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Digital Object Identifiers for 17th century publications

October 26, 2011

The Royal Society of London recently announced that the historic archive of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society will now be openly available (Happy Open Access Week!) 

Philosphical Transactions is typically regarded as the first scientific journal and has been in continuous publication since it started in 1665. (A french journal, the Journal des sçavans started publication three months prior to the Philosophical Transactions, but since it appealed to a wider audience and included a larger percentage of book reviews, many do not consider it the first real scientific journal).

We’ve had access to this archive for a while now via JSTOR, and I love having the ability to see the very beginnings of the scientific journal article.

What intrigued me when I started digging into their now-open archive was the delightful juxtaposition of the 1665 publication date and the modern DOI.

Since these historical documents are available online, they are digital objects, and assigning DOIs makes a lot of sense.  It also makes each individual article much easier to find.

So, hurrah for Open Access, hurrah for easy access (not necessarily the same thing), and hurrah for An Account of a Very Odd Monstrous Calf:

Boyle, Robert. 1665.  An Account of a Very Odd Monstrous Calf.  Philosophical Transactions. 1: 10. doi: 10.1098/rstl.1665.0007

Boyle, Robert. 1665. An Account of a Very Odd Monstrous Calf. Philosophical Transactions. 1: 10. doi: 10.1098/rstl.1665.0007

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