Peer Review Commitments
As a member of the Association of University Presses, the Amherst College Press is committed to rigorous peer review on each of the works it publishes. But unlike most presses, we have chosen to make public our peer review guidelines—providing authors and readers with clarity in the case of each work we publish what we’ve reviewed, and how we reviewed it.
Amherst College Press has been in the forefront of efforts to increase the transparency of both standards and practices in peer review on the part of scholarly publishers. This page explains the series of symbols we use on our published works, and the meaning behind each element of the symbols.
Peer Review Icon
This icon indicates that the work you’re reading has been peer reviewed. It’s linked to other elements of the signaling system indicating what object was reviewed, and how that object was reviewed. The system also indicates whether the reviews were carried out sequentially or simultaneously.
This block indicates that the object reviewed was a formal proposal.
This block indicates that a complete manuscript was reviewed.
This block indicates that a dataset, constituting part of the scholarly title, was reviewed independently of other objects.
The identity of the author is not disclosed to the reviewers, and the identity of the reviewers is not disclosed to the author. Publication is contingent on the author responding to the critiques and commentary offered by reviewers to the satisfaction of the editors and the Editorial Board.
Reviewers may be informed of the author’s identity, but the author is not informed of the identity of the reviewers. Publication occurs after the author’s revisions in response to reviewers’ comments satisfy the editors and the Editorial Board.
This icon indicates that some form of open review was used on the object it’s connected to. The work has been made publicly available through some accessible platform, and comment has been invited from a community of scholars. Various platforms (such as CommentPress or hypothes.is) may be utilized for organizing and curating the comment process; and each case may stipulate the terms by which reviewers may contribute to the work (e.g., anonymous, with names, with names and institutional affiliation). The selection of platforms and processes is undertaken on a case-by-case basis, and is shaped by those considerations that will best serve the work. When the Amherst College Press utilizes Open Review processes it will normally employ an additional form of peer review.
In this process (sometimes called “Consultative Review”), the identities of both author and reviewers are disclosed each to the other. The process may result in more substantial exchanges and revisions to the work. Such a review process may eventuate from a process that began as Double- or Single-Blind; in other cases it may be employed for interdisciplinary work in which authors collaborate and review each other’s contributions. Choosing to employ such a review process is always done with the advance approval of the Editorial Board.
Proposal, Fully Closed; Manuscript, Partly Closed
This example of how our system is utilized shows the representation of a work that has gone through two stages of review: A proposal that was subjected to a fully closed (“double-blind”) review, and a resulting manuscript that was subjected to a partly closed (“single-blind”) review. This is a common process for monograph-length, single-author works.