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Empirical. Interdisciplinary. International.

Historical Social Research (HSR) is an international peer-reviewed journal covering the fields of historical-social science research and empirical quantitative as well as qualitative social research – it has been published by GESIS since 1976.


"Formalization means a variety of procedures that match descriptions of events, structures, and processes with explicit models of those events, structures, and processes. Formal methods do not necessarily involve quantification or computing; analyses of linguistic, spatial, or temporal structure, for example, often proceed quite formally without computers and without any direct intervention of mathematics."

(Charles Tilly, 1929-2008)

The HSR is user-, methods-, and data-orientated, with the journal focusing on inter- and transdisciplinary research. An international editorial board is in charge of the content and, thanks to close cooperation with the network partners and user organizations within the field of historical social research, the journal participates intensively in current research discussions.

In 2011 the HSR has been classified by ERIH / European Science Foundation as an international top-journal (INT1 Sub-Category) “with high visibility and influence among researchers in the various research domains in different countries, regularly cited all over the world”.

The HSR publishes four HSR issues plus one supplement every year, thereby publishing up to one hundred articles by international authors each year. As the QUANTUM association’s official journal, the HSR is published by GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences. Among others, more than 150 libraries worldwide are subscribers of the HSR.


The history of Historical Social Research (HSR) journal is closely linked to QUANTUM.

QUANTUM e.V. – the „Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Quantifizierung und Methoden in der historisch-sozialwissenschaftlichen Forschung e.V.“ – was founded in 1975, and in 1976, it brought into being/initiated its own publication organ: the HSR. Since 1976, the journal initially has been published as a QUANTUM association’s newsletter called “Quantum Information”. Since 1979, it is published under its current title. Being the official journal of the QUANTUM association and the International Commission INTERQUANT the HSR at first functioned as an international head medium for the scientific application of computerized statistical methods for the analysis of historical data. Meanwhile extended, the HSR considers itself an international journal for the application of formal methods for the description and analysis of historical events, structures, and processes.

Managing committee of QUANTUM:

  • Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Heinz Schröder
  • Prof. Dr. Heinrich Best
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittag
  • Prof. Dr. Patrick Sahle
  • Dr. Philip Jost Janssen
  • Sandra Schulz M.A.


As a network-based journal, the HSR co-operates with the following associations and publications:

INTERQUANT (International Commission of the application of Quantitative Methods in History; founded in 1980 within the International Congress of Historical Sciences) is devoted to the promotion of quantitative methods in the historical sciences on an international level. Address: INTERQUANT, c/o GESIS, Unter Sachsenhausen 6-8, D-50667 Cologne, e-mail

H-SOZ-U-KULT (H-Net mailing list for diverse subjects of social and cultural history / Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte; founded in 1996) offers a platform for scholarly discussions, announcements and reports on conferences and research projects, reviews, bibliographical information, special inquiries on historiographical subjects etc. Address: H-Soz-u-Kult, c/o Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany; e-mail.

AFC (Association Française de Cliométrie; founded in 2001) is aimed at re-launching cliometrics in France and abroad, that is to say international research on quantitative history structured by economic theory and using statistical and econometric methods. Address: Claude Diebolt, CNRS, BETA (UMR 7522 du CNRS), Université Louis Pasteur, 61 avenue de la Forêt Noire, 67085 Strasbourg Cedex, France; e-mail.

AGE (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Geschichte und EDV; founded in 1993) is the German branch of the International AHC. Address: Kai Ruffing, Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Universität Marburg, Wilhelm-Röpke-Str. 6C, 35032 Marburg, Germany; e-mail.

AHC (International Association for History and Computing; founded in 1986) exists to encourage and maintain interest in the use of computers in all types of historical studies at all levels, in both teaching and research. Address: Hans Jørgen Marker, Danish Data Archive, Islandsgade 10, 5000 Odense C, Denmark; e-mail.

FQS (Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung – Forum Qualitative Social Research; founded in 1999) is a multilingual online journal for qualitative re¬search. Address: Katja Mruck, FQS; FU Berlin, FB 12, WE 09, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; e-mail.

HISTORICUM.NET is a scholarly electronic network for history and arts (i.a. thematic portals, electronic journals, reviews). Address: Gudrun Gersmann, Universität zu Köln, Historisches Seminar, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, 50923 Cologne, Germany; e-mail.

ZOL (Zeitgeschichte-online, founded in 2004) is a central online-portal and gateway which offers resources related to contemporary history. Address: Jürgen Danyel, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Am Neuen Markt 1, 14467 Potsdam, Germany; e-mail.

PERSPECTIVIA.NET, founded in 2008, is an international platform for humanities studies. It publishes new texts and book reviews originally online; publications by the institutes abroad so far only available in print will also be retro-digitalised and presented in electronic form with a relevant full-text search capability. Michael Kaiser, c/o Stiftung DGIA, Kronprinzenstrasse 24, 53173 Bonn, Germany, e-mail.