Advice for the young academic: the politics of review work

When I wrote this, my book manuscript had been under a second round of review for nearly 3 months. It has now been over 6 months and I’m still waiting on my dear readers to finish their reviews. Please, friends, if you agree to to review work, do the work in a timely fashion. Fortunately, I don’t have a career riding on this book, but so many people do have that concern!

Felicia M. Miyakawa, Independent Musicologist

In the past few months, several early-career scholar friends have asked me for advice about reviewing manuscripts. The scenario goes like this: a press contacts a scholar to do an anonymous peer review of a book or collection of essays; said press offers the scholar books or $$ for this review work; said scholar wants to do the best possible job but is new to the review world; said scholar might also be concerned about disciplinary politics, or might feel s/he isn’t enough of an “expert” to offer good feedback. (There’s that old Impostor Syndrome rearing its head…) In case my advice might be helpful to others, I offer a more polished version here.*

1.  Do unto other others as you would have reviewers do unto to you. If the book sucks, it’s really tempting to flame it. But remember that when you submit a book for review, you’ll want to…

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