Historical Social Research


Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung (HSR) is an international bilingual journal for the application of formal methods to history and was founded in 1976. The application of formal methods to history includes quantitative and computer-assisted qualitative social research, historical sociology and social scientific history, cliometrical research and historical information science. In a broader sense, the field Historical Social Research can be described as an inter-/ transdisciplinary paradigm. Four HSR issues and supplement are published every year.

Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung (HSR) is a bilingual journal (English and German), but articles should be written in English when possible in order to foster international communication. HSR accepts manuscripts only under the condition that the manuscripts have not been published elsewhere and are not submitted to other journals simultaneously. 

Guidelines for manuscripts

Manuscripts and proposals are welcome – both in German and English. Please send your contribution as word file and as printed original for controlling with preferably little formatting of your own.

  • Text: The main text should have a minimum length of 20,000 characters and the total length should not exceed 90,000 characters including spaces. The typical HSR article has a length from 35,000 to 65,000 characters, which corresponds to 14 to 24 pages. When possible, the title of the article is to be submitted in English and German. In addition to the main text, every submission must include (1) an abstract, (2) a reference address, (3) 3-8 keywords and (4) a reference list.
  • Abstract: Articles are to be prefaced by an English abstract briefly outlining the article’s content and composition. The length of the abstract should be 900 to 1,300 characters, including spaces. If possible please provide a German version of the abstract.
  • Reference address: Every article needs to have the author’s complete postal and e-mail address of communication attached.
  • Keyword list: Every articles needs 3 to 8 English keywords and, if possible, corresponding German keywords.
  • Reference list: Due to the coverage of all HSR articles in the Social Science Citation Index (Thomson Scientific), JSTOR (ITHAKA), SCOPUS (Elsevier) and SocINDEX (EBSCO), a consistent citation and reference is necessary. The bibliographical references at the end of the text and the in-text citations should follow the Chicago Manual of Style. HSR uses the author/date style of references, but it also allows notes for substantive commentary. Every citation in the text or substantive notes must have a corresponding reference entry, and every publication listed in the reference list must be mentioned in the text or notes. Please be sure that your reference list is arranged in alphabetical order. Please find examples for compilation below. Important note: Only literature directly referenced in the text should be included in the References at the end of the contribution.
  • Composition: Contributions are to be divided into sub-chapters using the decimal classification system (1. - 2. - 2.1 - 2.2 - 3. etc.). Subdivision should be at the most two decimal points.
  • Tables, graphics and figures: The HSR format is 5.8 x 8.3 inches. When compiling tables, graphics and figures it should be considered that the type area is 10,7 cm (width) x 17,1 cm (height). Tables, graphics and figures should be numbered consecutively as they appear in the text. HSR does not print color graphics and figures. But you can still send a colour version for the digital issue. Please ensure that these graphics work also as black-and-white print. Graphics are to be provided as tiff files, the resolution must be at least 300 dpi.
    If possible, please send us original files, e.g. *.xls, so that we can work on the format according to our HSR layout.
  • Language: German or English
  • Editorial: An HSR Special Issue and an HSR Focus require an adequate introduction. Special Issue and Focus editors are respronsible for a programmatic editorial of at least 10 pages including references.
  • Empirical Data: In case empirical data are used in the article, the author is obliged to offer the opportunity for replication. Upon request, HSR authors grant the right towards a third party to access data and program routine.
  • Citations: The in-text citations and the bibliographical reference list at the end of the text should follow the Chicago Citation Style. In-text citations should be formatted as (Author Year, page), whereby multiple citations are separated by a semicolon. Eg. (Dennis, Smith and Johnson 2005, 62-8; Thompson 2004, 2006). References are to be compiled as follows:

Book, one author:
Doniger, Wendy. 1999. Splitting the difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Book, two authors:
Cowlishaw, Guy, and Robin Dunbar. 2000. Primate conservation biology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Chapter of a book:
Wiese, Andrew. 2006. “The house I live in”: Race, class, and African American suburban dreams in the postwar United States. In The new suburban history, ed. Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue, 99–119. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Book, electr.:
Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. 1987. The Founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press <press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders> (Accessed January 6, 2004).
Article, Print:
Smith, John Maynard. 1998. The origin of altruism. Nature 393: 639–40.
Article, Online:
Hlatky, Mark A., Derek Boothroyd, Eric Vittinghoff, Penny Sharp, and Mary A. Whooley. 2002. Quality-of-life and depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women after receiving hormone therapy: Results from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 287, no. 5 (February 6): <jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n5/rfull/joc10108.html> (Accessed January 7, 2004).
Martin, Steve. 2002. Sports-interview shocker. New Yorker, May 6.
Niederkorn, William S. 2002. A scholar recants on his “Shakespeare” discovery. New York Times, June 20, Arts section, Midwest edition.
Amundin, M. 1991. Click repetition rate patterns in communicative sounds from the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, PhD diss., Stockholm University.
Conference Paper:
Doyle, Brian. 2002. Howling like dogs: Metaphorical language in Psalm 59. Paper presented at the annual international meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, June 19–22, in Berlin, Germany.
Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees. Evanston Public Library strategic plan, 2000–2010: A decade of outreach. Evanston Public Library <www.epl.org/library/strategic-plan-00.html> (Accessed February 6, 2012).

Please see also our Final Checklist for HSR Submission (399 KB).

For further questions, see also our FAQs.