Review sets new standard in online history

May 10, 1996

An electronic review journal is to be launched by the Institute of Historical Research.

The journal, Reviews in History, available from July, forms part of a three- year project funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee.

The new journal will provide up to 20 lengthy reviews of historical books, along with responses from the original authors.

A long-term aim is for the journal to widen its scope from its initial restriction to British and European history.

Patrick O'Brien, director of the institute, says: "New information technology, which allows for space, speed, author's replies and further discussion, should go some way towards setting improved standards for reviewing and for the writing of history in general."

The journal will be the last of three new Internet services provided by the institute. IHR-Info, the first hypertext service of its kind in Europe, was launched three years ago.

It provides information on the institute's research, conferences and training courses.

The second stage of the project, an electronic seminar service, was launched last month. Contributions are limited to lecturers and postgraduate students, but it is accessible to all. The two projects already have a weekly "hit-rate" of around 5,000.

The institute is already considering ways of making the service commercially viable after funding runs out in 1998. Although as few as 300 subscribers could make it financially self-sufficient, Anne Shepherd, the journal's deputy editor, says that subscription is one of many possibilities.

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