Academic committee

Illustration Academic Committee

The Hypotheses Scientific Board and its foreign language counterparts work with the OpenEdition team to determine the platform’s scientific approach and strategy. The Board also helps review applications for new blogs.

Hypotheses as seen by the Scientific Board

A brief overview of the Hypotheses Scientific Board

The Hypotheses Scientific Board acts as platform “gate openers”. Our goal is to promote, encourage, and foster the publication of research blogs. The Board is currently composed of fourteen Humanities and Social Sciences academics who work in collaboration with the OpenEdition team.

The Board helps the team maintain the connection between blogging and research. While we prefer bloggers to have an affiliation with academia, we also encourage authors to experiment through their writing, as well as stating and expressing their perspectives and viewpoints and moving outside the boundaries of conventional forms of academic writing.

We remain mindful of research ethics as well as publication and communication ethics on the Hypotheses platform.


Blogs allow for unique and varied formats: feel free to experiment with hyperlinks1 and multimedia by including images, videos, and audio files in your posts. The ability to combine different semiotic codes – text, images, video, sound – is only one of a range of assets of native digital publishing.

A blog is also a space for authors to showcase their research in a way that portrays ownership, by documenting their thought process, their uncertainties and questions, and the inductive exploration characteristic of any research process. In this way, science blogs act as an online “home”2 for research and reading them becomes a gateway to truly experiencing it.

Research blogs are also the ideal way to break down barriers between modes of discourse: blog posts, while not articles exactly since unweighted by footnotes and long bibliographies, nor opinion pieces, their scientific nature excluding by definition their peremptory value judgements and polemical attacks, and not simple links to a resource either, still share traits with all three.

Foremost, research blogs are a place for “approachable science,” as coined by André Gunthert, referring thus to science that is readable, educational, shareable, and accessible to general audiences.

If you have any issues apprehending our blogging program, the OpenEdition team is here to help you overcome these through the resources we have developed which are made available to you for free.

Content we enjoy exploring through your blogs

Research blog writing is characterized by its wealth of matter and breadth of scope, however here are some topics that we would love to investigate further:

  • documented and digital3 posts, testimony to current thought processes;
  • uncommon sources: unpublished manuscripts in context, survey results, etc. (see example here);
  • illustrations and personal experiences of research life;
  • reports (with or without commentary and with varying degrees of subjectivity) on conference sessions, workshops, symposia, exhibitions, publications, etc. (see examples here and here);
  • field work reports and methodological issue proceedings (see example here);
  • reviews of research tools, teaching strategies, and publication practices (see example here);
  • latest news from academia and information on research policy (see examples here and here);
  • expert commentary on current (political, literary, scientific, etc.) events by field specialists (see examples here and here);
  • discussions of current events, giving your relevant perspective as a researcher;
  • reviews of books and studies other than just announcements of publications (see example here).

The blog as a workspace

Blogs are not just where research is published they can be a tool through which its development can be followed.

Some of our bloggers use their posts to begin to elaborate their though into traditional publications, or into digital and hardcopy journals and books.

Here are some examples of blogs that have become publications:

  • Homosexus, published by Anne Verjus from 2008 to 2010, became a book titled Le bon mari. Une histoire politique des hommes et des femmes à l’époque révolutionnaire [Good husbands. A political history of men and women during the Revolution] (Fayard, 2010)
  • Les aspects concrets de la thèse [Concrete aspects of PhD dissertation writing], published from 2008 to 2015 by a team of EHESS doctoral students as a way to document a seminar series on the concrete aspects of PhD dissertation writing, was turned into a collaborative book titled Devenir chercheur. Écrire une thèse en sciences sociales (Éditions de l’EHESS, 2013) edited by M. Hunsmann and S. Kapp
  • Technologies discursives [Discursive technology], launched in 2012 and still run by Marie-Anne Paveau, became L’analyse du discours numérique. Dictionnaire des formes et des pratiques [An analysis of digital discourse. A dictionary of forms and customs] (Hermann, 2017)

The blog as exchange forum

Taking into account your readers when writing your blog posts, can in turn open up the conversation. Research blog posts belong to the Internet 2.0, a place which allows researchers to converse with colleagues in their field and in others and with the general public. However the potential for conversation via the comments section becomes greater when you write for possible readers and when you share your writing with those around you (for instance, through email and social media). Blogs are first and foremost a place to share your writing, as evidenced by the concepts of “silent conversations” and reader loyalty in your visitor statistics. They can also be a source of surprises, attracting unexpected readers, as in the charming story of Meredith, an unexpected reader who became a researcher herself thanks to open online publications.

There are many examples of blogs that have successfully sparked animated discussion among readers, such as Espaces réflexifs, which published 125 posts in 2012 and generated 305 comments, or Sur un son rap where Karim Hammou, who created a dynamic map of Paris dance spots in the 1970s and 1980s, inspired readers to submit additional information. The readers eventually turned the comments section into a veritable discussion forum on their accounts and memories as dancers, DJs, and more.

The Hypotheses Scientific Board members

  1. See Alexandra Saemmer’s typology and the work of M.-A. Paveau.
  2. See this article by Elsa Poupadin and Mélodie Faury as well as this post.
  3. “A digital text is one that is written originally online whether on a website, a blog, social media, or in any digital space that hosts written publications.” – M.-A. Paveau.

Meet the members of the Hypotheses Scientific Board and its foreign language counterparts :

Feature image : © melita –

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