Book review guidelines from Limina Journal (@LiminaJournal)



Limina Journal, of the University of Western Australia, is a refereed academic journal of historical and cultural studies “with a committment to open access publishing”. In the words of its website: “The journal promotes resistance to traditional disciplinary boundaries, and at the same time demands a rigorous approach to issues of research, context and theoretical debates.”

I recently had the opportunity to review a book for Limina Journal, and found their book review guidelines to be clear, specific and very useful to those who are interested in reviewing books, academic and otherwise. I am sharing them here, but all credits should go to the good literary colleagues in Western Australia.

“A book review…is a concise review of a newly released critical, cultural, fictional or historical work. Reviewers are generally between 800 and 1000 words. The purpose of a book review is to offer the readers a critical appraisal of a new text, so that they may decide whether they would like to read or utilise the book themselves.”

“An ideal review seeks to place the book within its critical context, provide a brief overview, and then offer analysis of how well the book achieves its aims.”

“It is also important to be as balanced as possible: even a brilliant new book probably has one or two areas where it could have been better. Similarly, any text with major flaws probably also makes one or two strong arguments. Even if a new work is undeniably bad, it is important to word any criticisms carefully — even if you feel the text generally has little to offer the field.”

“While the review does need to be academically rigorous, we encourage our reviewers to maintain their own ‘voice’ or style in their writing. This makes it more fun to write and to read!”

Image thanks: Limina Journal, University of Western Australia, Volume 20.3 (2015).



Leave a Reply, Please

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: