Description of the Pre-Publication Peer Review Process that the University Press of North Georgia performed on History in the Making
History in the Making: A History of the People of the United States of America to 1877 is a downloadable, free-to-use textbook licensed under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 unported license.
This textbook examines U.S. History from before European Contact through Reconstruction, while focusing on the people and their history.
Prior to its publication, History in the Making underwent rigorous double blind peer review, a process that involved over thirty scholars who reviewed the materially carefully, objectively, and candidly in order to ensure not only its scholarly integrity but also its high standard of quality.
As with a majority of university presses, the University Press of North Georgia uses double blind peer review, in which the authors are concealed from the reviewers (and vice versa). Because the history text covered a wide range of specializations, the press used two different reviewers for each chapter. In this way, we ensured that each reviewer possessed the necessary specialized scholarship and expertise for the chapter under review.
The instructions for review were as follows:
Instructions: This reading evaluates the value of a manuscript submission in terms of its contribution to its field according to the following criteria:
- Scholarship/research/knowledge base
- Writing quality
- Audience awareness
Some of the questions you could ask about the work you’re reading are:
- Does the manuscript make a substantive contribution to its field? Is its research thorough and complete?
- Does it construct a clear, compelling, well developed, and sustained argument? Is it well structured?
- Is it well written? Is its tone and voice appropriate to its subject and audience?
- What are its strengths?
- What are its weaknesses?
What do you recommend?
_____ Accept for publication as is or with minor editorial revisions.
_____ Accept for publication contingent upon successful completion of several specific suggested revisions.
_____ Reject as unacceptable/inappropriate for publication.
If you find this submission publishable, then please share your responses to it, especially in terms of the questions above. Please also indicate any revision suggestions. Thank you.
No submitted chapter was rejected as unacceptable/inappropriate for publication. Every chapter was deemed acceptable for publication contingent upon successful completion of specific suggested revisions.
The press shared the anonymous reviewers’ comments with the author or authors of the section and/or chapter under consideration. The author or authors then revised their work according to the reviewers’ recommendations.
After all the chapters were reviewed and revised accordingly, the press sent the complete manuscript text to two additional anonymous reviewers who were given the same instructions as above in reviewing the text as a whole.
Both reviewers recommended publication with additional, mainly editorial, revisions, which were completed as requested.
Only after this rigorous peer review process—that ensured a high standard of quality for this textbook—was History in the Making published.
We thank all involved in this important process for their assistance.