Editorial Philosophy INGLES
 


1. As the title denotes, De Computis. Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad (Spanish Journal of Accounting History) the journal focuses, since the beginning, on historical events in the field of accounting, broadly defined, and on information gathered through research into the primary sources of each individual case.

2. The definition of "historical events", in a broad sense, also includes approaches, doctrines, techniques, rules, publications, people and organizations, etc., related to accounting.

3. In studying the unfolding of events, approaches, doctrines, techniques, etc., special attention is assigned to identifying and interpreting changes, particularly sudden changes.

4. The presentations and descriptions of historical events must be placed in context, and accompanied by explanations and interpretations indicating the interactions and cause-effect relationships identified among different parts of the whole, to facilitate a true understanding of their substance and significance.

5. However, research that simply presents and sets forth new historical events, and leaves the task of formulating an explanation for later, or for subsequent research, is also considered.

6. This is so, because De Computis. Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad (Spanish Journal of Accounting History) understands that research into historical events found in archives that come from primary sources is fundamental, and does not necessarily represent an antiquarian idea of history guided by a simple desire for erudition and fact collecting. As noted earlier, the discovery and description of events from the past is precisely the foundation of history itself. Thus, serious, scientifically rigorous research that reveals new facts formerly unknown to historians is valuable. Experts in Spanish accounting history are acutely aware of this, given the large volume of historical accounting facts tucked away in archives, the study of which would enormously increase the volume of knowledge and provide greater opportunities for informed conclusions to be drawn.

7. On the other hand, occasionally events may be discovered that are of interest, but simply do not lend themselves to major interpretations, this without taking into account the fact that any description and exposition of events always involves, albeit implicitly, a certain amount of explanation and subjectivity.

8. Work providing new interpretations of known facts is also appreciated, provided that such interpretations help refocusing events and cast them in a new and clearer light.

9. Thus, point 4 should be understood as a statement of principles, in the sense that, only when there is a combination of the three elements: 1. exposition, description and analysis of events; 2. explanation and interpretation of the same; and 3. insertion in the corresponding historical context, along with the study of the interactions and cause-effect relationships, can a piece of historical research be deemed comprehensive and complete. But this does not mean that De Computis. Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad (Spanish Journal of Accounting History) would refuse outright to publish work in which one of the elements is omitted.

10. The best and most valid explanations and interpretations are those formulated ex profeso, i.e. those deducted from the events themselves. We must never forget that historical events are unique, unrepeatable and irreversible. Obviously, this does not mean that the use of existing theories to explain the events that are investigated are not appreciated or encouraged. In fact, a knowledge and application of any existing theories that explain events similar to those researched is considered indispensable.

11. Upon describing and interpreting historical events, and particularly when applying pre-established theories, authors should avoid the all-too-frequent and misguided presentism, i.e., the practice of evaluating and judging past events from a present-day perspective.

12. When applying pre-established theories to explain events, research should not be undertaken with the deliberate preconceived purpose of using history as means to verify theories. It is theories that serve history and not vice versa. Should this occur, in addition to distorting the concept of history, it poses a serious additional risk of bias and lack of objectivity in the research, since the researcher will unconsciously tend to assign greater importance to the events verifying the theories.

13. Neither should research be undertaken for the sole purpose of using a theoretical approach to explain the events researched. At best, this would imply unnecessary self-limitation and do an injustice to the complexity of the historical and real life events being explained.

14. In any event, the reader should be clearly informed of what events the research presents, describes and analyzes, and where the explanations and interpretations start. While absolute objectivity in history is impossible, if research is conducted seriously and rigorously, a reasonable degree of objectivity should be achievable in the exposition of the facts; conversely, the explanation and interpretation of these are clearly subjective. If the reader can distinguish between facts and interpretations, she/he will be in a position to interpret them for herself/himself.

15. Early in the paper the author should clearly specify the purpose of the research, the literature consulted, the contribution he/she believes it makes to what has already been published, and what new lines of research it opens.

16. The research must contain appropriate quotation and reference citations, so that the reader can reconstruct and see for her/himself the process followed by the researcher. For this reason, quotations are extremely important. When an author is quoted to support a fact, an idea or a hypothesis, the first author who contributed this knowledge should be quoted - not just anyone who later used that knowledge. Authors should not be quoted for reasons of friendship, affinity or flattery or to show off one's own knowledge. Remember, the purpose of quotations is to help the reader confirm that the research was done properly.

17. In selecting articles for publication, De Computis. Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad (Spanish Journal of Accounting History) avoids over-attention to the latest trends and the timeliness of subject matter or methodology, since there is no way to know which themes or approaches will be considered important in the future. Its selection criteria will be based on the scientific seriousness and rigor with which the work was conducted.