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Electronic Reviews in History

Project web site
Not available

Programme area
Electronic Journals

Contact details
Professor Patrick O'Brien, Project Director,
c/o Institute of Historical Research University of London Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Phone: 0171 636 0272 Fax: 0171 436 2183

Mrs Anne Shepherd, Deputy Editor,
c/o Institute of Historical Research University of London Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Phone: 0171 636 0272 Fax: 0171 436 2183

Project description

as of 4th January 1996


Reviews in History takes advantage of the speed of electronic publishing, avoiding the long delay involved in providing reviews in traditional journals and the rising costs of those journals. The project informs librarians, students and historians more efficiently and quickly about important, original and possibly controversial books appearing across the temporal and thematic range of what is now an ever- widening discipline.

The project will be a significant aspect of the making of academic reputations. Book reviews, always an important constituent of the creation of academic reputations, are assuming a more prominent role with the ever increasing volume of publications. The standard of reviewing will be raised, as the flexibility of the electronic medium allows the project to promote longer reviews and an informative dialogue between reviewer and author which is rarely possible within the cost constraints of traditional publishing.

The project is such that it provides a personal incentive for historians to become involved with email and the Internet. This project is aimed deliberately at the facilities that all history departments have, not what they might have in a few years' time. The large size of the editorial board includes a great number of established historians from old and new universities, increasing the interest in the use of the Internet.



Reviews in History will be delivered to the library, departmental or individual email accounts [software: Majordomo] on condition that they have subscribed to the journal, thus providing them with a rapid, full and authoritative response to recent publications.


In addition, the journal's archives will allow rapid browsing across a variety of reviews to all students of history. Reviews in History will be accessible from the information server, IHR-Info, which is already established.


The total number of historians in the U.K. undertaking research is estimated at 10,000, and initial discussions with a number of eminent historians from a variety of periods suggests that this project will be well-received by historians.


Overall Usage: Over 90% of all HEI history departments
Minimum number of reviews a year: 20
Minimum number of subscribers: 1,000
Satisfaction level of users: maintain at good to excellent, being points 4 and 5 on a five point scale as indicated from yearly electronic questionnaires.


The Institute of Historical Research is the national centre for historical research. IHR has a close relationship with all departments teaching history in U.K. universities. and provides regular information services for all HEIs.


The aim is to establish the board of 35 historians, a list of reviewers and to make contacts with publishers in the first year and launch the journal at the beginning of the second year.


General activity in the first twelve months would be a promotion of awareness about the journal in history departments and libraries.


The journal would be launched. Meeting at the end of the fourth six month period a final report would be presented based on records and the results of an electronic questionnaire which would include questions on the level of charges to be made for the project henceforward .

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