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In science some ideas and concepts are accepted by the vast majority of scientists, like evolution. It's true that scientific knowledge evolves over time and things we believe today may not hold true in the future. However, we always strive for a more accurate picture of the world, and so our original ideas are not invalidated; they are improved upon.

I am trying to ascertain certain things about history, and historical events are subject to debate and controversy. My question is whether the history professors, who are experts within a particular scope of human history, agree amongst themselves about what transpired. Is there a consensus?

Furthermore, in what kinds of publications do they present their findings? Scientists publish in research journals; where do historians publish?

Are historical research papers conclusive, or are they debated? Do historians follow a similar review process as the other fields?

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Really more about en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historiography than History per se, and several questions covering a wide range of that field rather than one. –  Pieter Geerkens Dec 22 '13 at 17:57
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I have seen it argued (granted, by someone I would regard as a kook) that Charlemagne and Julius Caesar were actually the same person, and somewhere all timelines got mangled by a thousand years. If even that can be argued, not much can be taken as consensus. –  Pieter Geerkens Dec 22 '13 at 19:34
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@PieterGeerkens, that's about Fomenko's "New Chronology"? It seemed to be a complete nonsense at the 1st glance; then I tried, given Fomenko's reputation in Mathematics, to take it seriously enough though by reviewing the statistical data they claimed. However, I could never get either from publications or from Foment either the raw data or the algorithm they used for analysis. Given the spin around it and refusal of access to data analysis review I've got to conclude that my initial opinion was right: this is just nonsensical sensationalism grounded in nothing. –  Michael Dec 22 '13 at 20:24
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@Michael - A reputation in Mathematics doesn't prevent one from being a complete crank in other areas. Shafarevich is a virulent anti-semite. Chomsky is... well, a cook is the kindest I can say. I won't even get into personal issues between Newton and Leibnitz, if you wish to go that far, and merely note Newton's late-life enthusiasm for alchemy, occult and eschatology :) –  DVK Dec 22 '13 at 20:55
    
@user3389: The answer to your questions is "Yes". –  Lennart Regebro Dec 23 '13 at 15:01

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If you wanted to argue that world war two never happened you wouldn't be taken seriously by any historian.

The idea of evolution in biology is roughly as basic as the idea that kings passed on their kingdom through heritage to their successors.

Historians do have academic journals and any journal wants to publish quality articles.

In any subject you will find that some things get debate and other things get taken for granted by everyone.

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History, as well as some other Social Science, is more subject to social demands and censorship than natural sciences. An article on Caribbean Crisis and Bay of Pigs, published in an academic journal in Cuba would be much different from the one published in USA. Therefore one cannot assume that articles on recent History receive as much unbiased scientific scrutiny as the ones in natural sciences. –  Michael Dec 25 '13 at 4:47
    
@Michael : I think you underrate the magnitude of bad publications in the natural sciences. Just because something is published in a peer reviewed paper in the natural sciences doesn't mean it"s true. Replication rates are poor. –  Christian Dec 26 '13 at 19:25

I am trying to ascertain certain things about history, and historical events are subject to debate and controversy.

"Event" isn't a common term in historiography. The idea that a constellation of behaviours can be summed up in a neat little bundle and assigned a fixed and undisputed meaning is counter-intuitive for both humanities and social science historians. In particular, "events" appear to be readily assigned "meanings," which most historians view even more suspiciously. (Except, of course, as the historical study of public history meanings themselves).

My question is whether the history professors, who are experts within a particular scope of human history, agree amongst themselves about what transpired. Is there a consensus?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Often consensuses are only realised as having previously existed when they are "revised."

Furthermore, in what kinds of publications do they present their findings? Scientists publish in research journals; where do historians publish?

Historians primarily publish research monographs ("books"), scholarly chapters in edited collections ("books" made up of chapters) and journal articles.

Are historical research papers conclusive, or are they debated?

Yes. Yes. You want to go to a "review article" on a topic to discover what debates and consensuses have emerged. Like "science," "historiography" is an ongoing process of the application of a method to a wide variety of potential subjects. It is a process more than an outcome.

Do historians follow a similar review process as the other fields?

Monographs tend to be read as project samples prior to a scholarly press accepting the contract. Book chapters are reviewed or sent to review by book editors prior to publication. Journal articles are reviewed prior to publication. Past findings are regularly (50 year scale is what I'd suggest) reworked and challenged.

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