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Journal News

The European Science Foundation has assigned The Catholic Historical Review an "A" ranking in its initial listing of the scholarly journals in the area of religion, which puts the review in the top 10 to 25 percent of religious studies and theology journals.The "A" designation is given to "high-ranking international publications with a very strong reputation among researchers of the field in different countries, regularly cited all over the world," according to the foundation. In its initial listing of journals in the area of history the foundation has assigned it a "B" ranking. Journals in the "B" category are defined as "standard international publications with a good reputation among researchers of the field in different countries." Few journals dedicated to religious history were given an "A"ranking.These rankings were assigned to the journal because of its international stature based on its cohort of contributors and readership, consistently high-quality scholarly content, and the broad consensus of scholars who affirm the journal's international status and visibility.

Panels of European scholars operating under the foundation's European Reference Index for the Humanities categorized and ranked hundreds of scholarly journals addressing fifteen different disciplines of the humanities.The project "aims initially to identify and gain more visibility for top-quality European humanities research published in academic journals," states the foundation. "[It] will help to identify excellence in humanities scholarship and should prove useful for the aggregate benchmarking of national research systems, for example, in determining the international standing of the research activity carried out in a given field in a particular country."

"The distinction between the categories A, B and C is not primarily qualitative," says the foundation. "Rather, the categorization also factors in issues such as [each journal's] scope and authence." Editors of listed journals can address their journal's ranking with the ESF before the foundation publishes an update of the journal listings in late 2008.

The Catholic Historical Review is one of the journals available electronically through Project MUSE of the Johns Hopkins University Press. Beginning in April, the redesign, reorganization, and reengineering of the Project MUSE Web site will allow a pdf of a full-text article to be displayed. Another feature will eventually allow one to search for other studies by the same author, utilizing the databases of MUSE and CrossRef.

Vatican Library

Monsignor Cesare Pasini, prefect of the Apostolic Vatican Library, has announced a renovated library Web site ( The Web site presents the library's services, history and activities (initiatives, choices, decisions, and events). The library's ongoing renovation involves the manuscript stacks, the Numismatic Department, the restoration and photographic laboratories, and the stacks for periodicals. As a result of the library's temporary closure, the prefect has reported a great increase in the number of orders for reproductions. In conjunction with the library's scheduled reopening in 2010, there will be a conference on the library as a research site and its various services for researchers. A seven-volume history of the library also will be published. The first volume, dealing with the years from Nicholas V to Clement VII, is scheduled for publication in 2010.

New Scholarly Society

EPISCOPUS, the Society for the Study of Episcopal Power and Culture in the Middle Ages, has a new Web site ( that contains a directory of its members, a list of their publications, announcements of conferences, and a selection of texts in translation. The society collects no dues and exists primarily as a network for scholars who work on any aspect of medieval bishops.

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