Arbor: A Journal on Thought, Science and Culture

Arbor is a journal on thought, science and culture from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spanish National Research Council). Its name comes from the Arbor Scientiae, or tree of science, used by Ramón Llull to represent the various branches of knowledge.

Thought, science and culture, conceived at Arbor as hybrid and interconnected areas, are the three large fields that define its content. Thus, Arbor is a transdisciplinary journal that publishes original research and reviews that help to think about and understand the world in its complexity, in close connection with issues that drive current main controversies. 

Arbor publishes four quarterly issues per year (March, June, September, and December) in open access on the CSIC electronic journal platform. Three of them are Special issues which consist of a series of articles on a particular topic and a varia section in which reviews, and bibliographical notes are presented. The fourth will be a miscellanea. Since 2007, Arbor has been available online, and a print edition was published until 2013. That year Arbor became an electronic journal published in PDF, HTML and XML-JATS. Contents of previous issues are also available in PDF files.

This journal, founded in 1944 and still publishing today, is the Spanish cultural scientific journal with the longest history of uninterrupted publication. Through its long history, Arbor has different roles in the construction of scientific thought and culture in Spain. In its foundational stage (1944-1953), marked by the autarchic discourses of the post-Spanish Civil War period, the journal was more interested in the human sciences than in the experimental sciences. The intellectual trajectories of its editors, together with the then-strongly-established difference between the two cultures – the humanist and the scientific – influenced its editorial line. The second period (1953-1984) coincided with the end of Spain’s international isolation, meaning Spain was kept out of the UN and other international organizations until 1951, caused by Franco’s rapprochement with Hitler and Mussolini. During this period, the journal was stabilized as a project and began to publish a greater number of papers in the experimental sciences, in an attempt to exhibit institutional scientific production. In addition, the journal began to pay attention to hitherto unpublished topics, such as contemporary art, and to publish articles on economics. The third stage (1984-2011), which coincided with the consolidation of democracy in Spain, was a period of renewal for Arbor in which it sought, through multidisciplinary reflection, to make this journal a channel of communication between the scientific community and the rest of society. In 2013, the magazine began a new period by shifting to publishing solely online which has allowed its adaptation to the new forms and technologies of publishing.

Since July 2019, Arbor’s editorial line has been in a process of redefinition. The Journal’s format and target audience were revised, alongside the methods used to evaluate submissions and the language of publication. The journal’s new editorial board is interested in content that asks questions and shows the concerns of today’s society. Thus, the new structure of the journal seeks to establish dialogues between disciplines and to offer different views on the same topic.

In addition, novel features were introduced by this editorial team in order to respond to the new forms of hybrid and interconnected knowledge generation: the sections “Materials”, “Essay-Reviews”, and “Debate”. “Materials” publishes essays on knowledge produced in non-written formats that help to deepen the monographic theme: this is a place to think about audiovisual, sound, and graphic resources. Contributions in this section include links to such resources, taking advantage of the possibilities of the digital format. These possibilities are further considered in the “Essay- Reviews” section, where classic bibliographical reviews can share space with reflections on other objects like exhibitions, films and sound documents. Finally, the “Debate” section opens up a space for discussion around the main controversies raised by the subject matter of the monograph. This space serves to show, not only ways of working in the construction of knowledge but also the discussion as object and subject (actor-actant) that participate in them.

Nowadays, Arbor faces new challenges because the social, economic, and gender inequalities of the past twentieth century have been compounded by the climate crisis, problems in energy transition, and a major global pandemic. Thus, it is even more increasingly necessary to have spaces to learn, educate, and be informed about scientific and technical issues. Arbor aims to offer this space not only to the research community, but also to society in general. The possibilities of the digital format like the use of audio-visual materials and links to the journal knowledge, as well as the choice of current topics of general interest make Arbor closer to the public.

Arbor is indexed in Web of Science: Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) and Current Contents – Arts & Humanities; SCOPUS, CWTS Leiden Ranking (Journal indicators) Core publication, ERIH Plus, REDIB, DOAJ and other national and international databases. It is indexed in Latindex Catalogue 2.0 and has obtained the FECYT (Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology) Seal of Quality.

Journal Citation Indicator (JCI) 2020: 0.87

Rank by JCI: 121/390 (Q2, Humanities, Multidisciplinary) 

Source: Clarivate Analytics©, Journal Citation Reports®




Editor in Chief:

Dr. Ana Romero de Pablos, CSIC


Deputy Director:

Dr. Marta Velasco Martín, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, España


Assistant Secretary:

Dr. María José Albalá, CSIC


Assistant Editors:

Dr. Montserrat Cabré Pairet, Universidad de Cantabria, España

Dr. Santos Casado de Otaola, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, España 

Dr. Francisco José Ferrándiz Martín, CSIC

Dr. Cecilio Garriga Escribano, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, España 

Dr. Marta González García, Universidad de Oviedo, España

Dr. David Rodríguez Arias, Universidad de Granada, España 

Dr. Ana Rodríguez López, CSIC

Dr. Mª del Mar Rubio Varas, Universidad Pública de Navarra, España 

Dr. Marta Velasco Martín, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, España 

Dr. Remedios Zafra Alcaraz, CSIC


Editorial Board:

Dr. Francisco Álvarez, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, España 

Dr. Ana Barahona Echeverría, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Dr. Estrella de Diego Otero, Universidad Complutense de Madrid 

Dr. Pilar García Mouton, CSIC

Dr. Antonio Lafuente García, CSIC 

Dr. Josefa Masegosa Gallego, CSIC

 Dr. Eulalia Pérez Sedeño, CSIC

Dr. Antoni Roca Rosell, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, España 

Dr. Concha Roldán Panadero, CSIC

Dr. María Jesús Santesmases Navarro de Palencia, CSIC