ARLIS/NA Reviews Guidelines
Doug Litts & Terrie Wilson
Materials to be Reviewed
- Publications will be selected from a broad range of art, design, and architecture material, especially those of a reference or professional nature. Materials are not restricted to titles that fall within the traditional "N" classification of the Library of Congress system, but instead may include books concerned with art, architecture, interior architecture, historic preservation, fashion design, landscape architecture, and performance and video art. Materials that are selected for review must first be approved by the review editors.
- Appropriate types of materials include:
- reference materials
- foreign language publications
- exhibition catalogs
- catalogues raisonnés
- regional art publications
- monographs and standard publications
- Publications to be reviewed should fit the following criteria:
- specific interest to art and architecture librarians
- less than two year old or is extensively revised
- not reviewed in most other library literature
- Reviews should be written for the art and architecture librarian to use as a selection aid and for reference self-education. The following should be considered and noted in the review when relevant:
- brief analysis of the item's content
- intended audience or level
- style and quality of writing, design, and production
- type and quality of illustrations or reproductions
- evaluative comments, comparing to other works on the same subject
- scholarly apparatus (e.g., indexes, appendixes, bibliographies)
- physical structure (e.g., durability of binding, signatures, paper quality)
- The Writing Center at UNC provides excellent guidance for writing an effective book review.
- Reviews of monographs, exhibition catalogs, and other standard publications should be a maximum of 450 words, including the bibliographic citation. Reviews should be no shorter than 350 words and the editors strongly recommend that for most reviews, 400-450 words are needed in order to adequately evaluate the title. Reviews of reference titles and dual reviews of two titles should be a maximum of 600 words, including the bibliographic citation. Reviews that exceed the designated length may be edited at the editors’ discretion without notification of the reviewer or may be returned for the reviewer to edit to the necessary length.
- Reviewers who wish to be notified of editorial changes in reviews before publication or who wish to make further changes themselves, must request notification when submitting the review, or contact the editors before deadline. Otherwise, all editorial decisions are at the discretion of the editors.
- All reviews should be signed by the reviewer and include: name, title, library / place of employment, and email. An example follows:
John Jones, Bibliographer, East Asian Collections, Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art,
- The Chicago Manual of Style should be consulted for grammar and style questions.
- Due dates of three to six weeks will be assigned.
- Titles reviewed for ARLIS / NA Reviews may not be reviewed for another publication by the same reviewer.
- Reviews which do not meet standards for content or length will be edited by the review editors or may be returned to the reviewer for revision.
- Reviewers should retain a copy of their review for their records.
- Listed below are additional style guidelines:
- avoid the use of noun strings, jargon, and trendy expressions.
- avoid split infinitives.
- numbers one through ninety-nine are spelled out; thereafter use Arabic numerals.
- gender-neutral phrasing is preferred.
- preferred word forms: online, videodisk, 1980s, catalog, nineteenth century (noun), nineteenth-century (adjective).
- use lower-case forms of ethnic groups designated by color (e.g. blacks, whites).
- all titles of publications should be italicized, not underlined.
- avoid first person voice.
- avoid the use of footnotes and/or endnotes unless absolutely critical to the context of the review.
- An author or publisher may respond to a review within six weeks of publication of the review. Responses should be limited to factual statements and corrections and may run no longer than 200 words. The editors retain the right to refuse publication of all or part of the response in the case of inappropriate statements such as slander and verifiable mistruths.
- Upon receipt of response, the editors will notify the writer of the review who will be given the opportunity of having two weeks to draft a response of no more than 200 words. If the reviewer chooses not to respond, the author or publisher’s response will be posted on the ARLIS/NA Reviews web site. If a reviewer’s response is drafted, the editors retain the right to refuse publication of the reviewer’s response in the case of inappropriate statements, and may choose to publish only the author or publisher’s response. Upon acceptance of both responses the editors will post both the response and the reviewer’s response simultaneously on the ARLIS/NA Reviews web site. No further responses will be solicited or accepted.
Submitting Your Review
- Reviews will be accepted via email (preferred: .doc or txt. attachment) to:
- Start your review with the bibliographic citation.
- Reviews received after the deadline will be considered for inclusion in the ARLIS/NA Reviews at the discretion of the editors.
Revised DAL – 1 July 2015