07 February 2012

Identifying Academic History Journals; Ranking Them Too!

Scholars in the Humanities & Social Sciences are often loath to discuss questions of the relative merit of academic journals or the impact factor of the places we publish. Rightly or wrongly, such discussions hint at a managerialist odor. We tend to think little of claims that scholarship should possess value-added. But whether we like it or not, these merit-based measures of scholarly activity are becoming more commonplace as a means of assessing academic work, judging scholars for promotion, teaching quality, and arbitrating merit-based raises. I think we can only resist these indicators so far. But I would add that one of the other problems we confront is that we are often not aware of how just many potential peer-reviewer forums are available for our work. Meet the European Reference Index:
The European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH) is the only reference index created and developed by European researchers both for their own purposes and in order to present their ongoing research achievements systematically to the rest of the world. It is also a unique project because, in the context of a world dominated by publication in English, it highlights the vast range of world-class research published by humanities researchers in the European languages.
Among the fields covered by this Index are: Anthropology, Gender Studies, History, History at Philosophy of science, Linguistics, Literature, Musicology, Pedagogical and educational research, Philosophy, Psychology, Archeology, Art and Art history, Classical Studies, and Religious Studies. And they provide a complete list of journals for each of those fields! While they eschew the "impact factor" as a means of ranking the journals, they do produce a perhaps less detrimental means of assessing their value. They offer: National, International I, and International II. In this scale, its clear that their committee see International I as most the likely to reach a wide audience and be cited by a wide audience. There is no other evaluative judgment implied by this designation. I believe this tool is very valuable. I hope it helps. Information, after all, is power.


  1. This was brought to my attention a while back by my tutor. What I find strange though is that some of the journals that I really rate as good journals aren't even on there!

  2. It would be much better for the students to test all those evident prospects which are even considered to be of essential.