Article ID: CBB825795650

Turning Journals into Encyclopaedias: Medical Editorship and Reprinting in the Low Countries (1815–1860) (2020)


This paper scrutinizes the attempts of 19th-century Belgian and Dutch physician-editors to convey foreign knowledge in new ways. By analysing their editorial practices and strategies—including the duplication (reprinting in full), reduction, modification, and translation of texts—it shows that the introduction of periodical publishing in medicine involved experimentation not only with the style of professional debate, but also with the format of medical knowledge. My analysis of reprinting reveals how editors, in cooperation with publishers, succeeded in broadening the readership of scientific medical texts by including private practitioners. The model for these publishing experiments was not so much the (polemical) newspaper, as was the case in the natural sciences, but rather the encyclopaedia and the handbook. If science was to interest practicing doctors, medical journals had to present scientific texts in a useful and easily consultable form. The core idea of the “reprint journal” was to continuously assemble and render insightful a growing body of international knowledge. This exercise, however, was fraught with tensions: reprint journals were reproached for not having a sufficiently international selection of articles, but at the same time for not being sufficiently “national.” As the framework of the nation-state gained strength around 1850 and an awareness of authors' rights took a stronger hold, reprinting in medical journals lost its popularity.

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Authors & Contributors
Berkel, Klaas van
Van Helden, Albert
Palm, Lodewijk C.
Vandendriessche, Joris
Manganelli, Giuseppe
Cianfanelli, Simone
Archives of Natural History
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Studium: Tijdschrift voor Wetenschaps- en Universiteitgeschiedenis
History of Science
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
Presses Universitaires du Mirail
Walburg Pers
Publishers and publishing
Periodicals; serials
Transmission of ideas
History of science, as a discipline
Professions and professionalization
Cadé, Petrus
Hippocrates of Cos
Asclepius of Epidaurus
Bruins, Evert Marie
Deventer, Jacob van
Time Periods
19th century
16th century
15th century
17th century
20th century, early
18th century
Bombay Natural History Society
Royal Society of London

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