Specific publication culture in the
Humanities
• Significant part of research output, in
terms of numbers and importance, in
national languages
• Variety of formats for research output:
monographs, chapters, edited volumes,
journals, conference proceedings, critical
editions, web-based content and data,
outreach/’grey’ literature
• Monographs - primary importance;
publications in peer reviewed journals of
lesser importance in many disciplines
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Challenges for Humanities
What tools to use to provide access to
humanities research and to compare
quality:
• across all languages at supra-national
(European) and global (world-wide) levels
• vis-à-vis other research domains,
especially ‘hard’ sciences
Existing citation indices (e.g. SCOPUS, Web
of Science, Publish or Perish) have
unsatisfactory coverage of humanities
research, especially in languages other than
English (= in other European languages)
www.esf.org
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European Reference Index for the
Humanities (ERIH): objectives
• to enhance the global visibility of highquality European research in the humanities
across all languages
• to encourage ’best practice’ in the
publication of journals (peer review, active
editorial board, openness to new authors,
professional bibliographic information), and
later books, in the humanities
• To create a benchmarking tool for
comparisons at aggregate (national,
European) levels
www.esf.org
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ERIH: process
• Overall responsibility with the ESF Standing
Committee for the Humanities (SCH)
• SCH nominates ERIH Steering Committee
• ERIH Steering Committee responsible for:
– Identification of the disciplinary structure
– Definition of methodology including the
definition of categories
– Approval of membership of Expert Panels
– Validation of journal lists proposed by Expert
Panels
• Peer review - the basis of methodology
• Step 1: focus on journals; step 2: including other
publication formats
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ERIH: current disciplinary structure
15 disciplinary Panels:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Anthropology
Archaeology
Art and Art History
Classical Studies
Gender Studies
History
History & Philosophy
of Science
• Linguistics
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•
•
•
•
Literature
Musicology
Oriental & African Studies
Pedagogical & Educational
Research
• Philosophy
• Psychology
• Religious Studies and
Theology
Disciplines under consideration
• Archives, Library & Museum Studies
• Film, Media & Cultural Studies
• Area Studies
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ERIH: criteria for inclusion
All journals included have to meet threshold
standards ensuring consistently high-quality
scholarly content:
• Quality control policy governing selection of
articles, normally through peer-review
• Active operations of editorial board
• Openness to unsolicited contributions
• Publication on time and to an agreed
schedule
• ISSN number and other bibliographic
requirements
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ERIH: categories (1)
• National Journals – NAT (ex category C):
European publications with a recognised
scholarly significance among researchers in the
respective research domains in a particular
(mostly linguistically circumscribed) readership
group in Europe; occasionally cited outside the
publishing country, though their main target
group is the domestic academic community
• International Journals – INT1 + INT 2 (ex
categories A and B): both European and nonEuropean publications with an internationally
recognised scholarly significance among
researchers in the respective research domains,
and which are regularly cited worldwide
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ERIH: categories (2)
Differentiation between categories INT1 and INT2
is based on a combination of two criteria: influence
and scope:
Category INT1
• international publications with high visibility and
influence among researchers in the various
research domains in different countries,
regularly cited all over the world.
Category INT2
• international publications with significant
visibility and influence in the various research
domains in different countries.
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ERIH: a pilot project (2001-2010)
Focus on journals
2007/2008 - publication of ‘initial lists’
2010 - publication of ‘revised lists’
Conclusions from the pilot phase:
• ERIH journal lists are a first step toward a
bibliographic tool: they provide information
on thousands of Europan journals
enhancing their visibility
• ERIH lists are not a bibliometric tool: they
should not be used for assessment
• Identification of quality NATional journals is
the main innovation of ERIH (ex category
C)
www.esf.org
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ERIH lists: reactions (1)
• Criticism from research communities:
national, disciplinary (e.g. German
historians; philosophers of science; Gaelic
studies community in Ireland) regarding
categorisation and missing journals;
• Response: a need for a sustainable
mechanism for regularly updating ERIH lists
1. revising categorisation
2. including missing journals
3. including newly established journals
www.esf.org
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ERIH lists: reactions (2)
• Expectations of research funders: creation
of urgently needed evaluation
tools/indicators in humanities
corresponding to tools/indicators used in
‘hard’ sciences;
• Response 1: ERIH lists are already used in
some countries for this purpose against
intentions of ESF SCH
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ERIH lists: reactions (3)
• Response 2: a number of funding councils:
ESRC/AHRC (UK), ANR (F), DFG (DE), NWO
(NL) fund a report Towards a Bibliometric
Database for the Social Sciences and
Humanities: A European Scoping Project;
• Report published in March 2010
• Project leader: Prof. Ben Martin, SPRU,
University of Sussex, UK
Recommendation of the report: to create a
bibliometric database for the Humanities
and Social Sciences
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Beyond the pilot project
• Representatives of 26 ESF Member
Organisations , majority of which funded
ERIH, meet on 31 March 2010 to discuss the
future of ERIH
• Working group created and given a task to
prepare a report outlining the future of ERIH
• Members: Gunnar Siversten (Norway, Chair),
Istvan Kenesei (Hungary), Nigel Vincent (UK),
Sir Roderick Floud (Chair of SCSS), Milena Žic
Fuchs (Chair of SCH)
• Report to be released soon
www.esf.org
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Beyond ERIH: Recommendations of the
meeting
• ERIH focused on humanities; include social
sciences
• Develop ERIH from lists of journals into a
database including references and supported by
underlying bibliographic data
• Build upon institutional repositories
(universities) and national data bases (e.g.
Croatia, Norway, Slovenia)
• Consider a centralised, or distributed, or mixed
model of operating
• Consider ERIH as European Research
Infrastructure
www.esf.org
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Beyond ERIH: Recommendations of the
meeting
• Liaise with the outcomes of the European
Scoping Project
• Explore collaboration with commercial
providers
• Implement European coordination of quality
assurance under the responsibility of ESF
• Note importance of ERIH for raising
standards of scholarly publishing in the
humanities (peer review)
• Enhance communication with researchers
www.esf.org
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