Communities need journals
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What has changed for the scholarly journal over 350 years? What has remained the same? Many of our modern concerns, including the engagement of wider publics and the challenge to our academic conceptions of expertise, are not at all new, and many of the same issues were discussed at length in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There are also moments of stark discontinuity. In the nineteenth century, dictionaries were published as periodicals; papers read at Royal Society meetings were refereed, but authors could normally make only ‘verbal’ (and not intellectual) changes to the text in response; the science writing of chemistry and physics was once categorized in the pages of some journals alongside poetry under the heading of ‘literature’.