About this journal

Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History is a full-text, open access, peer-reviewed ejournal. It is published twice a year and it is dedicated to the study of Jewish history from the 18th century up until today. 

Quest publishes research articles on different aspects of Jewish history, reviews of published works and debates on important contributions to scholarship.

The Journal

The journal was created in Italy, but it aims to provide a platform connecting diverse cultural and academic settings, creating a place of encounter, of serene and rigorous discussion between Italian, European, Israeli and American scholars.  Quest thus wants to be an instrument of research, communication and debate, operating at an international level. For this reason it is entirely published in English and it has opted for the free open access philosophy.

Quest is thus  a journal devoted to historical research and historiographical debate on Jewish life and history in the period comprised between the mid-18th and the beginning of the 21st century. It wants to be inclusive of all Jewish realities as they developed in the modern period at a global level. From a thematic perspective, Quest covers a diverse array of topics: the Jewish enlightenment and emancipation, the old “nation of the Jews” and the new “State of the Jews”, the traditional religious and the new secular identities, Jewish communal life and intra-Jewish solidarity as well as relations between Jews and other religious, ethnic or national communities. Quest is also a forum for research on Zionism and anti-Zionism, the Shoah and its memory, Jewish modernity and modern antisemitism. To sum up, Quest is open to the political, cultural, religious and institutional history of Jewish communities and  societies, and to Jewish means of social, political and cultural expression, to be investigated in their specific contexts.

Launching a journal on the history of the Jews in the modern period does not mean that Quest subscribes to a Jewish reading of modernity, nor that it considers Jewish history to represent a separate historiographical paradigm. On the contrary,  Quest  intends to investigate and contribute to the scholarly debate on the ways in which Jews have contributed to modernity and, vice-versa, the ways Jewish societies and individuals were shaped by it.

The Publisher

Quest is published by the Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea (CDEC), an institute devoted to historical research that was established in Milan in 1955. The Fondazione CDEC focuses its attention on the history  of Italian Jews in the 20th century, Fascist and Nazi persecutions, modern and contemporary anti-Semitism. On these issues it leads, promotes and publishes scholarly research as well as collections of documentary sources.

The history of Italian Jewry features a number of specific traits: two thousand years of uninterrupted presence of the Jews in Rome, the historical layering of “Italian”, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, a continuous confrontation with Christianity first and the Catholic Church later, a rich production of religious art and craft which is today “dispersed” in the most important Jewish museums of the world; strong ties with Jewish groups in the Mediterranean basin and an impressive participation in public life since the second half of the 19th century and through the 20th. Moving from these and other considerations – and keeping in mind the specific nature of the Fondazione CDEC as an institute of historical research –  in 2008 CDEC’s Scientific Board supported the creation of a new historical journal, based in Italy but written in English, as a venue for intellectual discussion in the field Jewish studies.

Submissions, Open Access and Indexing

Submissions are free, with no fees or APCs (Article Processing Charges) to be paid by prospective authors, who retain copyright of their published work (articles, discussions, reviews). All materials are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License; all content published in Quest is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of Open Access.

Quest is indexed in various platforms, including the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (EHRI PLUS), Ebsco’s Index to Jewish Periodicals, Clarivate Analytics’ Emerging Sources Citation Index, RAMBI (The Index of Articles on Jewish Studies), the Electronic Journals Library (EBZ), Catalogo Italiano dei Periodici (ACNP), OAIster, and Scopus. 

The Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR) has classified Quest as a top tier journal (“Fascia A”) in the fields of Early Modern History, Modern History, Religious Studies, Hebrew Literature and Culture, History of International Relations and of Extra-European Societies and Institutions.

Journal Structure and Peer Review Policy

The contents of each issue are organized into various sections. These are called: Focus, Articles, Discussion, and Reviews.

The Focus section is generally dedicated to a specific topic, selected by the journal’s Editors and potentially entrusted to external (guest) editors. All articles submitted for this section must be original, unpublished work; the texts submitted undergo a first evaluation by the Editors, and then are subject to a rigorous double blind peer-review performed by at least two specialists selected by the Editors.

The Research Paths sections, created in 2020, is designed to host research essays, not connected to the main theme covered in the monographic Focus section. All content published here undergoes a first round of internal evaluation and is then submitted to two anonymous, external peer-reviewers.

The third section, Discussion, is meant to provide the reader with an in-depth and multi-faceted analysis of a recently published work that constitutes a significant scholarly achievement. One or more scholars can be called on to offer their view on the work selected by the Editors for the Discussion.

Finally, the Reviews section hosts various book-reviews.
For the style guidelines and for details on how to submit an article or a proposal for a special issue see: Submission

For more information on the peer-review policy and on the duties of Editors, external peer-reviewers, and authors see below the Ethical Code.

Ethical code

Duties of the Editors and policy concerning the determination to publish or to reject an article.

Quest is an open access peer reviewed academic journal dedicated to the history of the Jewish experience, in all its manifestations from the 18th century up until today. After close scrutiny of all materials received, it publishes only texts that fit with the scientific standards shared by the international scholarly community  involved in the field of modern and contemporary Jewish History. 

The journal is published by the Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, and is managed by a board of Editors (based in Italian and foreign academic institutions), with an Editor in Chief who coordinates and guides the group. The Editors are supported in their work by an  Editorial Advisory Board made up of an international panel of scholars. A Book Review Editor and an Editorial Assistant also contribute to the journal’s management.

The Editors of the journal  Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History are responsible for the final decision to publish articles in the journal. The Editors are bound by the provisions of Italian law currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism.  The Editors implement a double blind peer review system, calling for the evaluation of each article by at least two external referees who are recognized as experts in there fields.  

The members of the Editorial Advisory Board contribute to the journal with their expertise; they may be called upon by the Editors to offer their opinion and advice. In particular they may be asked to help in the evaluation of articles; they may also be asked to help in identifying the referees most suited for the review of a specific manuscript. They are encouraged to propose books for review or discussion, or to suggest themes for the monographic “Focus” section.

The Editors guarantee that all intellectual work submitted for publication will be discussed from a strictly scientific point of view, without distinction of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin, citizenship, scientific orientation, political or academic stance of the authors. 

The Editors, the Editorial Advisory Board, as well as possible ‘guest editors’ managing specific issues are required not to disclose any information about the manuscripts under evaluation to any person other than the author(s), reviewers and potential reviewers. The material contained in unpublished manuscripts submitted to the journal cannot be used by the Editors, the Editorial Advisory Board or the external reviewers for their research without the written consent of the author(s). 

If, following publication, the Editors become aware of significant problems concerning a published article, review or discussion (such as grave errors or inaccuracies, conflicts of interest or plagiarism) they shall promptly inform the author(s) and the publisher and take the necessary steps to clarify the matter and, if necessary, withdraw the article or publish a retraction. 

Whilst every effort is made by the publisher and Editors to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make it clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. Accordingly, the publisher and the Editors accept no responsibility for the consequences of any such inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements.

Duties of the external peer reviewers 

The peer reviewers shall assist the Editors in editorial decisions, and through the communications transmitted by the Editors, may help the author(s) to improve his/her article. The invited reviewer who does not feel qualified to review a proposed text within the required time, must notify his decision to the Editors and cease to participate in the review process.  

The manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They should not be shown to others or discussed with anyone not previously authorized by the Editors or the author(s).

The review must be conducted objectively. All critiques must be strictly confined to the scientific debate and may not be offensive. The reviewers shall express their views in a clear form, basing themselves on primary and/or secondary sources. In case they see it necessary, it is their role to suggest corrections to single aspects of the article, or to indicate relevant sources or bibliography that would be relevant for the article under scrutiny.

It is the duty of the peer reviewers to report to the Editors any substantial similarities or any form of open plagiarism they might recognize between the article under examination and other published works. 

The information or ideas obtained through the review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. 

The reviews are to be “double blind”: the author will not know who the reviewers are and these, in turn, will not be revealed the identity of the author. Nonetheless, if a reviewer believes he has identified an author, he must report that immediately to the Editors who will assign the article to another reviewer.  In any case, if the reviewer is in any way in a position that may cause conflict of interest arising from connections with institutions or organization (political, scientific, editorial, archival etc.) which relate to the subject of the manuscript it is their duty to report that to the Editors which will send the article to another expert in the field. 

Duties of the authors 

Authors must ensure that their work is original and not yet published. The authors are required to cite all publications that have had a determining influence on the nature of the proposed work and to give credit explicitly. Authors must submit rigorous scientific papers, based on original information gathered carefully through a systematic scientific investigation. The manuscripts submitted must at all times attest a full knowledge of relevant primary sources and of the relative scientific literature to date.

Inaccurate or fraudulent statements made voluntarily constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Personal attacks or any forms of injurious criticism to other scholars will not be accepted. Authors must not criticize other authors for non-scientific reasons and for reasons concerning religious, political, ethnic, racial, gender or sexual orientation.

Manuscripts submitted to the journal must not have been published as copyrighted material in other publications. The manuscripts under review by Quest should not be submitted at the same time to other journals.

By submitting a manuscript, the author or authors agree that, once accepted, their work will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

The maternity or paternity of a manuscript is limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution or interpretation of the study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. All co-authors should have approved the version submitted and agreed on the submission for publication.  

Authors should indicate clearly in the manuscript if there are any financial conflicts or other types of conflict of interest that may constitute a bias. All sources of financial support for the project should be clearly indicated. Where an author finds significant errors or inaccuracies in the published manuscript, it is his duty to promptly notify the Editors of the journal or publisher and cooperate with them in order to retract or correct the manuscript.

The exposure of any personal information covered by current Italian laws concerning privacy must be omitted unless there is the written consent of the persons involved or of his legal representatives. This applies also to any reference made to single individuals who were interviewed in the course of ethnographic or oral history surveys.  

Conflict of interest 

A conflict of interest may exist when an author (or the institution to which he or she belongs), an external reviewer, one of the Editors or a member of Editorial Advisory Board have financial or personal relationships that could inappropriately influence their behavior. This conflict may exist even if the subject believes in good faith that he is not influenced by such connections. It is up to the Editors to manage such conflicts, attempting in all possible ways to avoid them and – at the same time – operating with the utmost transparency in all cases. As a general rule, to avoid possible conflicts of interest, the policy of Quest will be to avoid book reviews or discussions of publications written or edited by any of the Editors and their close relatives, or published in a series in which any of the Editors have a preeminent role.