Journal of Contemporary History

Journal of Contemporary History  
Abbreviated title (ISO 4)
J. Contemp. Hist.
Discipline History
Language English
Edited by Stanley G. Payne, Richard J. Evans
Publication details
Publication history
Frequency Quarterly
ISSN 0022-0094 (print)
1461-7250 (web)
OCLC no. 1783199
JSTOR 00220094

The Journal of Contemporary History is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal covering the study of history in all parts of the world since the end of the First World War. It was established in 1966 by Walter Laqueur and George L. Mosse and is now published quarterly by Sage Publications and edited by Richard J. Evans (University of Cambridge) and Stanley Payne (University of Wisconsin–Madison).

Content and scope

The journal publishes scholarly articles, review articles and book reviews, covering a broad range of historical approaches including social, economic, political, diplomatic, intellectual and cultural, on every country and region of the world within living memory, from 1918 to the present day.

Each issue is approximately 216 pages and comprises 8 or 9 research articles, 1 or 2 review articles and up to 40 book reviews. The Journal normally publishes at least 1 special issue per volume, either arising from a supported conference or from an externally submitted proposal. Each volume runs through one calendar year. Issues are published in January, April, July and October.

Since 2008 JCH has included reviews of individual books, in addition to review articles covering a range of books within the compass of a single critical essay. Kristina Spohr, of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Jim Bjork, of King's College London are Joint Review Editors.


The Journal was founded in 1966 by Walter Laqueur and George L. Mosse. The Journal's editorial office (until 2005) was at the Institute of Contemporary History and Wiener Library, Devonshire Street, London, at which Laqueur was Director from 1965 to 1994. Originally published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson it was purchased by Sage Publications in 1972 and continues to be published by SAGE.

Abstracting and indexing

The Journal of Contemporary History is abstracted and indexed in Scopus and the Social Sciences Citation Index.

Reception and influence

The journal has a high reputation internationally. International Herald Tribune columnist William Pfaff has described it as "an excellent international publication".[1] The Times Literary Supplement has described it as "one of the outstanding learned journals of history in the English-speaking world."

According to the Journal Citation Reports, its 2012 impact factor is 0.296 (5-year impact factor 0.406), ranking it 28 out of 69 journals in the category "History".[2]

Conference grants

The Journal funds conferences in any field of contemporary history as defined in the Journal of Contemporary History, that is, history within the memory of some persons now living. Other than this, there is no restriction of field, area or period. Up to £4000 is awarded to fund each conference. Normally only one conference is funded each year. The papers are normally published in a special issue of the journal, unless rejected by the editors.


The Journal of Contemporary History has since 2006 awarded two annual prizes in honour of its founding co-editors George L. Mosse and Walter Laqueur. The author of the best article published in the Journal is awarded the Walter Laqueur Prize of US$2,500.[3] The George L. Mosse Prize is awarded to the best article by a previously unpublished author, and is US$2,000.[4] The winner of the first George L. Mosse Prize in 2006 was the British historian of Nazi Germany Alex J. Kay, who won for his article Germany’s Staatssekretäre, Mass Starvation and the Meeting of 2 May 1941.[5]


  1. Pfaff, William (16 April 1998). "Violent Talk From Leaders, Violent Acts in Schoolyards". International Herald Tribune.
  2. "Journals Ranked by Impact: History". 2010 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Social Sciences ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2011.
  3. The prize winners are listed here.
  4. The prize winners are listed here.
  5. Journal of Contemporary History. Vol. 42, 2007, No. 3, p. 420. The prize winners are listed here.

External links

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