Guidelines for Book Reviewers

The mission of the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies is to further awareness of issues and developments in the work of professional archivists, curators, librarians, and historians, and to serve as a locus for graduate students and professionals in library science, archival science, and public history to contribute original works of research and inquiry for peer review and publication. To that end, JCAS strives to publish book and resource reviews that are critical, balanced evaluations of previously published literature or other resources related to archival and special collections practices and professions.

Eligibility Requirements and How to Volunteer

The Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies (JCAS) seeks book reviewers who are looking to engage with the professional literature. Sponsored by New England Archivists, Yale University Library, and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, this open access journal publishes articles on a rolling basis.

To apply to be a reviewer, please review our submission guidelines and then email the journal at Include [Book Reviews] in the subject line of your email. Submit a brief list describing your area(s) of professional interest or expertise, and we will try to match you with a book to review.

How to Suggest a Book or Resource for Review

If you have suggestions for books or electronic resources that JCAS could review, email the journal at: with the title, author/editor, publisher or institution, and ISBN or URL. Include [Book Reviews] in the subject line of your email.

Timeline for Reviews

Once a reviewer accepts an assignment, completed reviews should be submitted within six weeks of receiving the review copy in the mail.

Review Length

Review essays should be no longer than 5 to 10 pages (approximately 1250-2500 words). Reviews of differing lengths may be considered in consultation with the Book Review Coordinators.

Style Guidelines

The latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style is the authority for capitalization, punctuation, footnotes, quotations, and all matters of bibliographical style for the JCAS. International authors should be particularly aware that JCAS uses American-style punctuation and spellings. All writers should refrain from using contractions, passive language, first or second person viewpoints, incomplete sentences, imprecise terminology, and slang, as well as wordy phrases and excessive quotations. Authors must proofread and copyedit their work prior to submitting.

Citations from the book being reviewed should cite the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Citations to any sources other than the book being reviewed should be formatted in footnotes according to the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

Guidelines for Formatting, Language, Grammar

Refer to the JCAS submission guidelines for instructions on appropriate formatting, language, and grammar.

Editing Procedures

All submissions to JCAS are subject to a double-blind peer review process. Peer reviewers read and evaluate content for accuracy and professional or historical significance, then make recommendations to the Editorial Board.

After the editor receives the peer reviewers’ recommendations, they are forwarded to the author, who will then perform the necessary revisions and submit a new draft within a time frame determined by the editor. The editor then reviews the final draft to determine whether the manuscript is ready for publication, or if it requires further peer review. Once a review is ready for publication, it is forwarded to the copy editor who will review the manuscript to correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors, and to ensure that the text adheres to JCAS's formatting and style guidelines. Once the copy editor’s work is done, the managing editor performs a final review of the manuscript and publishes it.

Copyright Policy

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License, which allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Submission Procedures

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