Aims and Identity
Historical Life Course Studies (HLCS) is the journal of the European Historical Population Samples Network (EHPS-Net). EHPS-Net is funded by the European Research Community (ESF). The journal aims to publish methods and results of studies based on data from historical databases. The organization of the journal will serve the community of scientists (historical demographers, sociologists, historians, economists, etc.) working with large historical databases (from here the ‘Community’) and will report to the Community on a yearly basis.
The organization of Historical Life Course Studies consist of an editorial board, a scientific board, an editor-in-chief (from here the ‘editor’) and one or more associate editors. Both editor and associate editors are full members of the editorial board.
The editorial function of the journal is organized through the Scientific Research Network Historical Demography (FWO Flanders) which is based at KU Leuven. The journal is hosted by the EHPS-Net website which is based at the International Institute of Social History (IISH).
Composition Editorial Board
The editorial board is responsible for the content and the economic basis of the journal. The board consists of, at minimum, seven members and is chosen from the Community. The actual number of members is to be decided by the board. Vacancies on the board are to be filled by way of nomination from the Community. Term of the board is five years and is renewable. The board will elect its own members after a consultation of the Community.
Meetings Editorial Board
The Editorial Board meets at least once a year. The meeting will be prepared by the editor. Members will be invited at least four weeks beforehand. Meetings will preferably be held in combination with EHPS-Net meetings or meetings of large conferences. The agenda will be sent out at least one week before the meeting. The editor-in-chief is responsible for the minutes of the meeting.
Decision Process Editorial Board
All decisions, including the membership of the board, the position of editor and associate editors and the editorial statute, will be taken by the editorial board by a simple majority of votes. In case of an equal division of votes, the editor will make a decision. It is allowed to discuss and decide on all matters in between board meetings (e.g. by way of email) on the condition that all board members agree with this procedure.
Scientific Advisory Board
Members of the scientific advisory board are nominated and appointed by the editorial board and are selected from the Community. Term of the scientific advisory board is five years and is renewable. Members of the scientific advisory board will do peer review and have a right of advice with or without being asked for consultation by the editorial board.
Review and Selection Procedures
All manuscripts are internally reviewed in a scientific manner, i.e. for every paper it is evaluated if the content and the applied methods are sound. Also it is evaluated whether the manuscript adds new knowledge and insights to the broader field of studies working with large historical databases. In practice, a submitted manuscript is evaluated first by the editor or associate editor(s). If this recommendation is positive, a member of the editorial board will be asked to read the manuscript to take it in portfolio and to be responsible for the peer review. At least three persons will be asked to do a peer review. The peer review will be done by way of a standard form in which at least a general judgment is given with the marks A (to be accepted), B (to be accepted after revisions), C (not to be accepted; to be reconsidered only after major revision) and D (rejected).
If the portfolio-holder and all three peer reviewers accept the manuscript, it will be published. If at least two peer reviewers reject the manuscript it will not be published. In other cases the editor will make the final decision. The editors, the editorial board members and the peer reviewers are all asked to formulate recommendations to improve papers. Manuscripts can be handled in a second and third time after revisions on the basis of the recommendations that have been made.
Only manuscripts written in English are eligible for publication. Authors can choose between American or British English as long as one of the two is applied consistently throughout the whole manuscript. Authors are themselves responsible for any language errors with respect to orthography and grammar. The editors recommend non-native English speakers to make use of professional language assistance before submitting a paper.
Website and Open Access Policy
Historical Life Course Studies is an electronic no-fee Open Access journal. All issues are stored in a sustainable way by the repository of the IISH and all articles, data and software are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, reproduction & distribution in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author(s) and source are given credit. No author charges (nor submission, processing or publishing charges) exist, which means that publishing in Historical Life Course Studies is completely free. In this way we explicitly aim to lower barriers for scholars from universities and research institutes from developing countries to gain insight in, and become themselves, active in the broader field of studies working with large historical databases.
In order to enlarge the visibility and citation chances of individual articles, authors are allowed and encouraged to store their articles in Open Access repositories. After publication they are obliged to use the latest version of their manuscript, which contains the lay-out of the journal.
The website of Historical Life Course Studies is equipped with simple statistical tools, which show how often articles have been viewed, as well as, how often articles have been cited. In this way, readers and authors, as well as the editors, are able to evaluate the relative impact of individual articles.
In principle Historical Life Course Studies accepts only original manuscripts. Under certain circumstances it is possible to deviate from this rule under the conditions that copyrights are not violated. It is the duty of the author(s) to inform the editors in case the manuscript has already been published elsewhere.
Content and Presentation
Manuscripts can be divided into standard research articles and articles which are identified under the header ‘data handling’. Research articles are expected to deal with population issues in the past, including population growth, fertility, family planning, marriage, migration, mortality, longevity, family and household configurations, social structure, social mobility and related issues. No geographic boundaries are set, which means that research from and on every part of the world is welcomed. The same is true for historical period. The editors encourage in particular comparative studies on the micro-level with the help of the Intermediate Data Structure (IDS).
Papers which deal with data handling issues range in topics from descriptions of historical databases, to clarifying texts with respect to (new) statistical packages, extraction programs, database management procedures, etcetera. Authors are asked to upload the software they describe in the form of ‘journal contents’ and/or to provide links to relevant data and software.
Volumes and special issues
Every volume consists of both research articles and contributions on data handling. Every year one volume will be released. Once a manuscript is accepted, the article is put online as soon as possible in the current volume. Initiatives in the form of special issues are welcomed. Contributions to special issues go individually through the review process, which means that they are reviewed separately. They will be published as a ‘special issue’ of the current volume with its own page numbering. Special issues will be numbered in case there are more special issues per volume (like Volume X (2022), special issue 2).
Authors are asked not to submit their manuscript simultaneously to any other journal before the internal review procedure is finished. After a negative recommendation, authors are free to offer their manuscripts to other journals. Moreover, authors are asked to carefully read the guidelines for authors before submitting a manuscript to Historical Life Course Studies and to respect those guidelines as much as possible. The manuscript itself should not contain any author-names in order to make sure that the review process is blind.
Koen Matthijs, Editor of Historical Life Course Studies
Paul Puschmann, Associate Editor of Historical Life Course Studies
Kees Mandemakers, Chairman European Historical Population Samples Network
Amsterdam/Leuven, 17 April 2013