A History of Scientific Journals
Publishing at the Royal Society, 1665-2015
Modern scientific research has changed so much since Isaac Newton’s day: it is more professional, collaborative and international, with more complicated equipment and a more diverse community of researchers. Yet the use of scientific journals to report, share and store results is a thread that runs through the history of science from Newton’s day to ours. Scientific journals are now central to academic research and careers. Their editorial and peer-review processes act as a check on new claims and findings, and researchers build their careers on the list of journal articles they have published. The journal that reported Newton’s optical experiments still exists. First published in 1665, and now fully digital, the Philosophical Transactions has carried papers by Charles Darwin, Dorothy Hodgkin and Stephen Hawking. It is now one of eleven journals published by the Royal Society of London. Unrivalled insights from the Royal Society’s comprehensive archives have enabled the authors to investigate more than 350 years of scientific journal publishing. The editorial management, business practices and financial difficulties of the Philosophical Transactions and its sibling Proceedings reveal the meaning and purpose of journals in a changing scientific community. At a time when we are surrounded by calls to reform the academic publishing system, it has never been more urgent that we understand its history.
KeywordsScientific journals;academic publishing;academic journals;scientific publishing;science communication;circulation of knowledge;construction of scientific knowledge Royal Society;history of science;Britain;learned societies;17th century;18th century;19th century;20th century;Academic careers;academic reputations;research;excellence;academic prestige Scientific authorship;scientific editorship;peer review;editorial processes History of publishing;history of periodicals;publishing industry
ISBN9781800082342, 9781800082335, 9781800082359, 9781800082366, 9781800082328
Publication date and placeLondon, 2022
Publishing industry & book trade
History of science