Guidelines for book reviewing

 The aim of the book reviews is:

  • To provide a scholarly assessment of newly published books;
  • To create interest within a general and specialist readership of a subject;
  • To help scholars and librarians to decide which books to buy.

The review is more than a mere summary of the contents, but it is not a review article either, as there should preferably be no footnotes or bibliography. Authors are encouraged to write around the subject, personalities or ideas involved, simultaneously providing the readers with the gist of the book as well as a critical evaluation of how well the author or editors have succeeded in their task.

Please include the following book information: book title; book cover illustration; author(s)/editor(s); ISBN (hardcover, paperback, e-version (as applicable)); publisher; city of publication; price (with ZAR equivalent); and year of publication.

Reviewers should also please include a title for their review and their full contact details (name, affiliation, email and postal address).

The review is published in print as well as online. Each individual review receives its own DOI. Book reviews in print is published consecutively, without leaving blank spaces. 

For this reason we request authors to keep to the following sets of word limits, namely 415 words per page (including book bibliography and reviewer details). In other words, we encourage reviewers to submit full pages and not half a page (i.e. three and a half pages).

The General Editor and the Book Editor reserve the right to request the reviewer to either add or delete words from the review so as to fit into the set pages. For example, if the review consists of three and a half pages, the editor may request you to either shorten the review to three pages or lengthen it to four pages.

An article of three pages should be about 1240 words and one of four pages about 1650 words. The maximum pages / words for a book review are six pages or more or less 2460 words. 

The layout guidelines may help the reviewer of set the page so as to fit the review properly within the set limits.