Transparency in Recruiting Reviewers for Journal Articles

Editorial Staff, January 2014

The Research Division has become aware that some scholarly journals in history are attaching full copies of articles when initially contacting potential peer reviewers. The division prefers that journals avoid this practice, forwarding full articles only to those who have already agreed to review. Normally, an abstract should be sufficient. The division realizes, however, that some editors might believe the practice makes the process of recruiting reviewers more efficient, and we are aware of the very limited resources of many journals. Whatever their practices might be in this regard, journals should be transparent about their policies. Websites and author guidelines should clearly indicate the point in the process when potential reviewers or individuals who have agreed to review will see manuscripts, so that submitting authors may know how widely their work might be distributed.

—­The AHA Research Division