For authors, editors and publishers | For reviewers | General questions


For authors, editors, and publishers

What kinds of books does BMCR list?
BMCR lists recently published (published within the last two years), peer-reviewed scholarship in the field of Classics, broadly construed. We also list pedagogical resources and translations of ancient Greek and Latin texts. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of publications in these areas, we cannot review creative engagements with antiquity or self-published books. We do make an exception for self-published pedagogical texts, since these are often widely used.

I am an author/publisher/editor with a book in BMCR’s purview. How do I get it listed?
Please email the bibliographic information to bmcr@bmcreview.org, including a link to the book on the publisher’s website. BMCR hears about new publications through email notices from authors, editors, and publishers, and by subscribing to publisher mailing lists. We closed our physical office in 2022, so it is no longer possible to notify us of new books by mailing a copy. If we locate a reviewer for the book, we will contact the publisher to request a copy to be sent directly to the reviewer.

Why hasn’t my book been reviewed?
If we listed your book and it is no longer on our available books list, it is either currently under review or we were unable to locate a reviewer. You are welcome to reach out and ask. If your book is under review, we will tell you so, although we can’t share the identity of the reviewer. If we were unable to locate a reviewer, please understand that although we strive to assign as many books as possible, many books go unreviewed. This is unfortunate, but unavoidable given the high volume of books we list (80-100 per month).


For reviewers

How does BMCR locate and select reviewers for books?
We start out by soliciting recommendations for reviewers from our editorial board in the weeks before we publish the monthly Books Received list. Books we have not placed with a reviewer appear on our available books list for four months. We welcome volunteer applications during this time. If you’re not chosen because several people volunteered for the same book, please volunteer again another time.

I am a graduate student. Can I review for BMCR?
Ph.D. candidates writing dissertations are welcome to apply to review for BMCR. Please contact your supervisor or other faculty mentor before applying, because they must nominate you to review for BMCR, and approve your review before you submit it to us. Please ask your supervisor or faculty mentor to email us when you apply, and CC them when you submit your review.

I’d like to review a book. It appeared on a BMCR monthly list a while ago, but I have not seen a review published. Is there still a chance I might review it?
Books stay on the available books list for four months. If we do not locate a reviewer within this time, the book typically goes unreviewed. If we listed a book over four months ago and you are wondering whether or not it was assigned, feel free to reach out. It may be under review, but it may lack a reviewer, and we may still consider assigning it. In general, we do not assign books for review that were published more than two years ago.

The volunteer application form asks that I disclose my relationship with the author(s) of the book. What constitutes a conflict of interest?
We avoid assigning a book to a reviewer who bears close professional connections to the author(s) or contributors. This includes, for instance, anyone who read drafts of the book before its release, or who has ever advised or been advised by the author. However, we also understand that a reviewer and author may have crossed paths at some point, as is natural for scholars working on similar material. If you have any relationship with the author, please explain and we will decide.

Similarly, we do not involve authors in the reviewer-selection process; if an author approached you asking if you’d be interested in writing a BMCR review, please know that we did not arrange this with them. Finally, we ask that reviewers avoid contacting the author about the volume while the review is in progress.

Please see our Statement of Publication Ethics.

What is the word limit, and why does it matter for an online publication?
Our limit is 2,000 words. We find that this amount is almost always sufficient to accomplish the purpose of a BMCR review. We also enforce this limit as a courtesy to our editorial board, who are all volunteers. Given the large volume of reviews we publish, they have a lot to read, and a few hundred extra words here and there add up quickly.

I published a review with BMCR. Can I put a copy on my website or in my institutional repository?
Yes! BMCR does not retain the rights to the reviews we publish. The reviewer owns the rights and may reproduce the text however they like.

If you are a publisher or author of a book reviewed in BMCR and you would like to reproduce the review, please contact the reviewer at the email address provided in the review.


General questions

Why doesn’t BMCR list the prices of books anymore?
To create our lists, we import bibliographic information from WorldCat, which doesn’t include prices. It takes time to look up prices for so many books and add them to the records. Moreover, it is difficult to list a price that accurately represents what a given BMCR reader might pay for a volume. For cataloging purposes, BMCR always lists books using the hardcover ISBN (if available), and for consistency, we previously used the hardcover price in the book citation. However, this method is potentially misleading to our readers, lending a pessimistic impression of a book’s affordability.

We have also found that prices are increasingly variable. They vary based on format (hardcover, paperback, and ebook), and not all the formats may be available when we first list a book. In addition, they vary by country, by retailer, and over time. They vary based on whether the buyer is an individual or an institution. For this reason, it is increasingly difficult and time-consuming to maintain a consistent, accurate, and transparent system of price citation.

That said, if a reviewer chooses to comment on a book’s price for any reason, we will include a price in the citation for reference.

What publishing platform does BMCR use?
Our developers, Matthew Love and Brie Logsdon of Metaphysic, write: “The journal platform is built on WordPress leveraging third-party plugins for core editorial workflow functionality. A suite of custom plugins extend this workflow to incorporate WorldCat API integration, automated email notifications, and customized form functionality. During the initial migration to the new platform, additional third-party plugins were instrumental in importing the extensive BMCR archive via XML.”