Focus and Scope

Culture is too important to be left to specialists. It has moved to centre-stage in societal debates, and become a significant problem for economics, organisations and heritage. Although it is lauded for originality and innovation in aesthetics, it is often given as an excuse for resistance to change in institutions. Politics is riven by polarisation between ‘tribal’ cultures.

Cultural Science Journal is the home of a community of scholars drawn from natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities. We want to understand how cultural systems function, how culture creates the groups that create knowledge, and how that operates at global scale. If you are concerned about the emergence, economics and governance of groups, the negotiation and transmission of identity through meaningful systems, from language and media to trade and technology, the history and dynamics of communities, the development of networked knowledge, or the role of social media in shaping our futures, then you have a place in the rich interdisciplinary ferment of our growing community.

We call it cultural science; you may call it something else. But if you are interested in the intersection of culture, groups, knowledge and how they are sustained, then we hope you will join our conversation. What’s new is our commitment to developing systematic models and methods to trace causation through cultural processes and groups. We also look beyond the academy, to advocacy, activism and policy. We’re a journal of ‘public thought’, open to those working on applications of knowledge as well as on basic research.

Cultural Science Journal investigates culture from a systems perspective, as an adaptive source of groups, knowledge, creativity and innovation. It seeks to integrate the insights gained in the humanities, especially communication, media and cultural studies, with other spheres, especially the evolutionary sciences (including economics and bioscience, as well as anthropology) and complexity sciences (computational systems and networks).

What can each domain learn from the other?

  • What is the role of fiction, imagination, creativity and novelty in economic and life systems?
  • How does cultural conflict result in both the destruction and creation of knowledge? What is the agency of technology and artificial systems in human affairs?

In terms of approaches and method:

  • Which scientific approaches can help us to explain planetary-scale and population-wide cultural processes; and their dynamics under uncertain conditions?
  • How can the methods already in use in specialist corners be synthesised towards a general model?
  • How can such a model improve on individualistic, choice-theoretic and behavioural approaches?

Publication Frequency

The journal is published online as a continuous volume and issue throughout the year. Articles are made available as soon as they are ready to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in getting content  publically available.

Special collections of articles are welcomed and will be published as part of the normal issue, but also within a separate collection page.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Authors of articles published remain the copyright holders and grant third parties the right to use, reproduce, and share the article according to the Creative Commons license agreement.

Authors are encouraged to publish their data in recommended repositories. For a list of generic and subject specific repositories that meet our peer review criteria, see here.

Archiving Policy

The journal’s publisher focuses on making content discoverable and accessible through indexing services. Content is also archived around the world to ensure long-term availability.

This journal is indexed by the following services:

In addition, the journal is available for harvesting via OAI-PMH.

To ensure permanency of all publications, this journal also utilises CLOCKSS, and LOCKSS archiving systems to create permanent archives for the purposes of preservation and restoration.

If the journal is not indexed by your preferred service, please contact us or alternatively by making an indexing request directly with the service.


The journal platform includes in-browser annotation and text highlighting options on full text formats via hypothes.is. Readers will require a hypothes.is account to create annotations, and will have the option to make these publicly available, available to a group, or private.

Advertisement Policy

The journal only displays advertisements that are of relevance to its scope and will be of interest to the readership (e.g. upcoming conferences). All advertising space is provided free of charge and the editor and publisher have the right to decline or withdraw adverts at any point. Adverts will include a text heading to make it clear that they are adverts not related to the journal.

If you wish to propose a potential advert then please contact the editorial team. All advert images will have to be provided to the publisher.



Cultural Science Journal was launched in 2008, as part of the research program of the ARC (Australian Research Council) Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, and John Hartley’s ARC Federation Fellowship. It published 14 issues between 2008 and 2016, before transferring to Ubiquity Press.

Quick links