About

The European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS) was created and developed by European researchers under the coordination of the Standing Committee for the Humanities (SCH) of the European Science Foundation (ESF). The ERIH lists, which initially covered only humanities disciplines, were first published by ESF in 2008, while revised lists were made available in 2011-2012. In 2014, responsibility for the maintenance and operation of ERIH was transferred to the NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data. The reference index at NSD is called ERIH PLUS in order to indicate that it has been extended to include the social sciences.

The lists published by the ESF SCH in 2011-2012 form the basis for the ERIH PLUS list. As the approval procedures of the ERIH PLUS database are different from ESF procedures (i.e. no peer review by expert panels is currently foreseen), ERIH PLUS does not feature ERIH categories but the database includes all other information accessible via the ESF website.

From 9 July 2014, ERIH PLUS will be open for submissions for inclusion of new journals. To be included in ERIH PLUS, scientific journals in the humanities and social sciences must meet the benchmark standards described here. These standards have been developed jointly by NSD and ESF and are based on the main principles used by the ESF SCH in ERIH and the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers.

Background

The SCH launched the European Reference Index for the Humanities at the request of its Member Organisations in 2002. The main aim of ERIH has been from its very beginnings to enhance global visibility of high quality research in the humanities published in academic journals in various European languages all over Europe. The index enables researchers to better understand and promote the national and international importance of their research.

In 2008 the SCH published the so-called ERIH ‘Initial Lists’, and in 2011-2012 the ‘Revised Lists’. The approval of journals to ERIH was based on a peer review process conducted by expert panels in 14 humanities disciplines. 140 researchers from 28 countries participated on a voluntary basis in the work of the ERIH panels in the two rounds.

All journals included in ERIH have to meet the threshold standards for scholarly journals defined by SCH (information on ERIH aims and quality criteria is available as a PDF file here).

ERIH was a timely project which contributed substantially to debates on the impact and appropriate evaluation mechanisms for humanities research within Europe as well as globally. The project has triggered lively debates among humanities researchers and funders. In view of those debates, in 2010 the ESF, upon request by its Member Organisations, commissioned a report to analyse the current status and outline the future options for ERIH. The main recommendation of the report was to develop ERIH as a research infrastructure for the humanities and to orient it towards a bibliographic approach (the report of the Working Group is available as a PDF file here). If you are interested in in historical information, please contact erihplus@nsd.no.

Collaboration with NSD in further development of ERIH is a major step in the implementation of these recommendations. NSD, as an organisation providing data and data services to the research sector, offers professional expertise in providing access to day-to-day online service and enabling continuous submissions of new journals to ERIH PLUS.

On false claims about being indexed in ERIH PLUS

ERIH PLUS is an open index where journals can be searched for by all interested parties.

Some journal web sites claim to be indexed in ERIH PLUS without this being the case. For example the journals’ web site might list the ERIH PLUS logo along with logos from other indexing services. We will advise the research community to always check whether a journal is indexed with us, rather than to trust a web sites’ claim to be indexed. We can only vouch for journals that can be found in our index.

Please be aware that journals carrying the ERIH PLUS logo, without actually being indexed, are in risk of being disqualified for future inclusion in ERIH PLUS.

If you spot a journal that is carrying the ERIH PLUS logo without being indexed in ERIH PLUS, please let us know at: erihplus@nsd.no

Further information