Worksheet for Providing a Review of a Peer-Reviewed Journal
Use this form
to provide a review of a peer-reviewed journal
for Prof. Wendy Laura Belcher's free website,
*Reviews of Peer-Reviewed Journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences* at
The purpose of this website: "We give you the scuttlebutt on academic journals—aiding you in selecting the right journal for publication—in reviews that are sometimes snarky, sometimes lengthy, always helpful."
1. To get a sense for the genre, go to the website and read the reviews for Camera Obscura, boundary 2, and Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
2. Identify a journal you would like to review. Make sure that a review of it does not already appear on the website. If the review there is extremely short, you can go ahead and review it again.
3. Either online, or by looking at print issues, gain access to the last five years of issues. All reviews must be produced by deeply reading the journal and getting a sense for broad trends, specific arguments, and forms of structure.
4. Read the table of contents for the last five years. You can identify trends from reading nothing but the titles, such as a journal turning from one general interest to another (e.g., from ecocriticism to minor language literature). Write down what you see.
5. Read abstracts for all the articles over the past five years (or, if there are many, at least thirty) and modify or expand your list of trends accordingly.
6. Read at least fifteen introductions. How do they work? How long are they? What do they start with? Where does the argument appear and do the arguments have any commonalities? How many citations does each have? Are certain theorists consistently named? What are their claims for significance and where do they appear? What methods are used?
7. Skim ten other articles that interest you. How long are they? How are they structured? How many citations do they have? What kind of structure does they have? How do they present evidence?
8. Pick three to five articles and read them carefully. Do they confirm what you have already noticed? Review the questions above.
9. Pick one article you really like and outline it so that you understand how it is structured at a deep level.
10. Read what the journal says about itself on the website, especially its submission guidelines and any editor's articles about the journal itself. Collect the information needed below about methods of submission, page lengths, etc.
11. Use this form to write up your findings. Only those reviews that are careful, thorough, and thoughtful will be posted on the website.
Your Name (which will not appear with the review, as all are anonymous to protect the reviewers and ensure honest reviews)
If Writing This for a Course, at What Institution and What Is the Instructor's Name?
Name of the Journal You Are Reviewing
The following information should be collected at the journal's website:
What Is the Journal's Author Guidelines or Submission Guidelines Web Address?
How Many Issues Does the Journal Publish Each Year?
One issue per year
What Is the Journal's Current Volume Number and Year (e.g., Vol. 33 2019)?
Is the Journal Peer-Reviewed?
I can't tell
Journal website says that it is peer reviewed
Journal website says that it uses double-blind or anonymous peer review
Journal website says that it uses single-blind or anonymous peer review (reviewers know the authors)
Journal website says that articles are reviewed entirely by the editorial board
Journal website says that all submitted articles be anonymized (therefore, it is peer reviewed)
Does the Journal State Any Word Limits for Articles?
1,000 words or less
3,000 words or less
5,000 words or less
6,000 words or less
7,000 words or less
8,000 words or less
9,000 words or less
10,000 words or less
Does the Journal State Any Page Limits for Articles?
10 double-spaced manuscript pages or less
15 double-spaced manuscript pages or less
20 double-spaced manuscript pages or less
25 double-spaced manuscript pages or less
30 double-spaced manuscript pages or less
35 double-spaced manuscript pages or less
40 double-spaced manuscript pages or less
What Citation or Documentation Style Does the Journal Use?
APA (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association) style
Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed author-date style
Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed note and bib style
MLA (Modern Language Association of America) style
AMA (American Medical Association Manual) Style
Vancouver (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) style
Does the Journal Require Abstracts and, If So, Does It Require They Be a Certain Word Length?
No abstract required
Abstract required, but no guidelines on length
Yes, 50 words or less
Yes, 75 words or less
Yes, 100 words or less
Yes, 125 words or less
Yes, 150 words or less
Yes, 200 words or less
Who Publishes the Journal?
Taylor and Francis
Oxford University Press
Cambridge University Press
Duke University Press
By What Method Should Articles Be Submitted to the Journal?
At a website
What Is the Journal's Scope?
Disciplinary journal (for an entire discipline, such as political science, with articles from dozens of fields)
Field journal (for a field, such as conflict resolution, within a discipline)
Interdisciplinary journal (for two or more disciplines, such as literature and medicine)
What Is the Journal's Discipline and Field (check all that apply)?
Social Sciences journal
Discipline: Art History
Discipline: Political Science
African American Studies
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Discipline: Library Science
Does the Journal Require You to be a Registered Member of Their Association to Submit to or Publish in It?
Yes, you must be a member to submit an article there and also to publish there
Yes, you must be a member to publish an article in the journal
No, it does not require membership in its association.
No, because it is not published by an association
Does the Journal Require that You Pay a Fee to Submit to It or Publish in It?
Yes, it requires a fee to publish in its pages.
Yes, it requires a fee to submit to it.
No, it requires no fees.
Does the Journal Offer Prizes for the Best Graduate Student Articles Published in Its Pages?
I don't know
Is the Journal Open Access?
Is the Journal Online?
The journal appears only in print
The journal appears only online
The journal appears both online and in print
Who Is (Are) the Main Editor(s) of the Journal (not the editorial board)?
What is the Journal's JCR Impact Factor (if it has one)?
.5 or under
.5 to 1
What Is the Journal's SJR (SCImago Journal Rank)(if it has one)?
What Is the Journal's GSM (Google Scholar Metrics)(if it has one)?
Does the Journal Have Any Upcoming Special Issues? What Are the Topics?
What Is the Journal Acceptance Rate? (This is often very tough to find, so it not essential)
Unknown by me
95 percent or higher
90 percent or higher
85 percent or higher
80 percent or higher
75 percent or higher
70 percent or higher
65 percent or higher
60 percent or higher
Is There Any Other Information that the Journal Provides or Asks for?
The following information can only be collected by carefully studying the articles in the journal.
How Many Research Articles Does the Journal Publish Each Year (do not count book reviews or editors' columns)?
6 or less
7 to 12
How Many Citations Do Research Articles in the Journal Tend to Have?
10 or less
15 or less
20 or less
30 or less
40 or less
50 or less
Do the Research Articles in the Journal Have Notes?
Yes, articles have footnotes.
Yes, articles have endnotes
No, the articles have no notes.
If the Research Articles Have Notes, about How Many Do They Have?
10 or less
20 or less
30 or less
Do Articles in the Journal Have Subheadings?
What Is the Actual Average Word Count of Articles in the Journal (i.e, average of articles in one or two recent issues)?
What Content Trends Do You Notice in the Research Articles Published in the Journal in the Past Five Years (e.g., switch in focus)?
What Did You Notice about the Introductions to the Journal's Research Articles (e.g., how long are they)?
What Did You Notice about the Arguments of the Journal's Research Articles (e.g., how early did the arguments appear)?
What Did You Notice about the Claims to Significance of the Journal's Research Articles?
What Did You Notice about the Methods of the Journal's Research Articles (e.g., mostly quantitative or theoretical)?
What Articles in the Journal Particularly Shaped This Review? (name three or more)
Who Are the Authors of Articles in the Journal?
Mostly full professors
Mostly junior faculty
Mostly graduate students
A mix of faculty and students
Only answer the following questions if you have submitted an article to the journal.
If You Yourself Have Submitted an Article to the Journal, What Was the Time to Publication? (i.e., the time between you receiving a decision and the article coming out in print)
1 month or less
3 months or less
6 months or less
9 months or less
1 year or less
1.5 years or less
2 years or less
If You Yourself Have Submitted an Article to the Journal, What Was the Turn Around Time? (i.e., the time between submission and decision)
3 weeks or less
1 month or less
2 months or less
3 months or less
4 to 6 months
6 to 9 months
10 to 12 months
One sentence review of the journal (which must start "For those interested in publishing articles that...")
Longer review of the journal (200 to 800 words; put all material directly from the publisher’s website in quotation marks; you can repeat from answers above if you want)
Is There Any Other Information that You Have about the Journal?
Comments or Questions for Prof. Belcher? (These will not be posted online at the review site).
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