The Art of the Review - Episode 5 Professionalism & Constructive Criticism

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This is the first of a two-part episode about professionalism in academic book reviewing. In this episode, Robert and Yelena look at H-Net's guidelines for professionalism and speak with H-Net copyeditors Basia Nowak and Charlotte Weber about two reviews that constructively critique the books under review. 


Listeners can take a closer look at H-Net's Guidelines for Reviewing here. The section on professionalism states:

Whether the evaluation of a work is favorable or unfavorable, reviewers should express criticism in courteous, temperate, and constructive terms. Reviewers are responsible for presenting a fair and balanced review and for treating authors with respect. Electronic communication is a hot medium in which intellectual exchange is all too often lost to verbal conflict. As with all items posted to their networks, H-Net editors will be responsible for maintaining a constructive review process and may ask reviewers to reword or rewrite sections of their reviews. H-Net editors have the prerogative to refuse submissions.

We also spoke about The American Historical Review's guidelines for Book Reviewing in the AHR.

The two reviews we discussed in the episode were:

  • David Farber. Review of Kramer, Michael J., The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture. H-1960s, H-Net Reviews. April, 2015.
    • Link on the H-Net Commons.
  • Avery Plaw. Review of Farley, Robert M., Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force. H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews. December, 2014.
    • Link on the H-Net Commons.

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Credits:

The Art of the Review is produced by Robert Cassanello and Yelena Kalinsky, and sponsored by H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online and the University of Central Florida's Center for Humanities & Digital Research.