THE REVIEW PROCESS
Because we aspire to render an editorial decision on every manuscript within 16 weeks of receipt, we ask that reviewers complete and return their reviews within six weeks of receiving a manuscript from us, unless a special arrangement has been made.
The peer review process is anonymous to allow reviewers to give their candid assessments without fear of reprisal. This should not, however, be seen as an excuse to be rude or cruel in one's evaluation. We expect Sociology of Religion reviewers to apply the highest professional standards, not only in their evaluation of manuscripts but also in how they convey their evaluation to the editors and authors.
Please scroll down to see more "Advice to Reviewers."
The forms that Sociology of Religion reviewers are asked to complete are available here for download.
BE A REVIEWER
Sociology of Religion is constantly trying to expand its pool of capable and conscientious book and article reviewers. If you would like to be a part of the review process, please send the editorial and/or book review office a letter or e-mail with the following information:
- Your complete name, mailing address, phone and fax numbers, and electronic mail address.
- Your institutional affiliation and title
- A list of the areas in which you can review books and/or manuscripts
- A curriculum vitae/resume or a list of recent publications
ADVICE TO REVIEWERS
1. Be prompt in completing your review. If you cannot be prompt, do not agree to do a review.
2. Be constructive in your comments for the authors. In addition to pointing out problems, please offer the authors some advice on how to fix the problems, even if the authors are not going to be given the opportunity to revise and resubmit.
3. Related to #2, do not simply ask an author to write the paper you would have written. Try to keep in mind the authors' purpose in writing the paper. Don't ignore problems, of course, but seeing the paper from the authors' perspective may help you understand the work better and give more constructive criticism.
4. Be courteous in tone. If you are in a bad mood when you write your review, hold it for a day, wait until the anger and disgust subside, then edit your review for tone.
5. But do not be too nice! Before recommending an "R&R" to the editor, please consider the likelihood of a successful revision. It is fairer to authors and a better use of the journal's resources to make a definitive judgement on the first review, rather than to invite a revision when a successful revision is unlikely.
6. Never indicate your final judgement on a paper (accept, reject, revise) in the comments to the authors. It is the responsibility of the editor to take into consideration all of the reviewers and the editor's own reading of the paper in making that editorial decision. Having one reviewer indicate her judgement can cause considerable and unnecessary grief for the authors and/or editor.
7. Keep your eyes open for "diamonds in the rough." From time to time we may find a paper that, in its current form, is a complete mess, but which has a great deal of upside potential.
FURTHER READING ON REVIEWING
Stephen Chilton, "The Good Reviewer," Academe (November-December 1999).
Several chapters in the book Rhythms of Academic Life (Sage, 1996) are worth looking at:
Elaine Romanelli, "Becoming a Reviewer: Lessons Somewhat Painfully Learned" (ch. 26)
Huseyin Leblebici, "The Act of Reviewing and Being a Reviewer" (ch. 27)
Alan D. Meyer, "Balls, Strikes, and Collisions on the Base Path: Ruminations of a Veteran Reviewer" (ch. 28)
If you know of other good articles/essays on reviewing, please send us the citiation.