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The Royal Society is the world's oldest continually operating scientific academy. Its members have included Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Steven Hawking. It has been at the cutting edge of sciences for centuries, and now it's struck a huge blow in favor of open access to science. As of last month, the Society has opened up its entire journal archive for free.

This not only includes current research, but the Society's entire body of publications, going back to 1665. Here, for example, is an article in the very first journal, describing improvements to lenses. And as the Society notes, that's not all you can find:

Internet Collaboration Will Lead to More Innovation

The Royal Society is the world's oldest scientific publisher and, as such, our archive is the most comprehensive in science. Treasures in the archive include Isaac Newton's first published scientific paper, geological work by a young Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin's celebrated account of his electrical kite experiment. Readers willing to delve a little deeper may find some undiscovered gems from the dawn of the scientific revolution - includingRobert Boyle's account of monstrous calves, grisly tales of students being struck by lightning, and early experiments on to how to cool drinks 'without the Help of Snow, Ice, Haile, Wind or Niter, and That at Any Time of the Year.'

The archive also includes all articles from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, first published in 1665 and officially recognised as the world's first ever peer-reviewed journal. Henry Oldenburg, the first Editor of Philosophical Transactions, wrote in his introduction to the first edition: '…it is therefore thought fit to employ the Press, as the most proper way to gratify those, whose…delight in the advancement of Learning and profitable Discoveries, doth entitle them to the knowledge of what this Kingdom, or other parts of the World, do, from time to time, afford…' He went on to state that potential contributors are: '…invited and encouraged to search, try, and find out new things, impart their knowledge to one another, and contribute what they can to the Grand design of improving natural knowledge, and perfecting all Philosophical Arts, and Sciences.'
Royal Society Journals and archives access: /

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