Nullius in verba
October 26, 2011 10:59 AM   Subscribe

The Royal Society, publishers of the world's oldest peer-reviewed scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions, has made their journal archive free to access.

Start your search for knowledge here. Or read Isaac Newton's first published paper, Benjamin Franklin's letter recounting his experiment drawing the electric fire from clouds by means of a kite, or Michael Faraday's complete experimental researches in electricity. Or maybe you'd prefer a cold drink.
posted by BitterOldPunk (28 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite

 
The second link is to the original series, which split in 1887, into A: Mathematical, physical & engineering sciences and B: Biological sciences (both linked at the top of the page of the original series.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:06 AM on October 26, 2011


Wow. This is awesome.
posted by DU at 11:09 AM on October 26, 2011


awesome
posted by the mad poster! at 11:11 AM on October 26, 2011


Ah, this is awesome. Pro tip: journals and old books and papers like these are great to read on an tablet with Goodreader. I've got dozens of Gentlemen's Magazines, out-of-print translations, and journals like this one. If I was stuck on a desert island with my iPad, I'd die an educated man.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:16 AM on October 26, 2011


Fantastic! Though all those s's that look like f's had me reading with a tremendous overbite in my mind
posted by Redhush at 11:20 AM on October 26, 2011


If I was stuck on a desert island with my iPad, I'd die an educated man.

Finally, time to read!

*runs out of battery*

That's not fair...that's not fair at all!
posted by DU at 11:23 AM on October 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is the single most joyful thing I've seen on MeFi in yonks. (Seems to be in collaboration with JSTOR, which is interesting as I was rather under the impression the Royal Society had an exclusive arrangement with Microsoft for all their online output.)
posted by bebrogued at 11:24 AM on October 26, 2011


HOLY SHIT THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!oneeleven11111

Thank you for posting this. For me this is what makes metafilter the best place on the web.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:25 AM on October 26, 2011


Seems to be in collaboration with JSTOR...

Now if JSTOR would only make its archive free to access than I could die a happy man.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:26 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


That Newton was just a shameless shill for big optics. Several eyewitnesses report him enjoying cakes and ale with the members of the eyeglass grinder's guild at the sign of the Three Tuns.
Great link, many thanks
posted by Abiezer at 11:37 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder if this is in any way related to Greg Maxwell's torrent on the Pirate Bay (I'm not sure if it is ok to link that site, so I haven't - but just search for "Philosophical Transactions pirate bay"). It has 133 seeders so presumably it's quite quick to download. To quote Maxwell:

" This archive contains 18,592 scientific publications totaling
33GiB, all from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
and which should be available to everyone at no cost, but most
have previously only been made available at high prices through
paywall gatekeepers like JSTOR."


I think this is the entire archive that is linked to above.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 11:38 AM on October 26, 2011


Only articles some 70+ years old are freely available. If you want something from 30 years ago for example you still have to pay.
posted by episodic at 11:38 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


btw, I'm not actively suggesting anybody should download those files; merely that it exists and seems popular and wondering if there is a connection.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 11:39 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Frigorifick is my new favorite word.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:00 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Only articles some 70+ years old are freely available. If you want something from 30 years ago for example you still have to pay.

Yeah, it is disappointing that they lead with "Royal Society journal archive made permanently free to access", when they are only offering stuff older than 70 years for free. I would have thought the Royal Society would have higher standards of self-promotion.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:42 PM on October 26, 2011


Has anyone noticed that the quality of FPPs has been steadily improving of late, not to mention the discourse?
posted by infini at 12:50 PM on October 26, 2011


is 'free to access' anything like 'free to play,' where we'll get to download the paper for free but then be offered all kinds of downloadable paid upgrades to the text, like, say, proper typography or turning all the 'ß' into double s's? Or maybe some cool hats on the pictures of the author?
posted by kaibutsu at 12:57 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's fascinating to see the formality and structure decline as you go farther and farther back in time. The 17th century articles are often simply of the form "Here's some cool shit I found out about spiders!". You really get a sense of the way in which the process itself was being invented.

You can just picture all these brilliant people stopping in their work, looking at each other, thinking, Damn, we need to start writing this stuff down, and working together, and checking each other's work, and building a common body of knowledge, and... What an incredible time to be a scientist.

Thanks to all of them. You are the giants on whose shoulders we sit today.
posted by CaseyB at 1:00 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or maybe some cool hats on the pictures of the author?

I dunno about you, but I won't read any articles until I've MS paint-ed a cool hat onto the author's head.
posted by addelburgh at 2:28 PM on October 26, 2011


After reading through several articles, what's the deal with the all of the lower case s being f?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:33 PM on October 26, 2011


It's the long s, AElfwine. I expected more typography knowledge from someone so ligature-orientated!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:44 PM on October 26, 2011


Hey thanks! Sorry to disappoint, but the only script ligature I've had any experience with is from the Paleo-Hebrew, Akkadian, and Ugaritic languages. :)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:14 PM on October 26, 2011


I tried searching for "Here's fome cool fhit I found out about fpiderf!" but nothing was found.

Would have been nice.
posted by estuardo at 6:17 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The effects of these fumes, when inhaled, are very powerful and disagreeable, and even dangerous, I might venture to say, were I to speak from my own experience. In one instance, when I inhaled only a small quantity (of NH4F), they produced in a few minutes a violent cough and catarrh, and apparent accumulation in the blood in the neck and head, and symptoms altogether not unlike those the attendants of apoplexy, which continued for about a quarter of an hour...". -John Davy, An Account of Some Experiments on Different Combinations of Fluoric Acid.

What a magnificent madman. My copy of this 1812 report is still adrift somewhere at a company I worked for, where NF3 was used as a cleaning agent, and with similar symptoms arising in field service people.
posted by jet_silver at 6:26 PM on October 26, 2011


Anybody got any Latin here? This intriguing entry - Two Propositions Desir'd to be Answered in a Year and Half, by Any Person; if They are Not in That Time, the Proposer Promises He Will Do It Himself [PDF], seems to have something to do with opium.
posted by unliteral at 7:45 PM on October 26, 2011


Wow. This is awesome.

I think you mean aweſome
posted by delmoi at 10:20 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry to disappoint, but the only script ligature I've had any experience with is from the Paleo-Hebrew, Akkadian, and Ugaritic languages.

Pffft. Dilettante.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:52 AM on October 27, 2011


...we'll get to download the paper for free but then be offered all kinds of downloadable paid upgrades to the text, like, say, proper typography or turning all the 'ß' into double s's?

kaibutsu, that's actually a cool thing to think about: how could you add value to these centuries-old documents? I'm guessing that someone has already figured how to extract cash from these, but it's still fun to speculate.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:58 AM on October 27, 2011


« Older There are around 30 ancient Egyptian obelisks left...  |  Have you every wanted to try G... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments