Journal of Historical Science was founded in January 1951 and cosponsored by Henan University and Historical Association of Henan Province. It is one of the oldest history journals founded in mainland China after 1949. As of January 2018, the journal had been 67 years old and is currently the only one monthly issued academic journal in China for the discipline of history.
The development of the journal underwent three stages. The first stage lasts from 1951 to 1956. In this stage the journal was merely a small periodical focusing on publishing history information. The second stage covers the period of 1957-1980. In 1957, the small periodical was changed into its present name Journal of Historical Science. It gradually developed into an academic journal focusing on publishing academic papers in the field of history and at the same time giving considerations to the exchange of history teaching experiences between universities and middle schools. The third stage is from 1980 to the present. Since 1980, the journal has developed into a national and influential historical journal focusing on publishing Chinese and foreign history papers.
At the 16th international history conference, which was held in Stuttgart of the Federal Republic of Germany in August 1985, member of Chinese delegation Mr. Li Kan listed Journal of Historical Science as top 7 historical journals in China when he introduced Chinese historical journals to foreigners. In 1991, American databases Historical Abstracts and American: History and Life begun to publish paper abstracts, table of contents and indexes of Journal of Historical Science; Japanese journal Journal of Oriental Research begun to publish its table of contents as well. In 2011, Journal of Historical Science was selected as the construction journal of Chinese Ministry of Education's "Famous Journal Project"; it was the only historical journal which was awarded this honor. In 2012, the journal acquired the first batch of funds from National Social Science Foundation. In recent years' annual assessments, the journal was rated as one of the excellent journals. In 2015, Journal of Historical Science was among the "Top 100 National Social Science Journals" elected by State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. For all the years, it has always been the top 20 and first-level journal of Henan province.
The running tenets of Journal of Historical Science are as follows: high-level value pursuit which aims at making academic study prosperous; forward-looking strategic vision which targets on cultivating the youth; unbiased topic selection principle which focuses on academic level and efficiency-oriented running guideline whose purpose is to benefit the society.