Brief Guidelines for Reviews
Ideally, AMJ reviews should:
- Be 2-4 pages in length
- Be focused on 6-8 major points
- Have those points numbered in a rough order of importance
- Have minor points, if covered, placed into a separate section, continuing the numbering from the major points portion.
Sample Reviews Written by the Editors
To illustrate the kinds of reviews our editorial team is looking for, the micro and macro editors have written reviews of hypothetical AMJ submissions (the papers are actually "file-drawered" manuscripts obtained with consent by the editorial team). Although different editors use different styles when writing their reviews, all of the reviews conform to the guidelines described above.
- Click here to read the hypothetical micro submission
- Click here to read reviews written by the micro editors
- Click here to read the hypothetical macro submission
- Click here to read reviews written by the macro editors
Extended Guidelines for Reviews
Please follow these steps when reviewing for AMJ:
- Check Your Account Settings in Manuscript Central:
- Log in to Manuscript Central
- Click Edit Account at the top right corner
- Update your email and mailing address if needed (note that changes made to your Academy profile do not automatically flow into Manuscript Central)
- Update your Keywords (under User ID & Password)
- Contact AMJ's Managing Editor, Michael Malgrande, with any questions
- Familiarize Yourself with the Journal
- Outline the Substance of Your Review
- Theoretical Contribution - Does the manuscript test, create, or extend theory? Does it change or advance knowledge of the concepts, relationships, models, or theories embedded in the relevant literatures? Does it cause scholars to think about some phenomenon in a way that would not be anticipated from extrapolations of existing work?
- Interestingness, Innovativeness, & Novelty - Does the manuscript examine new constructs, phenomena, or relationships, or does it test its predictions in an unconventional, elegant, and unexpected way?
- Empirical Contribution - Do the manuscript's findings add to the existing pool of knowledge in the relevant domains in an important and useful way?
- Methodological Rigor - Was the study well executed? If the study is hypothetical-deductive, do its manipulations or measures possess construct validity, and do its findings possess adequate internal and statistical conclusion validity? If the study is inductive, are its data gathered, coded, and interpreted according to prevailing standards?
- Write Your Review
- Be Constructive - Don't just point out problems, also point out solutions. Reviewers should be like "lifeguards"--trying to save the current manuscript, or at least the next project in the stream of research.
- Be Concise - Try not to cover the same ground in multiple comments; consolidate your coverage of a given theme in a single point.
- Be Polite and Conversational - Be "author friendly" in your tone, and use terms like "you" instead of "the authors."
- Identify Some Strengths - Open your review with what you liked, before focusing the bulk of your review on your criticisms and concerns.
- Don't Be "Two-Faced" - Don't send a different message in your Comments to the Author than you do in your Comments to the Editor, or than you do on the Reviewer Evaluation Form. Doing so puts the action editor in the awkward position of rejecting a paper that--seemingly--has positive reviews.
- Non-English Native Authors - You will sometimes be asked to review submissions from authors whose native language is not English. In those cases, distinguish between the quality of the writing and the quality of the ideas that the writing conveys. Those ideas may be good, even if they are not expressed well.
- Be On Time - AMJ prides itself on cycle time. It is important to return your review on time so that the action editor can guarantee the authors a quick turnaround. Also, average time taken to return reviews is a key factor in making decisions about the editorial review board (as is the percentage of review requests that are accepted rather than declined).
- Submit your review
- Log in to Manuscript Central
- Go to the Reviewer Center
- Click the teal icon under Perform Review
- Rate the manuscript using the Reviewer Evaluation Form
- Register your bottom-line Recommendation
- Explain that recommendation to the editor in the Comments to the Editor (those comments are not shared with the authors). Please do not mention your bottom-line recommendation in the text of your actual review.
- Under Comments to the Author, either paste your review into your browser or upload your review as a Word file.
- Contact AMJ's Managing Editor, Michael Malgrande, with any questions.
- Thank You!
- Contributing reviews is a vital component of academic service, and the peer review process could not function without such contributions.
- Thank you for agreeing to review for AMJ, even if our review request caught you at a busy time. We are very grateful for your service!
- As a small token of appreciation, we list the names of all ad hoc reviewers from a given year in the following year's February issue of AMJ.
Earning an Invitation to the Board
Each incoming Editor picks a new Editorial Review Board (ERB). Those ERB members then serve a three year term, where they are asked to review 8-10 manuscripts per year. The current team's ERB began with 175 members, and members will be added during the three years, as needed. When a new Editor takes over, he or she will pick an entirely new board. Ad hoc reviewers who aspire to board membership, or current ERB members who would like to be on subsequent boards, are encouraged to review the criteria used to make ERB decisions:
- Scholarly Productivity - ERB members have demonstrated an ability to publish in top American and international journals, including AMJ itself. Although their scholarly record varies according to their rank (Assistant, Associate, Full, and international equivalents), current ERB members average 9 top-tier publications (and 3 publications in AMJ).
- Reviewing Quality - ERB members have demonstrated the ability to write good reviews. Action editors grade the quality of reviews on a five-point scale encompassing validity, comprehensiveness, and constructiveness (see below). The current ERB averages 3.69 on this scale.
- 5 - Exceptionally valid, comprehensive, and constructive
- 4 - Above average mix of validity, comprehensiveness, and constructive suggestions
- 3 - Hit most major points, but imbalanced (e.g., valid but incomplete suggestions) or mildly deficient in validity, comprehensiveness, or constructive suggestions)
- 2 - Significantly lacking in validity, comprehensiveness, and constructive suggestions
- 1 - Unacceptable
- Reviewing Conscientiousness - ERB members have performed their reviewing duties conscientiously. In practice, this is assessed in two ways: average time taken to return reviews and the percentage of review requests that are accepted rather than declined. On average, current ERB members return their reviews within 26 days and accept 91% of the review requests that come their way.