Editorial Policies

Peer Review Process

The Journal for the History of Knowledge uses a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers remain anonymous in the review process. The review period will take from eight to 12 weeks, although this can vary depending on reviewer availability. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal. Overall editorial responsibility rests with the journal’s editors-in-chief.

Submissions to the journal will go through the following review process:

1. Upon arrival of a manuscript, the editors make a general assessment of its quality and its fit with the scope of the journal.

2. If approved, the manuscript is passed on to one or more advisory editors for recommendations and suggestions of expert referees. Typically, each manuscript will be reviewed by three referees, sometimes including the advisory editor.

3. The referees follow the guidelines below.

4. Based on the reviews, the editors decide on one of the following assessments:

a. Acceptance

b. Acceptance pending minor revisions

c. Advise to revise and resubmit

d. Rejection

Authors will be duly informed about the editors’ decision. In case of b and c, the editors will provide the author with revision suggestions. In case c, the review process will begin again at point 2 after resubmission.

5. Once accepted, the managing editor will prepare a definitive version in cooperation with a native English-language copy editor.

Authors are expected to deliver submissions in idiomatic English and to follow the details of JHoK's style sheet. If this is not (fully) the case, authors will be asked to revise the language and/or style before the article is submitted for copy-editing.

Members of the editorial team/board are permitted to submit their own papers to the journal. In cases where an author is associated with the journal, they will be removed from all editorial tasks for that paper and another member of the team will be assigned responsibility for overseeing peer review. A competing interest must also be declared within the submission and any resulting publication.

Peer Review Process - Special Issues

JHoK publishes one Special Issue per year, proposed and organized by guest editors in response to an open call and dealing with a specific theme. The guest editors bear responsibility for the issue’s contents but it also undergoes peer review (see below). Articles should be of the same length as regular research articles, but the editors’ introduction may be shorter.

Submissions of special issues will go through the following selection and review process:

  1. A Call for Special Issue proposals is issued annually in the late Summer (of year x), with a (typical) deadline in December (of x).
  2. The editors check the proposals for general quality, fit, and feasibility, and, if approved, send them to referees.
  3. On the basis of the referees’ reports, a choice is made in February of the next year (x +1).
  4. The Special Issue manuscript is expected to be completed by August x + 1.
  5. Upon its submission all individual articles go through the normal reviewing process (see this website, Policies menu, Editorial Policies, Peer Review Process).. Authors are given time to respond and work in reviewers’ comments. Individual articles can be rejected for publication.
  6. The completed Special Issue manuscript as a whole is also sent out for review. Suggestions for revisions can be made.
  7. Publication follows in the fall of year x + 2.

Reviewer Guidelines

Reviewers are asked to comment on the following points:

1. Originality: how much does the submission contribute to the current state of scholarship?

2. Analysis: how do you rate the choice of approach, its execution, and the quality of the argumentation?

3. Soundness: how strong is the source-base? How well is the argument embedded in the literature?

4. Structure and clarity: does the text follow a logical and clear composition?

5. Language: authors are required to submit texts in correct, jargon-free, idiomatic English – does this submission meet these criteria?

6. Relevance: how central are the submission’s issues to the problematics of history of knowledge?

Preprint Policy

The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the below:

  • The author retains copyright to the preprint and developed works from it, and is permitted to submit to the journal.
  • The author declares that a preprint is available within the cover letter presented during submission. This must include a link to the location of the preprint.
  • The author acknowledges that having a preprint publicly available means that the journal cannot guarantee the anonymity of the author during the review process, even if they anonymise the submitted files (see review policy).
  • Should the submission be published, the authors are expected to update the information associated with the preprint version to show that a final version has been published in the journal, including the DOI linking directly to the publication.


The journal strongly recommends that all authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers, ensuring that the correct author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not effect the discoverability of an author's past work and aid correspondence with colleagues.

The journal encourages all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data whilst co-authors are recommended to include one. ORCID numbers should be added to the author data upon submission and will be published alongside the submitted paper, should it be accepted.


Open Data

The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data associated with their submission openly available, according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). This should be linked to from a Data Accessibility Statement within the submitted paper, which will be made public upon publication. . If data is not being made available with the journal publication then ideally a statement from the author should be provided within the submission to explain why. Data obtained from other sources must be appropriately credited.

Structured Methods

As the traditional Materials and Methods section often includes insufficient detail for readers to wholly assess the research process, the journal encourages authors to publish detailed descriptions of their structured methods in open, online platforms such as protocols.io. By providing a step-by-step description of the methods used in the study, the chance of reproducibility and usability increases, whilst also allowing authors to build on their own works and gain additional credit and citations.

Open Code

If research includes the use of software code, statistical analysis or algorithms then we also recommend that authors upload the code into Code Ocean, where it will be hosted on an open, cloud-based computational reproducibility platform, providing researchers and developers with an easy way to share, validate and discover code published in academic journals.

For more information on how to incorporate open data, protocols.io or Code Ocean into a submission, please visit our reproducibility page.


All listed authors must qualify as such, as defined in our authorship guidelines, which have been developed from the ICMJE definitions. All authors must have given permission to be listed on the submitted paper.

Competing Interests, Funding and Ethics 

To ensure transparency, all authors, reviewers and editors are required to declare any interests that could compromise, conflict or influence the validity of the publication. Competing interests guidelines can be viewed here.

In addition, authors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript (see Author Guidelines).

Corrections and Retractions

In accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (where applicable), the Press handles different kinds of error. All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact the journal if you believe an article needs correcting.

Post-publication changes to the publication are not permitted unless in exceptional circumstances. If an error is discovered in a published article then the publisher will assess whether a Correction paper or Retraction is required. Visit our Correction Policy page for more information.

Appeals, Complaints & Misconduct

Appeals, complaints, or allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal, or whether the submission in question is pre- or post-publication. If an allegation is made to the journal, it must also be passed on to the publisher, who will follow guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to address the nature of the problem.

Expected behaviour

The journal does not tolerate abusive behaviour or correspondence towards its staff, academic editors, authors, or reviewers. Any person engaged with the journal who resorts to abusive behaviour or correspondence will have their contribution immediately withdrawn and future engagement with the journal will be at the discretion of the editor and/or publisher.