Journals are a key element of scientific life. A partly public source of information, the end point of a project, and a measure of researcher productivity. The first was published in 1665 and many new ones appear every year with the number of articles growing at 3-5% per year . Current debate regarding journals revolves principally around the issues of increasing subscription costs and rare open access to mostly publicly funded scientific results.
- ~30'000 scholarly peer-reviewed science/technical/medical journals (STM 2012, p5)
- ~2 million articles per year; 20% USA, 10% China, 7% UK, 6% Japan, 6% Germany (STM'12, p5)
- ~20% of science articles are available free of charge
- share of direct open access articles is increasing swiftly at +20% per year 
- researchers are reading more (270 articles/y) but spend less time per article (30min, down from 45min in mid 90s) (STM'12, p6)
- ~5'000 publishers in total (STM'12, p33)
- average price of an article is £3100 ($4800/€3700) to the buyer (STM'12, p47 2010 CEPA, original figure in £; €/$ converted in 2013)
- 41% peer review management, copy-editing, typesetting & origination
- 19% variable costs (printing, paper, distribution)
- 21% indirect costs (staff and overheads)
- 19% "surplus", i.e. a whopping profit
- top 3 (Elsevier, Springer, Wiley) account for over ~40% of articles published 
- profits Elsevier 2010 36%, Springer 2010 34%, Wiley 2012 Q1 42% 
The first scientific journals were founded in 17th century Europe, at a time of Louis XIV, Baroque art, extensive warfare, and the Scientific Revolution. In January 1665, the French publication Journal des sçavans (journal of savants) was the first on the scene with a mix of science, history, and law, morphing later into a literary journal which no longer publishes significant scientific results. In April 1665, the English Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society started publishing - philosophical referring to natural philosophy which would now be called science. The journal is still active  and can be considered the world's oldest exclusively scientific journal.
- 1960s: peer review, although a much older concept, is becoming widespread; Nature institutes peer review in 1967
- 1964: MEDLARS, predecessor of PubMed, launched; computerized search of a huge public repository of abstracts becomes possible
- 1990s: electronic-only journals (i.e. without a printed version) start being published (list of E-only journals)
- 1991: arXiv.org - 1st free scientific online archive of articles
- 1997: PubMed offers internet access to the huge MEDLINE repository
- 2004: Google Scholar is launched
- 2006: JoVE - 1st video life science journal
Alphabetical listing of journals
Here is a collection of journals split into separate pages based on the first letter of the journal name. The list includes the full journal title and the standard abbreviation of the journal title.