Book review guidelines
We are continually interested in expanding on the readership of book reviews as a valued component of our journal. We are looking book reviews that offer our readership with sophisticated engagement and stimulating insights on the most recent publications.
Book reviews must be critical in nature - by this we mean that they need to summarise, locate and critique the argument of the book in reference to the broader field in which the book is located. We do not publish book reviews that simply offer a precis of the book. Reviewers need to consider the contribution the author makes to current and/or historical research within the relevant field; the accessibility of the book for readers of this journal; and the way in which the book makes and supports its contribution to scholarship.
A book review should include:
- A statement that tells the reader what the book is about, its main points and arguments.
- A statement indicating the audience that you would recommend the book to and its contribution to knowledge.
- The book’s strengths and weaknesses? How well does it meet the author’s intentions?
- A critical analysis of the arguments or methods and any factual errors.
- Comments on the author's interpretations and where the book fits into the literature. Does it support or disprove other work?
- A statement summarising your overall assessment of the book.
- A bibliography if applicable.
- If it is an edited collection – provide an overview of the book using examples from different chapters and pick out and review particular chapters of note.
Length and Format
Book reviews must be between 800 and 1000 words, including bibliographic information and reviewer information. Reviews can include references to additional texts, although these should be kept to a minimum.
In exceptional cases the book review editors will allow a higher word count; for instance when reviewers are writing about several books or volumes of the same book. The editors recognise the challenges of writing a review in so few words and appreciate the effort reviewers put in crafting their reviews.
Please submit a completed review in a Word document, along with a short biography and the full publication details of the book reviewed.
Please adjust the text to reflect the following:
- Text should justified
- Your font should be Time New Roman 12pt
- Do not indent paragraphs
- Single space your text and double space between paragraphs
- Use 1 inch margins
- Insert one space (not two) after a full stop
- On Word’s Page Layout tab, under the hyphenation option choose ‘automatic’
Please check other House style tips on title and headings format, abbreviations, punctuation, date and numbers format, and referencing style here.
Submissions need to be made online via this link.
Before submitting your review, you need to create an account and make sure you choose ‘author’ and NOT ‘reviewer’. This is a key choice, otherwise the system will not show the ‘make a submission’ button. Please choose the section ‘Book reviews’ and just write ‘Review of (text details)’ in the box when you are ready for submission. There is NO need for an abstract.
Please make sure you submit your review through the submission link provided above according to the instructions provided.
If you have difficulty with the online submission, please email the book review assistant editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editing and publication
Submitted reviews will be reviewed by the Book review Editor, who will have a copy-edit and proofread of the text to enhance readability and ensure consistency.
You will then be sent feedback and a copy-edited version of your work and be given the time to respond to comments before a final version is agreed.
Minor edits are made to nearly all submitted reviews for stylistic reasons; however, you may be asked to make further edits on a particular argument or provide additional links to supporting information. All substantial changes will be agreed with authors before publication.
Once the review is published, you will be notified and a link to the review will be sent to your contact email.
If things happen and you think you might have to submit later than planned, just email us on (provide an email for that) to let us know. We can suggest a new deadline based on your new circumstances.