Book and Media Reviewer Guidelines
BC Studies publishes reviews of scholarly books, films, podcasts, and new media works related to BC. We do not accept unsolicited reviews, but if you are interested in reviewing for BC Studies, please contact:
- Describe clearly and concisely the nature, scope, and argument of the work, locate it in the relevant literature, and indicate its contribution to scholarship. Your review should not consist entirely of a summary of the work’s contents.
- Discuss the extent to which the work achieves its stated objectives, draws on relevant source material, and is well organized and well written or presented (visually, aurally).
- Bear in mind that the authors of many of the works we review are not discussing only British Columbia and may have intended a wider, or simply a different, audience.
- We are particularly interested in the value of the work to British Columbia and the extent to which it may interest readers of BC Studies.
- It is always permissible to write a shorter review than is suggested, but do not undertake a (substantially) longer review without checking with the editors. In the extreme case, please let us know if, after reading, watching or listening to a work, you believe that it does not merit a review.
- Please consult the Canadian Oxford Dictionary to confirm correct spellings. If the dictionary recognizes alternative spellings, the first one listed is preferred.
- For detailed explanation of text and footnote style, consult The Chicago Manual of Style (newest edition) or the Manual for Writers of Term Papers and Theses (newest edition).
- When quoting from the book under review, please cite the page number. It should appear in parentheses at the end of the sentence, before the period but outside the quotation marks, hence (95). Dr. Newcombe was “exhausted and seasick” (95). We do not use p. or pp. When quoting from an audio or video work, please provide the timestamp for when the quote in parentheses at the end of the sentence, before the period but outside the quotation marks: The interviewee felt “upset and frustrated” (1:13). If quoting from a specific episode when reviewing a podcast series, please indicate the episode that the quote is from, either in the text of the sentence, or in parentheses directly before the timestamp: The interviewee felt “upset and frustrated” (Episode 1, 1:13).
- If you quote from, or refer specifically to, another book or work, please provide the author or creator’s name (first and last), the full title of the book or work, and the book or work’s date of publication. If you cite a journal article, include the author’s name, journal title, volume, and the month and year of publication. You may include the article title or not, as you wish. It is always permissible to work the information into a sentence, as “In her recent article in BC Studies (177 [Spring 2013]), Jean Barman concluded that….” You may also, at the end of your book review, provide a list of references in the following format:
Harris, Cole. 2002. Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance and Reserves in British Columbia. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Ostrom, Elinor. 2008. “The Challenge of Common Pool Resources.” Environment 50 (4): 8–21
- Do not use footnotes, except in review essays.
- Include the first name (or initials for those, like W.A.C. Bennett, who are known that way) in the first reference to any person you mention.
- You may use personal pronouns rather than “the reviewer.” In general, it is preferable to refer to the author by name rather than as “the author.” In referring to the author or other people, do not use titles, either professional or social.
- For dashes within sentences, use double hyphens with a space on both sides ( — ) or an en-dash ( –) with a space on both sides.
- Insert a comma before the last item in a series, hence Victoria, Duncan, and Nanaimo.
- Do not use periods in abbreviations, thus UBC, HBC, CBC.
- Spell out numbers less than 100 unless being used comparatively in a sentence or paragraph, hence ninety-five years; 127 voters; grades 6, 8, and 10.
- Capitalize national, linguistic, and other groupings of people: Asian, Italian, Caucasian, Black, Indo-European, First Nations, Aboriginal, Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw, Kwak’wala, Tsilhqot’in, Nuu-chah-nulth.
- Capitalize specific geographical areas, thus the Interior, the Coast, the Island (for Vancouver Island), the Lower Mainland, the Prairies, the North.