The History of Scientific Journals

In academic publishing, a scientific journal is a periodical publication intended to further the progress of science, usually by reporting new research. There are thousands of scientific journals in publication, and many more have been published at various points in the past. Most journals are highly specialized, although some of the oldest journals such as Nature publish articles and scientific papers across a wide range of scientific fields. Scientific journals contain articles that have been peer reviewed, in an attempt to ensure that articles meet the journal's standards of quality, and scientific validity. Although scientific journals are superficially similar to professional magazines, they are actually quite different. Issues of a scientific journal are rarely read casually, as one would read a magazine. The publication of the results of research is an essential part of the scientific method. If they are describing experiments or calculations, they must supply enough details that an independent researcher could repeat the experiment or calculation to verify the results. Each such journal article becomes part of the permanent scientific record. The history of scientific journals dates from 1665, when the French Journal des scavans and the English Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society first began systematically publishing research results. Over a thousand, scientific journals were founded in the 18th century, and the number has increased rapidly after that.