Call for Papers for a thematic section in Studia Historiae Scientiarum

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We are glad to announce call for papers for a thematic section "Between Rise and Crisis: Book Reviews in the History of Knowledge" in Studia Historiae Scientiarum 2020, guest edited by Alexei Pleshkov and Jan Surman. Abstracts should be submitted by January 31, 2020.

The history of the reviewing is usually conceptualized between two poles. On the one hand, the acknowledgment of the importance of the genre in the culture of the classical modernity, the crucial role of book reviews in the formation of the system of research communication and institutional design of the academia. On the other hand, the assertion of the decline and deep crisis of reviewing in the contemporary academic culture, that threatens its death or promises a fundamental renewal of the genre. Nevertheless, we believe that the study of reviews has a much higher heuristic potential for the history of knowledge.

In the history of knowledge reviewing serves as an effective mechanism for articulating ideas of the source text, as a platform for research communication, and as a trigger for further development of concepts and conceptions. While reviews are traditionally perceived as a ‘dependent’ or even ‘second-rate’ research product, they can play an independent role, contributing to the legitimation of the concepts and ideas within the research field and the further reorganization of the field. Finally, reviews act as an indicator of the self-sufficiency and health of the disciplines or subdisciplines.

Whereas there are different types of review genres, we would like to focus on book reviews. We invite researchers exploring questions such as the following (by no means limited to these):

  • Reviews in the context of global/national/local research traditions;
  • The role of reviewing in the disciplinisation of scholarly disciplines and the forming of the new research fields;
  • Reviews as gatekeepers of the academic knowledge and non-academic influences on reviewing;
  • Qualitative and quantitative approaches to the understanding of reviews;
  • Subjectivity and objectivity of the review statement;
  • Changes in the conditions of academic judgment and the status of expert judgment in the history of knowledge.


Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words and a short biographical sketch to and

The editors will ask the authors of selected papers to submit their final articles no later than June 1, 2020. Articles will be published after a peer-review process.

Studia Historiae Scientiarum is a peer-reviewed, diamond open access journal (free of fees for authors and readers) devoted to the history of science, and indexed or listed, among others, in DOAJ, ERIH+, and Scopus. For more information visit:

The deadline for the submission of abstracts: January 31, 2020.