For EE&O reviewers

Thank you for writing a review for Evolution: Education & Outreach. By doing so, you are keeping researchers, educators, and the general public become and remain well-informed about evolution. These instructions, which take the form of a FAQ document, have been prepared in order to help you make your review accessible to our audience, address their interests most directly, and make submitting and revising your review as trouble-free as possible. If some point below should seem unclear, or if at any point you should have some question about how to proceed with your review, please do not hesitate to contact the reviews editor.


  • In case of a conflict, these instructions supersede the “Instructions for authors” of book reviews on the EE&O web site at Springer.
  • Be assured that there are no publication fees for reviews.
  • PDF copy of these instructions is available.

When should I have my review ready?

There are no deadlines. A review can never be submitted too soon, but most people take three to six months. Reviewers on an academic schedule frequently finish their reviews just after the end of a semester. Your review will be welcome no matter how long it takes. Don’t conclude that, because too much time has passed, your review doesn’t interest us. Reviews become a permanent part of the literature. Researchers will find your review useful even years later, when they are considering whether to read the book.

The reason there are no deadlines is that EE&O is only published online, there are no issues. Articles are published online as they come in, numbered sequentially, each year’s articles collected into a volume.

Your review will be published under an open-access license. This means that anyone is free to download and distribute the review free of charge.

What should I say in my review?

Give review readers an understanding of the central claims, themes, points of view, and subjects of the work reviewed, insofar as they are relevant to the study of evolution or its perception by the public. This includes indicating the relationship of the reviewed work to other works or its role in promoting or inhibiting understanding of evolution among members of the general public.

Assess the arguments and perspectives advanced in the reviewed work. Be sure to alert readers to suspicious, highly improbable, disingenuous, or strident claims or points of view that someone not well-informed on the subject of the work might miss, and that might mislead the reader concerning what’s reasonable or true concerning evolution. Point out authors’ biases or conflicts of interest (or lack thereof) relevant to the credibility of their work.

Describe audiences particularly likely to find the work useful, e.g., college students, primary or secondary school teachers, college teachers, or graduate students. How might individuals in those audiences best use the work? Evolution: Education & Outreach is intended to reach science teachers at all levels, including the university level; professional scientists in all disciplines; scholars of the Humanities; social scientists; and the general public. Avoid jargon, and fill in background concerning the reviewed work’s subject, even if only briefly; refer readers to one or two other widely-read or well-respected works on the topic of the work reviewed, if you have information about those works close at hand.

The more specific your review is about the content of the reviewed work, the better. Make direct reference to the text or provide quotations. Provide enough information so that a reader of your review could easily locate passages you refer to or quote. “The main argument comes in chapter 5;” “Fossil evidence described in ‘Methods’ is weak.” Use “(p. x)” or “(pp. x–y)” to indicate the page location of a quotation from the work reviewed that appears on page x or on pages x–y of that work. No further citation information is needed; readers will naturally assume that the page numbers refer to the reviewed work.

How long should my review be?

On the one hand, reviews under 1,000 words are unlikely to possess the depth and range needed to attain the goals described above. On the other hand, there is no upper word limit, so you should feel free to say what you believe is necessary to communicate your views about the reviewed work.

On the EE&O page with instructions for authors of reviews, it is stated that reviews should be 400 words long. Disregard this.

Are there special instructions for formatting and style?

Do not include “review of” or the like in the title of your review. Reviews are printed with a header indicating that it is a review. You will include publication information for the work you are reviewing (instructions below); do not include it in your title.

How should I format the bibliographic information about the book I’m reviewing?

At the top of the first page of your manuscript (not counting the cover sheet), write publication information for the work you are reviewing. The publication information should be separated from the first line of the main body text of your review by a space larger than the inter-line spacing used in the main text. It should not appear in the top margin. Type size should be the same as in the rest of your review. The following example indicates type style, punctuation, capitalization, and the order of publication details for publication information.


Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body, by Neil Shubin. New York: Pantheon, 2008. Pp. xvii + 229. H/b $24.00.

Collection of essays in a book:

Evolution on Islands, edited by Peter R. Grant. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Pp. xiv + 334. H/b $30.00.

Obtain the title and author information about a book from its title page, rather than from its front cover, book jacket, or spine. Where it does not create ambiguity, delete words such as “publishers” or “company” from publisher names. For example, “Oxford: Oxford University Press” warrants including “University Press;” but “Penguin books” may be shortened simply to “Penguin.”

Price should be obtained from your review copy; report it in U.S. dollars, if possible. Pagination should also be obtained from your review copy. Hardback (as in the example above) is indicated by “H/b”; softback, by “S/b”. If the address of the publisher is in a U.S. city that is not well-known, abbreviate its name; for the correct abbreviation, consult the list of abbreviations used by the U.S. Postal Service ( Cambridge MA is quite well-known, but “MA” is required so that it is not mistaken for Cambridge, England. The state abbreviation should be separated from the city name by a comma and a single space, as in “Greenwood Village, CO: Roberts & Co.”

If you cannot obtain publication information from the book itself, consult, in the following order, the publisher’s web site, the Library of Congress online catalog (, or a bookseller, online or otherwise. Be sure to verify that any information you obtain from these sources is about the edition and binding of the copy of the book you are reviewing.

How do I submit my review?

Go to the EE&O manuscript submission page. Instructions at each stage guide the author through the submission process.

Because EE&O is open-access, don’t I have to pay publication fees? Publication fees are expensive, and my institution doesn’t fund them.

There are no publication charges for book reviews. The manuscript submission work flow for reviews includes a screen informing authors that no fee is necessary, bypassing the fee-collection stage required for other manuscripts.

How can I let EE&O’s audience know about my review?

EE&O is increasing its visibility in the universe of social media, including Twitter and the EE&O blog. Email the reviews editor a short blurb in which you share some of the following, which will be posted to our blog. The blog entry will be publicized on twitter and other social media. This is optional, to be completed at your discretion, in as much or as little extent or detail as you wish.

  • The title and author of the book
  • Two or three sentences about the topic of book
  • A statement that you reviewed the book
  • A brief account (one or two sentences) of some particularly striking conclusion, argument or fact reported in the book.
  • A sentence or two about a personal connection you might have with the topic, for instance, it’s a focus of your research; you see the topic as especially important; whether you wrote the review or read the book at the end of a tough semester, at the beach, or any other entertaining remark that might draw attention to your review.

(29 March 2014)

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