What's Happening at H-Net?

H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online is an international scholarly society founded in 1993 by Richard Jensen, a history professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. It moved to Michigan State University’s History Department in 1995; in 1997 it elected Mark Kornbluh, an MSU history professor, as its Executive Director, and spawned MATRIX, MSU’s Humanities Technology Center. Its mission is to promote learning, scholarship, and communications in the social sciences and humanities through the use of networked new media. Its core activity began with a series of field-based, edited email discussion groups that expanded into “networks,” each with their own web presence, mission, and intellectual activities. Many of them were and still are associated or sponsored by scholarly societies.

The H-Net Commons

The H-Net Commons, the new web home of H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online, is a robust content management platform that serves as the foundation for what many have called H-Net 2.0. The Commons is now home to 180 free online communities (Networks) edited by 300 volunteer field experts worldwide with approximately 200,000 subscribers, each network overseen by an advisory board of experts. H-Net's public archives date back to 1994, and as is the case with all of H-Net's content, they are freely accessible to the public. At our new facility, H-Net subscribers are able to:

  • post images, audio, video, text
  • exchange discussion messages and receive them via email if they wish
  • view user profiles
  • customize their subscribed network content using a "My HNet" content widget
  • deliver pages via RSS feeds to their mailboxes or feed readers
  • create blogs and customize pages of links and other content
  • create content-based projects (image archives, a series of podcasts, a syllabus commons, etc.)
  • use private planning space for affiliated organizations
  • create content through a common web-based interface
  • search for material across H-Net that has been categorized and tagged by editors and users for easy retrieval, bookmarking, and saving dynamic searches to My HNet.

The H-Net Book Channel


The H-Net Book Channel is a new book announcement service from H-Net. Structured as a network on the H-Net Commons, the Book Channel publishes automatically updating lists of new books in a variety of scholarly categories. A work in progress, we are continually importing new publisher catalogs to help readers stay informed. Visit daily to find new lists of recently published academic titles sorted by discipline.

In Spring 2016, Book Channel will feature editorial content that will add scholarly perspectives to new book announcements. Commissioned essays, contributions from networks, syllabus modules, and other short-form scholarly and teaching-related content will contextualize new directions in academic research and publishing and connect them to larger public conversations.

H-Net Services

In addition to the digital space and technical resources provided at the Commons for scholarly collaboration, H-Net continues to freely offer these vital academic services:

Academic Announcements: an announcements system for academic events, archived, searchable, and distributed via email and web.

H-Net Job Guide: thousands of vacancies each year, distributed free by email and web, the core revenue stream for H-Net:

H-Net Reviews: the largest online professional reviewing archive, with approximately 46,000 free book reviews, offered under Creative Commons licensing, commissioned by professional review editors, written, edited, copyedited, and published in an original online system, cataloged by the Library of Congress, and available on web, email, and in PDF.

H-Net's Newsletter

Weekly H-Net Roundup

Collaborative Projects

H-Podcast is a new network from H-Net all about podcasts, podcasting, and the place of podcasts in the academy. Readers can find new episodes of the H-Net podcast The Art of the Review, as well as other podcasts produced by H-Net networks, partnering producers, and suggested by subscribers across the Commons. 

H-Net Hubs, such as the Gender, Race and Ethnicity, and Digital Humanities hubs, are a new way to browse the H-Net Commons. As our users discuss their areas of specialty on their networks the Commons becomes filled with content, and that content is of interest to many scholars who may not browse networks outside of their fields. Hubs provide a way to find that content. Browsing a hub allows you to find the content that is interesting to you and be linked directly to it, where you can read more or join in the discussion.

H-Net Crossroads Networks allow editors from different networks to collaborate together to create content that spans across multiple disciplines, fields or specializations. The World War I Crossroads network, for example, is a collaboration between editors on the H-Net Commons dedicated to the scholarly study and discussion of World War I and the centennial commemoration of the conflict.

Please help us keep H-Net free and accessible with a tax-exempt donation.

H-Net is classified as a tax-exempt nonprofit charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code, effective February 20, 2004. Your contribution may be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please contact your tax advisor for further information.