Reviewing Current Practices Section
Papers in the Current Practices section of CITTE are reviewed in much the same way as traditional print journal submissions with the exceptions that (1) all the work is done electronically, and (2) the timeline for getting the review done is shorter than for traditional journals. You will receive a message from one of the Editors (Dee Anna Willis or Kara Dawson) asking you to review a particular paper. The request will also include the web address where the paper is located. You can read the paper on line or download it and print a copy. When you complete your review, upload it to the server. When other reviewers complete their evaluations, the editors will make a decision on the paper and notify the editor.
As you review papers consider the following questions:
- Does the paper fit the mission of the journal? That is, does it deal with an aspect of information technology and teacher education?
- Is it on a significant and important topic?
- Does the paper add to the discourse on this topic? Is it worthwhile?
- Is the paper explicit, clear, and logically organized?
- Is the paper concise? That is, does it communicate its message without being verbose or including unnecessary detail or sections?
- Does the paper have a consistent audience? For example, if it is written for novices or beginners in an area, are all the topics covered at that level, or do some sections require advanced expertise that novice readers will not possess? And similarly, in a paper for experts, are some sections written for novices while the target reader would already know that?
- Does the paper adequately relate the current topic to the existing literature?
- Does the paper have adequate and relevant theoretical underpinnings?
Reviewing Current Issues Papers
Papers in the Current Issues section go through a two-stage review process.
The first stage is the same as for Current Practices papers, except that the comments should be briefer. Without investing a great deal of time you should make a recommendation about whether to
- Publish as is
- Publish after minor revisions
- Reconsider after major revisions
And provide some support for your recommendation. Provide more details for the author if the recommendation is “Reconsider after major revisions.”
Once a paper is accepted, you will be responsible for a second step in the review process. As a reviewer you will write a critique of the paper that will be published at the same time the paper is. Your critique, which may be only a page or two, or as long as a “full-length” article, need not be negative. It should be a thoughtful analysis of the paper by an informed reader. You may disagree with the paper, point out strengths, discuss extensions and expansions that are not addressed in the paper, highlight problematic implications, or anything else that advances the scholarly conversation. Your response will be published as a separate article with its own publication data and citation.
This response is the official end of your reviewer responsibility, but the conversation begun may be continued. The author may respond to reviewer comments. Readers may respond. And you should feel free to participate in that on-going conversation as you see fit.
Reviewer critiques of a paper will be edited and published. Keep in mind, however, that the critiques in the journal should be at a relatively high level of scholarship. They are not equivalent to the informal conversations that take place in the many discussion forums and listservs now operating on the Internet. These serve an important function, but the critiques in the journal have a specific purpose – to advance and support a relatively sophisticated discussion of scholarly and professional issues in the field.