Book Reviews

Guidelines for Book Reviews

  • RHE publishes book reviews of original research, summaries of research, or scholarly thinking in book form. We do not publish reviews of books or media that would be described as expert opinion or advice for practitioners.
  • The journal publishes reviews of current books, meaning books published no more than 12 months prior to submission to the associate editor in charge of book reviews.
  • If you want to know whether the RHE would consider a book review before writing it, you may email the associate editor with the citation for the book.
  • Reviewers should have scholarly expertise in the higher education research area they are reviewing.
  • Graduate students are welcome to co-author book reviews, but with faculty or seasoned research professionals as first authors.
  • Please email the review to the associate editor in charge of book reviews (Eddie R. Cole,, who will work through necessary revisions with you if your submission is accepted for publishing.
  • In general, follow the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition or 7th edition through 2020. Starting January 1, 2021, you will be expected to follow the APA Publication Manual, 7th edition.
  • Provide a brief but clear description and summary of the contents so that the reader has a good idea of the scope and organization of the book. This is especially important when reviewing anthologies that include multiple sections with multiple authors.
  • Provide an evaluation of the book, both positive and negative points. What has been done well? Not so well? What did you like about it? Dislike? For example the following are some questions that you can address (not exclusively), as appropriate:
    • What are the important contributions that this book makes?
    • What contributions could have been made, but were not made?
    • What contributions were problematic, weak, etc.?
    • How is the book related to or how does it supplement current work on the topic?
    • To which audience(s) will this book be most helpful?
  • Use quotations efficiently to provide a flavor of the writing style and/or statements that are particularly helpful in illustrating the author(s) points. 
  • If you cite any other published work, please provide a complete reference.
  • Please include a brief biographical statement immediately after your name, usually title and institution. Follow the same format for coauthored reviews. The first author is the contact author.
  • Please follow this example for the headnote of the book(s) you are reviewing:
    Stefan M. Bradley. Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League. New York: New York University Press, 2018. 465 pp. $35. ISBN 97814798739999.
  • Our preferred length is 2,000–2,500 words in order for authors to provide a complete, analytical, review. Reviews of shorter books may not need to be of that length.

NOTE: If the Editor has sent a book to an author for review, but the author is unable to complete the review within a reasonable timeframe, we would appreciate the return of the book as soon as possible; thanks for your understanding.

Please send book review copies to the contact above. Review copies received by the Johns Hopkins University Press office will be discarded.