Helikon has been issued since 1955 in four volumes a year. Its name was Literary Observer (Irodalmi Figyelő) from 1955 to 1957, World Literature Observer (Világirodalmi Figyelő) from 1958 to 1963 and Helikon World Literature Observer (Helikon Világirodalmi Figyelő) from 1964 to 1991. From 1992 the subtitle of Helikon is Review of Literary Studies, which expresses its true scope of interest.
The journal reports on the international research results of literary studies. Its scope of interest covers literary theory, comparative literary studies, the theoretical, historical and methodological questions of modern world literature, and the border areas of cultural history and literature. It has published thematic numbers since 1963: they are structured around a professional field or a problem taking into consideration the views of the most recent scientific trends as much as possible.
In each number, Helikon publishes the complete list of the topics already presented. The summarizing studies and the review articles dealing with subproblems are written by local and foreign authors. The Hungarian version of a few essential works and studies of literary science can only be read in Helikon. The periodical regularly reports on the international events, congresses and conferences of literary science, documenting the differing viewpoints and methodological debates.
The members of the editorial board are László Varga editor-in-chief, Ilona T. Erdélyi, Györgyi Földes, István Gránicz, Sándor Hites, Judit Karafiáth (books column), Ferenc Odorics, Márton Szentpéteri, József Szili, Zsolt Sőrés (technical editor).