Guidelines for Museum Reviewers

In January 2005, the AJA launched Museum Reviews in the belief that temporary museum exhibitions may make important contributions to archaeological scholarship and so deserve critical examination by specialists in the journal. Reviews of relevant exhibitions both in the United States and abroad, as well as new gallery installations, are considered. Museum reviews are either published in the printed journal or on the AJA website as open access files. Each online review is tied to a specific issue of the print-published journal and is included in the table of contents of that issue.

An AJA museum review should not simply be a listing of the contents of an exhibition or new gallery installation but should instead assess its strengths and weaknesses and locate it within the current field of scholarship. Reviewers should be willing to draw attention to serious problems of selection and interpretation and errors of fact. It is also helpful if reviewers indicate for which audiences the exhibition seems appropriate.

Reviewers are invited by the Museum Review Editor or the Editor-in-Chief, but suggestions of appropriate exhibitions for review are welcome. The AJA reserves the right to edit reviews for content and length. Examples of reviews in past issues of the AJA may serve as models (e.g., N. Papalexandrou, "Beyond the Acropolis: New Installations of Greek Antiquities in Athenian Museums," AJA 114 [2010] 549–56; see also open access museum reviews).

Museum Review Submission

  • A museum review should be submitted as an MS Word file, should be typed double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins on all sides, and should conform as much as possible to AJA review format and style.
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  • A museum review will not be accepted and scheduled for publication until a signed author warranty has been received.
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  • Once a museum review has been accepted for publication, it will be copyedited, typeset, and proofread. The AJA will communicate with the reviewer during the copyediting stage; page proofs will then be emailed to the reviewer with instructions for making any final corrections. While the reviewer may clarify or modify page proofs in minor ways, no major revisions are permitted. Corrected proofs should be returned within one week of receipt.
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  • One complimentary PDF reprint of a museum review that appears in the print-published journal is given to the reviewer, who can also purchase hard copy reprints. Authors of online reviews can print copies of their review directly from the AJA website.

Museum Review Format and Style

  • Heading
  • Each review should be preceded by a heading in AJA style listing the exhibition or gallery installation to be reviewed. If the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, the bibliographic information should be included:
    • Unearthing the Truth: Egypt's Pagan and Coptic Sculpture
    • Brooklyn Museum, 13 February–10 May 2009, curated by Edna R. Russmann.
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    • Unearthing the Truth: Egypt's Pagan and Coptic Sculpture
    • By Edna R. Russmann. Pp. 91, color figs. 44. Brooklyn Museum, New York 2009. $19.95. ISBN 978-0-87273-162-2 (cloth).
  • Although a museum review cannot include a full critique of the catalogue, some comments about its relation to the exhibition and lasting scholarly value are appropriate.
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  • Reviewer Information
  • Reviewers should supply their name and mailing and email addresses at the end of the review. The Museum Review Editor should be informed if page proofs should be sent to another email address.
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  • Text and References
  • A review should run approximately 2,000 to 5,000 words. Notes and accompanying bibliography are permitted. See also the list of AJA abbreviations of titles of periodicals and standard reference works. Works not listed should be written in full.
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  • Figures
  • A museum review may be accompanied by three to five figures. No figures will be published without written permission from the copyright holder. See Figure Preparation for more information.