Political History research culture


In addition to geographical subdisciplines and subdisciplines focusing on specific eras and themes, for example military history or gender history, the field of Political History also bears a close resemblance to the broad field of history. It is not possible to differentiate between these fields and specialisms by interest or target group; instead, they are linked together as interdisciplinary areas of research. Political History also has interdisciplinary links with other domains, for example political science and constitutional law, literary studies, philosophy, sociology and anthropology, and with domains that are themselves interdisciplinary in orientation, such as cultural studies. Political History actively maintains links with these domains. The research culture therefore displays both domain-specific features and strong ties with other domains. The OPG research school functions as the national network for researchers and PhD students of Political History.


Target groups

  • Political History has close ties with national societies and cultures and with scholars in other countries. Although the domain is becoming increasingly international, many publications target the Dutch public and professionals both within and outside academia.
  • On the other hand, the communication pattern in a number of subdomains tends to resemble that of the social sciences. This is especially true of International Relations and Diplomacy (IR), as distinct from the history of international and diplomatic relations. In the IR subdomain, communication tends to target peers in the same domain and researchers also cooperate frequently with other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities.


Products and communication

  • Monographs are the most prestigious products in Political History, either scholarly works published by a recognised academic publisher or a ‘hybrid’ book publication (if successful) focusing on both academic and non-academic readers.
  • Other important communication channels are edited volumes and proceedings on interrelated themes addressing peers.
  • Journal publications target a national, but also, increasingly, an international readership. The most important titles among the many journals being published are those meant to communicate with peers in subdomains or subdisciplines.
  • Journal publications are the most important form of communication in those subject areas that tend to lean towards the social sciences, for example International Relations, although researchers also publish monographs. In terms of numbers, essays in edited volumes and journal articles are important.
  • Review processes are very important to publishing in the domain, including the publication of books and edited volumes, and may consist of standard (anonymised) peer reviews or of strict editorial review procedures.
  • In the study of history, source editions and research reports produced on contract (commissioned by government, for example) are recognised and valued scholarly products.


Processes and strategies

  • Monographs require several years of work and are generally only feasible at a later stage of a researcher’s career.
  • Hybrid publications are regularly accompanied by lectures and appearances before scholarly, professional and general audiences, radio and television appearances and blogging (on the web).
  • Single-authorship is the dominant form, but multi-author publications are becoming more common.
  • Researchers make use of various forms of publication, leading to diversity in publication media (journal articles, monographs, essays in edited volumes, and so on).


Domain-specific aspects of quality and relevance

Hybrid publications, specifically monographs and commemorative volumes, target academic researchers, professionals and other interested parties.


Relevance of indicators for products

The OPG panel has authorised various publication channels for journals and books, differentiated by target group. The panel has not differentiated these channels by subdomain. The multidisciplinary nature of this domain means that indicators authorised by other panels are also relevant. Link to lists


Usefulness of quantitative indicators (bibliometric indicators):

  • Since established databases (e.g. Web of Science, Scopus) register few journals and no monographs as sources, we do not recommend using bibliometric data from these databases. In relevant cases, it may be possible to trace monograph citations using Google Scholar. However, Google Scholar is not regarded as representative for publications in the domain of Political History, and caution is therefore advised.
  • In addition to Google Scholar, it is also possible to analyse the impact of hybrid publications by conducting internet searches of societal and scholarly users.