In the field of academic publications, a scientific journal is a periodical publication intended to promote the progress of science, generally reporting new research.
Most journals are highly specialized, although some of the older publications such as Nature published scientific articles and dissertations covering a wide range of scientific fields. Scientific journals contain articles that have been submitted to peer review, in an attempt to ensure that these articles meet the quality standards and scientific validity of the publication. Although scientific journals are superficially similar to professional journals, they are actually quite different from them. Issues of a scientific journal are rarely read casually, as one reads any journal.
The publication of research results is an essential part of the scientific method; they generally must provide enough detail about an experiment so that an independent researcher can repeat the process and verify the results. Each article in the journal becomes part of a permanent scientific record.
The history of scientific journals begins in 1665, when the French Journal des Savants and the English Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society began to systematically publish results of scientific research. More than a thousand publications, most of them ephemeral, were founded in the 18th century, and the number rapidly increased thereafter.