Peer Review


Aberdeen University Press is committed to publishing work of the highest quality. Robust peer review assures the scholarly value of published material. Peer reviews support authors in shaping their work and enhancing the development of the relevant discipline. Aberdeen University Press values this tradition of collegial support, which maintains the integrity of our publications.

All publications by AUP will undergo a rigorous peer review process by subject experts. Our editors and our reviewers follow the recommended guidelines of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE). We aim to make the review process as efficient as possible whilst maintaining a high quality of reviewer feedback.

The duty of the reviewer is to provide a statement on the manuscript’s suitability for publication by choosing from the following options: (1) the manuscript is acceptable as it stands; (2) the manuscript is acceptable with minor revisions; (3) the manuscript is acceptable with major revisions; (4) the manuscript is not ready for publication and should be rejected. AUP forwards the reviewer statements to the author(s) of the manuscript along with the recommendation of the academic board. In consultation with the academic board AUP’s administrative team, or the relevant series or journal editors, are responsible for arranging and managing the peer-review processes which support publication. 

Peer-review Policies for Book Proposals

The assigned member of the academic board will make an initial decision on whether the book proposal can be accepted for peer review, whether revisions to the proposal are required prior the review process, or whether the proposal will be rejected. If accepted for peer review, book proposals are reviewed by at least one expert, and the review period is expected to take around six to eight weeks. The review process is double blind, but exceptions may be made by mutual prior agreement. The academic board makes the final publication decision, whether negative or positive, based on the peer-review report(s) of the proposal. If the decision is positive, AUP will sign a preliminary publishing contract with the author(s)/editor(s).

Peer-review Policies for Book Manuscripts

With full manuscripts, there are at least two experts from within the relevant field(s) of study. The book review process is double blind unless otherwise agreed. After reviews are received, the editorial team will collate the feedback and ask the author(s)/editor(s) for relevant revisions. If revisions are requested, then these must be completed before the manuscript is accepted for publication. If major revisions have been requested, the re-submitted manuscript may be sent out for subsequent rounds of review. If the reviewers do not recommend publication, AUP reserves the right to terminate the agreement to publish. The academic board makes the final publication decisions based on the peer-review reports.

Peer-review Policies for Book Series

Book series’ proposals along with list of upcoming titles and abstracts are first evaluated by the assigned member of the academic board to ensure it meets the relevant criteria and fits AUP’s portfolio. If the proposal is accepted for peer review, the proposal and supporting material are sent to two reviewers. The review process is single blind to allow the reviewer to assess the capacity and capability of the Editor(s)-in-Chief and editorial team. 

Peer-review Policies for Journal Proposals

A proposal for a new journal will first be reviewed by the assigned member of academic board to determine if the title fits the current criteria and portfolio. If the proposal is accepted for peer review, it will be sent to two experts. The review process is single blind, as the identity of the journal’s editorial team and editor(s)-in-chief are revealed to the reviewers to assess the capacity and capability of the Editor(s)-in-Chief and editorial team. The academic board makes the final publication decision based on the reviewers’ recommendations.

Peer-review Policies for Journal Articles

All manuscripts submitted to an AUP journal are initially assessed by an editor, who decides whether the article fits the scope of the journal and is suitable for peer review. Peer reviewing arrangements for individual journals published by AUP are determined by the editorial board for each journal. We support a range of peer review models, depending on which is most suitable for the journal. The journals’ review policies are clearly displayed on each journals’ websites. All of our journals are required to adhere to the COPE Journal Management guidelines for best practice. The overall editorial responsibility for maintaining the rigour of the review process rests with the journal’s Editor-in-Chief. They are supported by an international Editorial Board of experts in the subject area and/or sub-disciplines.

Guidelines for Reviewers

The COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers advise that reviewers should be independent of the author or editor of the book or journal, meaning that:

  • Reviewers and authors should not be close colleagues, family members, belong to the same research project or otherwise work closely together.
  • Reviewers should only agree to comment on material where they have sufficient expertise.
  • Reviewer comments should not be influenced by nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations.
  • Comments should not include hostile or inflammatory language, nor should libellous or derogatory personal comments be used.

Publication ethics for peer-review reviewers further require external reviewers:

  • To review the submitted work in confidence and with care, consideration and objectivity. 
  • To declare any potential conflict of interest to the commissioning editor before the work is sent to the reviewer or as soon as it becomes apparent. 
  • To review the work in a courteous and timely manner.

To raise a suspected or verified case of misconduct with Aberdeen University Press, please contact the AUP administrator at

Peer Review Questions

Please address the following issues in your report:

  • Is the text original? Does it provide new information or data for the field?

    • Please inform the publisher if the manuscript repeats prior published materials to a great extent or if you have suspicions of plagiarism or find deficiencies in attribution of quotations/sources. 
  • Does the work competently follow theories or methods that are relevant to the questions addressed? 
  • Is the author familiar with the essential literature in the field? 
  • If you consider the sources of the manuscript or their use to be lacking, please help the author(s) by suggesting relevant research literature. 
  • What is the target audience? Will the manuscript only be understood by researchers who are well versed in the field, or can it also be used by representatives of related fields? Is it comprehensible for students of the relevant discipline(s)? 
  • Does the text offer a sustained argument, fulfilling any promises made in the introduction? 
  • Does the author justify claims made in the text? And does the evidence support the conclusions drawn? 
  • Is the structure of the manuscript sensible and the writing clear? Is the content presented fluently and intelligibly? 
  • Are there significant deficiencies in the text? 

    • If so, please identify the corrections that must be made to the manuscript. In doing so ensure that the revisions are clear, sufficient, comprehensive, and attainable.  
  • If there are illustrations, what is the relationship between text and figures? If there are no illustrations or figures, should they be added for the sake of clarity? 
  • If the manuscript is an edited volume, please provide detailed comments on each chapter separately.

Recognition for Reviewers

As AUP is a non-profit organisation, we cannot give monetary remuneration for contributors and, therefore, we have to look at other ways to acknowledge those involved. This will take the form of a formal letter of thanks.