Reference numberMS/421
Previous numbersMS/421, MS/422, MS/423, MS/424, MS/588, MS/589, MS/590, MS/610, MS/611, MS/612, MS/613, MS/696, MS/701, MS/711, MS/712, MS/716, MS/802, MS/803
TitleRegisters of papers
DescriptionSeries of record books tracking the papers received by the Royal Society for publication in the Philosophical Transactions or Proceedings of the Royal Society. The ledgers were used consistently from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century to record the circulation of manuscripts, which papers were further submitted to the Committee of Papers, who refereed the papers and subsequently published or not and if the paper was archived.
From 1927, the registers were kept separately for the A and B sides of the journals, reflecting the creation of the specialist sections: the 'A' strand sectional committee examined papers on physical, mathematical and engineering sciences; the 'B' strand sectional committee, examined papers on biological and life sciences.
The registers of papers were one of the most important instruments to ensure the good operation of the publishing of the scientific periodicals at the Royal Society and they include valuable information to track the time it took for papers to be examined and published, as well as providing overall numbers on the number of papers submitted each year (this is often tallied in the records themselves), and the success rate of the submissions. It also fills gaps where we have no referee report for a given submission.
Please note only the records containing information older than 70 years are open to researchers.
Extent20 volumes, MS Large
Physical descriptionPaper, bound, size 15 x 10.5 inches
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Access conditionsPlease note only the records containing information older than 70 years are open to researchers.
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    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

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