Alex Csiszar studies the history of science in modern Europe. He publishes primarily on the history of communications media and information technology in the sciences. His work asks how formats and genres -- newspapers, journals, books, and databases — have evolved in conjunction with changes in how groups come to know things about the natural world, and in the criteria they use to trust the knowledge claims of others.

His first book, The Scientific Journal: Authorship and the Politicsl of Knowledge in the Nineteenth Century (2018) follows the rise of the modern scientific journal in Western Europe, focusing on the changing relationship between authorship and scientific identity, transformations in systems of judgement, and developing notions of trust and public accountability. It is the first book to attempt to explain how being an investigator of the natural world came, by the early twentieth century, to be identified closely with being a very particular kind of author. He is currently writing a book titled Rank and File: From the Literature Seach to Algorithmic Judgment. See a recent piece on the early history of citation metrics here: "Gaming Metrics Before the Game: Citation and the Bureaucratic Virtuoso."

The Scientific Journal is now available in paperback.


Wired, October 20 2020: "Scientific Journals Are Denouncing Trump. That’s Normal"