As well as open access, we provide ‘free’ to access journal content. Articles denoted by a tick symbol can be accessed free of charge.
The Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions, launched in 1665, was the world’s first scientific journal. It established the fundamental principles of scientific priority and peer review.
Most of our oldest content is now freely available, specifically, all papers older than 70 years. In addition, papers published between 10 years ago and either 12 months ago (biological sciences and history of science) or 24 months ago (physical sciences) from online issue publication are freely available. For Biographical Memoirs all issues are now freely available.
Please refer to the table below for an overview of the freely available content in our journals.
|1665 - 70 years ago
|69 - 11 years ago
|10 years from current year - 1 (or 2*) years ago
|1 (or 2*) years ago and current year
* 1 year for biological sciences and 2 years for physical sciences
Package subscribers receive free lease access to the full journal archive, while their subscription remains active. If you are interested in purchasing perpetual access to the non-free content in our archive please see our archive purchasing options
Open access week
Each year, during Open Access Week, we make all of our published content free to access.
Access by the developing world
In keeping with our role as the UK's national academy of science, we offer free access to readers in the world's poorest nations.