Pirate Bay (sometimes abbreviated as TPB) is an BitTorrent#Indexing, online index of digital content of entertainment media and software. Founded in 2003 by Swedish think tank Piratbyrån, The Pirate Bay allows visitors to search, download ...

The Pirate Bay
'' the nearly 19,000 articles that had been published before 1923 and were therefore in the
public domain in the United States Works are in the public domain if they are not covered by intellectual property rights (such as copyright) at all, or if the intellectual property rights to the works have expired. All works first published or released before January 1, , ha ...
, to support
Aaron Swartz Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer A computer programmer, sometimes called a software developer, a programmer or more recently a coder (especially in more informal contexts), is a pe ...

Aaron Swartz
in his
case Case or CASE may refer to: Containers * Case (goods) A case of some merchandise is a collection of items packaged together. A case is not a strict unit of measure. For consumer foodstuff such as canned goods, soft drink, soda, cereal, and such, ...
. The articles had been digitized for the Royal Society by
JSTOR JSTOR (; short for ''Journal Storage'') is a digital library founded in 1995 in New York City. Originally containing digitized Digitization
for a cost of less than US$100,000 and public access to them was restricted through a paywall.Van Noorden, Richar
''Royal Society frees up journal archive''
26 October 2011
Murphy, y Samanth
''Guerilla Activist' Releases 18,000 Scientific Papers''
22 July 2011
In August 2011, users uploaded over 18,500 articles to the collections of the
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing ...
. The collection received 50,000 views per month by November 2011. In October of the same year, the Royal Society released for free the full text of all its articles prior to 1941, but denied that this decision had been influenced by Maxwell's actions. In 2017, the Royal Society launched a completely re-digitised version of the complete journal archive back to 1665 in high resolution and with enhanced metadata. All the out of copyright material is completely free to access without a login.


Literary references

''Philosophical Transactions'' is mentioned by the narrator in Chapter 6 of ''
The Time Machine ''The Time Machine'' is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895. The work is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle or device to travel purposely and selectively forw ...
'' by
H. G. Wells Herbert George Wells"Wells, H. G."
Revised 18 May 2015. ''


See also

* ''
Journal des sçavans A journal, from the Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or language, language, Old French was r ...
'': the first academic journal (started two months earlier than the present one), although it is not the longest-running journal because publication was interrupted for 24 years (between 1792 and 1816); it published some science, but also contained subject matter from other fields of learning, and its main content type was
book review __NOTOC__ A book review is a form of literary criticism Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the ph ...
s.


References


External links

* *
List of freely accessible online archives that have the Transactions
Online Books Page The Online Books Page is an index of e-text e-text (from "''electronics, electronic text''"; sometimes written as etext) is a general term for any document that is read in digital data, digital form, and especially a document that is mainly Tex ...
, University of Pennsylvania
Henry Oldenburg's copy of vol I & II
of ''Philosophical Transactions'', manuscript note on a flyleaf, a receipt signed by the Royal Society's printer: "Rec. October 18th 1669 from Mr Oldenburgh Eighteen shillings for this voll: of Transactions by me John Martyn". {{Authority control 1665 establishments in England
English-language journals Academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which Scholarly method, scholarship relating to a particular list of academic disciplines, academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and t ...
Mass media in London Multidisciplinary scientific journals Natural philosophy Publications established in 1665 Royal Society academic journals