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Information for Reviews

American Anthropologist publishes articles, essays, and research reports; book, film, and exhibit reviews; commentaries, and obituaries. American Anthropologist does not pay authors for their manuscripts nor does it provide retyping, drawing, or mounting of illustrations, or other such services. Those are the responsibility of the author.

Reviews should provide balanced critical assessments that take into account American Anthropologist's diverse readers and their many perspectives and approaches. Accuracy and fairness are paramount in American Anthropologist reviews. Although the editors do not take any particular position regarding any specific book, film, or museum exhibit, they discourage inappropriate remarks, such as gratuitous or ad hominem attacks, and reserve the right to reject reviews deemed inappropriate.

Submission: Book, Museum Anthropology, and Visual Anthropology reviews and essays are solicited by the editors. Scholars who wish to review particular books, films, or museum exhibits may identify themselves to the Editors-in-Chief, Visual Anthropology Editor, or Museum Anthropology Editor, respectively. Commentaries on articles and reviews should be submitted directly to the Editors-in-Chief; authors of the articles or reviews commented on are invited to respond. The Obituary Editor solicits obituaries; suggestions for possible authors of obituaries are welcome.

Articles, commentaries, essays, book reviews and book review essays should be sent to the Editors-in-Chief. We prefer to receive them electronically at aaeditor@uci.edu. Manuscripts are acknowledged on receipt.

We do not encourage unsolicited book reviews, but we do not discourage them either. Although we prefer to solicit reviewers ourselves, we will consider unsolicited reviews and offers to review a book. When we receive an unsolicited review or an offer to write a review, we follow the following procedure:

  1. We check to see whether the book has been reviewed, is in the process of being reviewed, or has already been rejected for review. If none of these, we check to make sure that we have the book in the office. If we don't, but may be interested in reviewing it, we order a copy from the publisher. It is our practice to see all books before agreeing to having them reviewed.
  2. Once we have the book in hand, we determine whether or not we want to review the book in American Anthropologist.
  3. If we decide to have the book reviewed, we then consider the source of the unsolicited review or offer to review in order to ensure that the reviewer is an appropriate one in terms of expertise and that there are no obvious personal connections that might bias the review (e.g., the reviewer is cited in the acknowledgments)

Material for the Obituary, Museum Anthropology, and Visual Anthropology sections should be sent to the editors of those sections, not to the Editors-in-Chief.

Author Responsibilities: Authors must recognize that they [not the American Anthropological Association (AAA)] are responsible for the content of their articles, for the accuracy of quotations and their correct attribution, for the legal rights to publish any material submitted, and for submitting their review, commentary, or review essay in proper form for publication. A manuscript submitted to the American Anthropologist must not be under consideration by any other journal at the same time or have been published elsewhere.

Evaluation: Commentaries, review essays, reviews, and obituaries are reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and/or the appropriate section review editors. The editors reserve the right to reject or return for revision any submitted material on the grounds of inappropriate subject matter, quality, length, or nonconformity with the AAA style guide. Solicitation of book reviews does not guarantee publication. We will, however, be delighted to publish a review that adheres to the below standards.

When writing your review, we request that you consider the following guidelines: Please do not simply summarize or list each chapter. Instead, we ask that you offer substantive commentary on, for example, the quality of the theory, methodology, and writing, or the relevance of the research to other current or recently published work. When reviewing an edited volume, do not feel that you must write about, or even mention, every chapter. Instead describe the overall focus of the volume, pick a few significant contributions and discuss those in detail. Finally, please do not exceed the word limit, avoid lengthy direct quotations and minimize outside references.

Edited manuscript: Edited manuscripts are sent to authors, who should answer any queries and respond to suggested substantive changes. Authors should retain copies for their records.

Galley proofs: Authors of reviews and commentaries do not receive galleys, even though minor copy-edited changes may have been made, unless authors specifically request them at the time they submit their approval of substantive edited changes. If requested, galleys will be returned to you in pdf format. As always, no substantive changes will be allowed at this point and any new changes and additions are treated as suggestions. AAA reserves the right to bill you for substantial alterations. For corrections to be taken into account on the pdf version of the master galley, corrected galley proofs must be mailed to the Production Editor within 48 hours of receipt.

Final Page Proofs: No page proofs are sent to authors; the AAA Department of Publication Services is responsible for ensuring that all indicated corrections are made on the final page proofs.

Reprints: Authors may order reprints directly from the printer. Camera-ready copy of an author's contribution is available to that author from the AAA for one year from printing time at no cost.