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Free to access articles

Atala hairstreak butterfly
Atala hairstreak butterfly © Kenneth Setzer

As well as open access, we provide ‘free to access' journal content. Articles denoted by a tick symbol can be accessed free of charge.

Access for low-and middle-income countries

In keeping with our role as the UK's national academy of science, we offer free access to readers in low-and middle-income countries.

Journal archive

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.

Period Status
1665 - 70 years ago Free
69 - 11 years ago Not free
10 years from current year - 1 (or 2*) years ago Free
1 (or 2*) years ago and current year Not free

* 1 year for biological sciences ( including JRSI, Focus and N&R ) 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.

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