Islam Studies research culture


The domain is the study of the islam and the islam world, encompassing all relevant aspects of this field. The domain combines various disciplines of the humanities, social sciences and law. Geographically speaking the domain covers all areas in which people with a muslim background live or have lived, with an emphasis on the Middle Ease, Indonesia, Europe, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Africa. Knowledge about the islam and the islamitic world is, also due to the presence of large groups of migrated muslims in the Netherlands, crucial for a better understanding of the national and international political, cultural and social developments. The domain combines scientific and societal communication and production. Research school NISIS organizes the training of new generations of scholars and functions as a network in the national research field.



The domain includes variegated audiences:

  • A strongly international oriented academic field
  • Professional audiences include policymakers, journalists and civil servants, interested in the societally relevant aspects of the research.
  • A general Dutch audience interested in background knowledge for topical issues, related to historical and cultural aspects of the various areas of specialization of the researchers in the domain



Products and communication

Production and communication in the domain is in the form of scientific, professional and popular publications, next to advice for policy makers and news media, participation in debates, lectures and exhibitions. Dutch publications are a substantial part of the output. In international publications, English is the most frequented language. Other frequently used languages are German, French, Spanish, Italian or the language of the region under analysis. Publication in other such languages is important in some specializations.

  • Monographs are among the most valued types of output, in particular the disciplinary monographs at authorized academic publishers. Also important are (succesfull) hybrid book publications.
  • Edited volumes are the most frequent occuring types of output aimed at peers, and are internationally oriented. In the proliferation of journals the most important titles aim at communication among scholars in subdomains or specialties.
  • Other scientific results are presented in lectures, debates, media performances, policy reports and exhibitions.
  • Reviewprocesses are important also for publications of monographs and edited volumes and may take the form of (anonymous) peer review as well as other types of serious review.


Processes and strategies

  • The most common type of publication is the ‘single-authored publication’. This is especially true of books (monographs), which have a lengthier production time.
  • Articles in peer-reviewed journals are particularly important in the early stages of a scientific career, after which the number of contributions increases due to the expansion of the research networks with more conferences attended.
  • Books (monographs) require a lengthier production time, of several years. These are often realized in later phases of the career.  
  • Opportunities to produce for societal relevance depends on topics and topicality and the field of the researcher.
  • Hybrid publications are often a spin-off of lectures and presentations for peers, professional groups and general audiences and of media presentations and blogs.


Domain-specific aspects of quality and relevance

Hybrid books, participation in public debates, blogs, articles in popular periodicals (e.g. weeklies) and literary media.

The domain is characterized by interdisciplinarity serving both international and national audiences via hybrid as well as academic publication channels. Knowledge of source languages is typical for high quality research in the domain.


Relevance of indicators for products

The NISIS panel has authorised various publication channels for journals and books by target group. The multidisciplinary nature of this domain means that indicators authorised by other panels are also relevant. Link to lists


Relevance of quantitative indicators for use and marks of recognition

Bibliometric indicators such as citation analyses are not useful, even if based on Google Scholar. That is because many of the publication channels are not indexed and because reference practices are too diverse.