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Instructions for SWR Reviewers

Let us start by expressing our gratitude to you for agreeing to review a proposal or manuscript for the Studies in Writing & Rhetoric series. Reviews and reviewers like you are a vital part of SWR’s mission to support “a broad range of projects that accurately represent the diverse identities of teachers, learners, administrators, and researchers involved in writing, rhetoric, and literate activity, addressing the cultural, social, political, and material realities that define their work.”

This page aims to provide guidance and resources such that the editorial and reviewing practices of the series not only help us identify works that maintain the quality and integrity of the series but also support the series’ commitment to identifying, resisting, and intervening in the “inequities and forces of oppression that shape the teaching of writing, rhetoric and literacy.” The CCCC Statement on Editorial Ethics, the “Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices: A Heuristic for Editors, Reviewers, and Authors” (2021), and the article “Reviewer as Activist: Understanding Academic Review through Conocimiento” each forward a more justice-oriented approach to reviewing, and we encourage you to consult them at any point during the reviewing process.

We would like to flag a few key points from these documents. In our editorial work involving reviewers and editors, we are committed to ethically supporting authors in the review process. This means educating ourselves about the harms that can be caused through scholarly review practices (here, we might point to many of the scenarios and examples offered in the “Anti-Racist Scholarly Reviewing Practices” heuristic) and taking care to avoid perpetuating those harms in the course of our reviewing and responding to authors’ proposals and manuscripts.

Below are the questions we ask that you center in your reviewer response to proposals and/or manuscripts. You may respond to these questions one by one or compose a 1-2-page letter that engages these questions holistically. In your letter, without de-anonymizing yourself, we encourage you to help authors understand what kind of reader you are; this helps us and authors understand how to situate your feedback and engage it. Please use gender-neutral terms when referring to author(s), and craft your letter and comments to the author(s) in a way that supports them in realizing their goals for the project even if you are not encouraging SWR to move forward with it.

● What do you see as the major contribution of this proposal/project?
● What audiences do you see as centered in the project? In what ways does the project respond to or engage these audiences?
● How does the project (propose to) extend, intervene in, relate to, or expand on current conversations specific to the field? In other words, how does this research explore the teaching, learning, and practice of writing, rhetoric, and literacy in new and important ways?
● Is the material structurally coherent; that is, does it flow in a way that makes sense to you as a reader?
● Are there areas you would expand, condense, add, or delete altogether? Why or why not?
● Are the methods used clear, well-documented, and ethical?
● Are the data collection and analysis sound?
● Are the analysis and/or results presented in an accessible way supported by the data and/or analysis?
● How do you understand the author’s citational practice? Does the citational practice of the proposal/manuscript reflect an awareness of the place of citation within a larger set of sustained habits and assumptions around labor erasure, canon formation, and cultural impact?
● If you know of existing or forthcoming titles in the area this book covers, please make comparisons to this work.

A crucial element of the reviewing process and ensuring that authors’ work moves through the process in a timely fashion is the submission of reviews within the time frame requested. Please submit your review by the requested due date through the Editorial Manager site (log in as a Reviewer). Of course we understand that sometimes timelines need to be shifted; please reach out at any time if you need to negotiate a different timeline or have questions about the review or the review process.

Stephanie Kerschbaum, SWR editor

Taiko Aoki-Marcial, SWR associate editor

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