The National Coalition of Independent Scholars is happy to review books by and about or of interest to independent scholars for inclusion in issues of our quarterly, The Independent Scholar. What follows are some general guidelines for submissions.
The current Book Review Editor is David Sonenschein, P. O. Box 15744, San Antonio, TX 78212-8944. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books Written by NCIS Members: Most publishers are quite willing to send review copies to designated review editors. Have the book(s) sent to the address above, along with any promotional material they may wish to include. Remember, it is the responsibility of the author to satisfy a publisher’s request for copies of the review. If you have self-published your book, send any needed contact and purchase information along with the book.
Books Written by Non-NCIS Members: The author(s) of these books generally (see below) should be independent scholars, or the books should have substantial content of direct relevance to independent scholarship. NCIS Members should query the Book Review Editor about these books that they themselves would like to review, or if they think a review by another qualified NCIS Member would be of critical interest to NCIS Members. The Review Editor will then try to obtain a review copy from the publisher. Even though we try to focus on independent scholarship, an NCIS Member may query the Editor for review on any book in any discipline with any focus.
Books Written by NCIS Affiliates: Even if they are not Members of NCIS, members of Affiliates may submit books they’ve authored for review. The Review Editor will select a reviewer from the NCIS database.
Format, etc.: Now that we’ve gone electronic, older limitations on review length have been lifted. Reviews may be written as needed to accomplish the aims of the reviewer. They may be short and descriptive, or may be substantially longer as in a review essay. Negotiate this with the Editor, who also reserves the right to edit the reviews; let the Book Review Editor know if you would like to see any editing before the Book Review Editor passes the review on to the Editor of TIS. If used, citations to works cited in the review and endnotes should follow format guidelines established by the reviewer’s own discipline. Spelling generally follows American English usage, although British spelling is also acceptable.
Conduct and Style: The Independent Scholar is a professional publication, read by professional peers. Protocols of scholarly and professional conduct are expected when applying critical analyses. Authors of reviewed works are always welcome to reply to reviews; contested views must be objectively and disciplinarily based. Having said this, however, TIS offers a wider latitude of stylistic expression than many other professional publications. While scholarship is expected, the informal and subjective voice is also welcome here. Serious detached objectivity may coexist with wit, personal and subjective expression, and humanity.
Patience: TIS is a quarterly, and the Review Editor usually has to spend time obtaining a review copy, finding a qualified and willing reviewer, and nudging reviewers to complete the task within a reasonable time, all the while getting all the other things done that life and scholarship require. Books submitted for review, therefore, will rarely appear in the immediately following issue of TIS. The Editor does reserve the right to rescind a review request and seek another reviewer in cases where severe difficulties arise.
Reviewer Sources: The Editor scours the NCIS Membership database for qualified reviewers; it is important that Members provide details of their areas of research and expertise. On rare occasions guest reviewers may be approached; suggestions for reviewers outside NCIS can be made to the Book Review Editor. Any NCIS Member may contact the Editor to indicate availability as a reviewer.