Reviewing for the Books Program
Be constructive. Reviews should be professional and courteous. Authors invest a great deal of effort in their proposals, and your comments to them should be helpful and instructive. If you recommend rejection, provide feedback for improvement or for future studies or articles. You might also suggest other publication outlets.
Be scholarly. Substantiate your judgments; don't simply offer opinions. Focus on content, style, reasoning, and audience appropriateness. Is the manuscript original? Does it provide a fresh view or synthesis of existing knowledge? Is it practical and focused on the needs of today's classroom teachers and/or literacy leaders? Does it convey the intended message clearly and concisely? Is the research base adequate? Provide citations when you refer to published sources.
Be a reviewer, not a copy editor. Focus on the big issues. Rather than pointing out every flaw, detail only those that most support your recommendation of revision or rejection. However, if the form is so poor that revision would require starting over, rejection is justifiable. Do not spend time noting errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Editorial staff will handle these details, if the proposal is developed for publication.
Be specific. Comments should inform authors and editors of the rationale for your recommendation. Provide authors with substantive, concrete suggestions about the strengths and weaknesses of their work. Regardless of your recommendation, offer extensive comments so that the editors can fairly adjudicate a manuscript in the event of conflicting reviews.
Be open-minded. You may be asked to review a manuscript that employs a theoretical or methodological orientation or cultural perspective different from your own. Evaluate it on its own terms, but don't hesitate to indicate how it might benefit from your perspective.
Be ethical. Our review standard is "double blind": Neither authors nor reviewers are revealed to one another. If you discern an author's identity, the integrity of the review process may be compromised. Please inform publications staff about any conflict of interest. Manuscripts under review are confidential. Do not discuss, circulate, or quote from manuscripts except in communication with the editors or publications staff. If you are concerned that the material under review has been previously published, alert publications staff.
Be timely. Always complete your evaluation by the date indicated. If you are unable to do so, contact publications staff immediately.
Be wired. High-speed Internet connection, e-mail, and up-to-date browser software are required as manuscript review is conducted online. Be in touch. Please inform publications staff of changes in affiliation or extended absences. Keep your contact information current by updating your reviewer profile in the online system. Contact staff any time with questions or concerns. We value your feedback!