Case studies

Some examples of how different small and academic-led presses describe their editorial process:

We have a proposal form to gather quite a lot of initial information, and a book stylesheet which is not downloadable because in books we are prepared to work – within limits – with the authors’ preferred style, so each case is somewhat ‘bespoke’. But the basis of our preferred book style is the stylesheet for our journal Environment and History. All monograph proposals (including sample chapters, chapter outlines etc.) are peer-reviewed by two or three qualified scholars but we do not insist on whole-manuscript peer review. For edited volumes, we have the same system at proposal stage, and require that every essay in the finished volume is reviewed by one person who is not a volume editor, as well as the volume editors. This may be a fellow-contributor and it’s a process we trust the editors to carry out, asking that they keep records but not routinely checking up on them. 

Manuscripts are solicited each year between May and July/August. We won’t accept or review any manuscripts sent to us outside those dates (except in some special cases). We have editorial guidelines for authors detailing what they need to do before they submit a final manuscript to us. punctum books has a two-stage peer review process. Manuscripts are first reviewed by the two directors; after this first level of peer review, they are sent to reviewers selected from the Editorial Advisory Board or externally. We follow AAUP’s guidelines for “Best Practices for Peer Review,” but we are open to authors choosing the sort of review process that they feel will best serve the development of their work: double-anonymous, single-anonymous, open and transparent, online and crowd-based, etc. Our preference is for open, transparent peer review, where the reviewer and the author know each other.

Publishing proposals undergo a single-blind review process — the authors are known to the reviewers. Proposals may be reviewed internally, by the Editorial Board and/or by external experts. Manuscripts usually undergo a double-blind peer-review process, although in some cases a single-blind or open review approach has been followed, either at the request of the authors or because of practical reasons. The two expert reviewers are typically one academic based in Africa, and one international expert. All reviewers must be recognized experts in an academic discipline that corresponds with the content of the manuscript, and reviewers must not be affiliated with the same institution as the author(s) or have co-published with any of the authors. Reviews are considered by the Managing Editor in consultation with the relevant expert on the Editorial Board before a decision is taken to accept a proposal or a manuscript for publication. In cases where conflicting reviewer reports are received, a third reviewer is requested to make recommendations.


Revision #2
Created 3 June 2023 23:31:13 by Joe Deville
Updated 10 June 2023 10:51:48 by Joe Deville