Research Africa Reviews
RA, an open digital scholarly platform, welcomes reviews of multimedia material; these would, inter alia, include book, films, documentaries, journal’s thematic issue, artworks, music albums, and digital media. It, in addition, also accepts reports on conferences, seminars and roundtable discussions that reflect upon and evaluate themes and topics on Africa.
For the RA digital platform one repeats that materials on Africa to be reviewed are:
• Authored and Edited Books;
• Special Journal Issues that focus on particular themes; and
• Multimedia Products such as films, documentaries, and music albums.
The RA Editorial Team will consider the following types of contributions that have not appeared elsewhere in digital or print form:
• short reviews;
• review essays;
• reports on a conference
• author responses; and
• a discussion platform: this is either (a) a transcribed interview with an author or producer as regards his/her book or film or artwork or it may be (b) a critical exchange of ideas between an author or producer regarding and his critics.
RA’s Editorial Team
• It permits an individual to undertake a review of material related to Africa;
• It solicits material for review;
• It assigns material to a particular reviewer;
• It vets each review before it is uploaded and published online;
• It provides editorial comments and suggestions to the reviewer to make minor changes or amendments;
• It brings about editorial changes to any incoming review for style, conciseness, and consistency;
• It permits an author or a group of authors a one-off response to critical reviews that he/she or they may differ with and wish to respond to;
• It reserves the right to send a review essay to two peer reviewers for final decision; and
• It provides the reviewer with a pdf copy of his/her review soon after it has been uploaded.
• It publishes reviews that only covers and deals with themes and topics related to Africa;
• It acknowledges that reviews express the ideas of a reviewer and that these are unquestionably subjective;
• It holds the position that published reviews do not necessarily represent the views of RA and its editorial team;
• It approves and uploads reviews that fall within RA’s stipulated guidelines; and
• It does not publish a review that is intentionally malicious and that does not adhere to ethical guidelines.
Length of Reviews:
• Each short review should contain a minimum of 800 words and a maximum of 1,200 long; this exclude the material’s details (i.e. its title and place of print, etc) and the reviewer’s name;
• Each review essay should consist of a minimum of 1,500 to a maximum of 2,500 words if more than two books are being reviewed; if, however, the review essay reviews between three and five books then the essay may reach a maximum of 3,500 words; in this instance the essay must be accompanied by an abstract of a maximum of 300 words;
• Author’s response should be a maximum of 1,000 words;
• A conference report of between 1,500 to 2,500 words;
• An interview of between 1,000 and 2,000 words;
• A debate between the author and his/her critics between 3,000 and 5,000 words (however shorter ones may also be considered)
A Reviewer should include all bibliographical elements:
• title of book/film/exhibition;
• City, State & Publisher’s/Exhibitor’s name;
• date of publication/exhibition;
• number of pages/ artwork;
• ISBN number in case of books and ISSN number in case of thematic journal;
• illustrated (leave out if no illustrations);
• hardcover/softcover regarding books; and
• price (in US dollars).
• Undertake a close assessment of the work and ask the following questions: (a) how it achieved its goal? (b) what ideas are put forward by the author/producer/artist?; (c) how it compares to other works?; and (d) what are its shortcomings and strong points?;
• Place the work in context in relation to other or similar works;
• Offer an appraisal that is engaging, enriching, informative, and critical;
• Report basic information about the text/film/artwork/album;
• Evaluate critically the book/film’s contents by reflecting upon its overall purpose and how he/she seeks to argue his/her case;
• Focus on selected chapters or aspects that underline the general theme of the work;
• Compare contents of related works;
• Indicate how the work breaks new ground or adds fresh ideas to the field;
• Comment on the illustrations (if any), index and references;
• Summarize briefly the book/film’s main conclusions; and
• Mention for whom the work has been targeted.
RA’s Style and Deadlines
• It follows the MLA Style Manual (https://www.mla.org/MLA-Style/The-MLA-Style-Manual) and potential reviewers should familiarize themselves with this manual; and
• It sets the following deadlines: end of March (for April issue), end of September (for August issue), end of November (for December issue); reviews handed in after these dates will be carried over to the issue that follows.