Aims and scope

Our goals are to provide timely access to original research, to generate new thinking about relationships between society and medicine and to publish experimental, accessible and engaging academic content that pushes the frontiers of academic writing. MAT is committed to open-access publishing as the best means of ensuring that academic debates are inclusive and open to new ideas and that important research reaches a broad international readership across disciplines and publics.  

MAT is grounded in the comparative and ethnographic traditions of medical anthropology but encourages engagement with cutting-edge thinking from other disciplines within the social sciences and humanities. It seeks to bring researchers with diverse theoretical and political positions into conversation with one another and encourages authors to tackle major current debates, challenges and events related to health and medicine.  

As we move towards an open-access future MAT is committed to building structures and ways of working that are accessible, inclusive, fair, ethical, and sustainable. MAT recognises that academic publishing is rooted in historical, gendered, and colonial power relationships. Open-access publishing addresses some of these issues, but also creates new risks, including the possibility for new forms of unfair labour relations, gender hierarchies and the consolidation of knowledge in elite institutions. Our journal ethos statement includes commitments to abolishing internships and volunteer labour for administrative tasks, establishing a fair, supportive and inclusive editorial practice, ensuring robust complaints procedures are in place, distributing credit for journal work, and internationalising the readership, authorship and governance of the journal. 

Journal history

MAT began as a reincarnation of the Dutch journalMedische Antropologie, which was housed at the University of Amsterdam under the direction of Sjaak van der Geest for twenty-eight years, from 1989 to 2012. This journal was a continuation of a simple newsletter that aimed to stimulate communication and discussion among researchers, teachers and health care professionals in Belgium and the Netherlands who took an interest in the social and cultural aspects of ill health and medicine.  

MAT began its journey in 2013 as an international journal that would be widely read and easily accessible to the broader global public engaged in addressing issues at the intersection of health, culture, and society. The journal’s founding values were of accessibility, internationalism, generous collegiality, interdisciplinarity, and quality. Accessibility was at the core of the MAT project and for founding editors Eileen Moyer and Vinh-Kim Nguyen, accessibility was not only about open access: they were committed to ‘deprovincializing’ medical anthropology, supporting scholarship of interest beyond elite universities, and moving the field beyond the at-times hermetic language that had come to haunt academic writing in our field. After six years of fruitful collaboration, the founding editors stepped down as the journal made a transition into in the creative hands of the MAT Collective at the University of Edinburgh. MAT has always been a collective effort with its intellectual community forged through day-to-day interactions in academic centres that have hosted it as well as virtual collaborations among our globally dispersed editorial team.  

The Edinburgh MAT Collective is based at the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology (EdCMA) which is known for its collaborative and creative ethos. The horizontal governance structure of the Collective reflects this ethos as it stands against unethical and exploitative research and publishing practices with the aim of expanding on the original global vision with a commitment to fostering conversations among researchers employed at institutions in the global south, where much medical anthropology and global health research has traditionally been carried out. While maintaining the commitment to open-access publishing, MAT will transform into a fully indexed journal in 2020.

ISSN, indexing, and archiving

The ISSN for Medicine Anthropology Theory is 2405-691X.

The journal is currently indexed by the Anthropological Literature database, hosted by Harvard University, which is included in some EBSCO subscriptions. The editors are in the process of applying to have the journal indexed and/or included by EBSCO, PubMed, and the Directory of Open Access Journals. Each article, think piece, interventions essay, photo essay, and book review is assigned a DOI. This webpage will be updated once each agency approves our request. 

The journal uses PKP Publishing Services for hosting and backup of the journal. This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.

Journal Sponsorship

This open-access journal is supported by: 

DiaDev project (European Research Council Starting Grant No 715450, PI Alice Street),  The University of Edinburgh Journal Hosting Service The School of Social and Political Science (University of Edinburgh), Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology (University of Edinburgh), and Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Universiteit van Amsterdam). 

MAT does not accept any advertising. 

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content, under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. 

Authors are not charged any APCs (Article Processing Charges) or other publication fees for regular content. Contributions may be requested for the publication of special issues (see types of contribution).