Emerging conservators developing confidence in an area of expertise should consider writing a book review for a print publication or online forum. One publication actively seeking submissions is the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC), the peer-reviewed journal of AIC.
According to Harriet K. Stratis, Book Review Editor for the JAIC, there are many books available for reviews, and she welcomes submissions from emerging conservators.
However, to write a successful review, you must be a strong writer and choose a topic to which you can bring a high level of expertise and insight. While this could be a tall order for an emerging conservator, there could be texts that are directly relevant to your education, experience, and current research. If you are interested in learning about the available titles for review, contact Harriet directly; she is at The Art Institute of Chicago and is listed in the AIC Member Directory. Then, if you identify a text you would like to review, you might want to identify an advisor or mentor who can give you tips and feedback before you submit.
For your reference, the complete “Guidelines for JAIC Book Reviewers” appear below:
GUIDELINES FOR JAIC BOOK REVIEWERS
The purpose of the review is to give readers a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of a publication, and to acknowledge whatever contribution the publication makes to the field and to the literature. The review should succinctly describe the contents of the publication being reviewed. The intended audience, as stated by the authors or as implied, should be identified, and the success with which the book deals with its subject for that audience should be evaluated. Reviewers are encouraged to critically assess the information found in the publication, as well as the method of presentation and point of view, as appropriate. If the publication makes a contribution, for example, of new information, or of compiling previously scattered information, or of publicly voicing for the first time a particular point of view, the contribution should be noted and its relative importance acknowledged.
Reviews of more than one publication on a particular subject are encouraged. Such reviews should provide the information noted above, and in addition may include the reviewer’s assessment of the relative successes of the publications in dealing with aspects of the general subject matter that they share.
Reviews may be of two general types: reviews of single publications and reviews of two or more publications. Suggested maximum length for reviews of single publications is 1000-2000 words (approximately 4-8 typewritten pages). Review of multiple publications may be proportionately longer.
The review should begin with standard bibliographic information and availability, in the following order: 1. Author; 2. Title of Book; 3. City: Publisher, 20XX; 4. xxx pages, hardcover, $xx; 5. (If applicable) AIC member price $xx; 6. (If applicable) Available from Name of Organization, address; 7. ISBN xxxx. The review should end with the reviewer’s name and complete working or institutional address.
Manuscripts must be typed in a 10 or 12 point standard typeface, with paragraphs indented, double-spaced, with reviewer’s name and page number in the upper right corner of each page, and a 1 inch margin or more on all sides.
Reviews will be edited by the Book Review Editor in consultation with the Editor, and sometimes with an Associate Editor in the appropriate specialty. No change in the substance of the text will be made without consulting the reviewer. The Editor of JAIC is the final authority in matters of content. Reviews will be copy edited by the paid copy editors who handle all Journal articles. The reviewer will receive page proofs.
Send the review by e-mail to Harriet K. Stratis (see the AIC Member Directory for details).