Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943

William and Mary Quarterly

Instructions for Peer Reviewers

Thank you for evaluating a manuscript for the William and Mary Quarterly. In addition to furnishing a basis for the decision on publications, your evaluation helps fulfill one of the primary functions of a scholarly journal—to offer authors informed and pertinent criticism, whether or not publication is recommended. Your contribution to that end is greatly appreciated.

Like most scholarly journals, we practice “blind refereeing.” Accordingly, every reasonable effort is made to remove any evidence of the author’s identity from the manuscript. Some referees choose to remain anonymous; others do not. We will follow your wishes either way; but if your name is not attached to the evaluation, we will assume you desire confidentiality. Please do not circulate, quote from, or cite the manuscript.

Along with your commentary and criticism, which are of great help to both the editor and the author, please be clear about your recommendation. At the Quarterly, we ask readers to recommend one of three decisions.

  • Acceptance (realizing that accepted articles always require some additional revising)
  • Rejection
  • Rejection with the option to revise and resubmit

For resubmitted articles, we usually try to go back to the same readers from the first round, at least those who recommended “rejection with the option to revise and resubmit.” We may call upon an additional reader or readers. Our policy is to render a final, up-or-down decision after the first revision.

Please return your report on a page (or pages) separate from the letter that may accompany it, and compose it in a form that will enable us to send it to the author without editing. Please head it: Referee’s evaluation of [title].

Please also consider if a shortened version of the essay might be appropriate as a “Research Note” in our “Sources and Interpretations” section.

Please recycle the manuscript and return your report to Joshua Piker, preferably by email or as an email attachment at If sending your report by email, please save it as a Word document, not a PDF. Our fax number is 757.221.1047. If you have made marginal notations on the manuscript that may be of some use to the editor or the author (the substance of which you have not already covered in your report), please let us know and we’ll send you return postage.

Thank you again for you contribution to the William and Mary Quarterly.