Please share your experiences working with these journals! Feel free to add other journals to the list. Try to stick with this format: each journal should be separated by dashes, and responses under each journal should each have their own bullet.
Back to Literary Studies Journals
African American Review
- 2021: Desk rejection after 2.5 months. A bit harsh but fairly helpful. It's quite rare to get an explanation along with the desk rejection, so I was somewhat content.
- Summary desk rejection after six months.
- Submitted in October 2016. Reviewers were not assigned until spring/summer of 2017, and all email inquiries to the editor and staff about status were ignored. Got the decision in August 2017. Getting a rejection after 10 months was tough, but two of the three reviewers had thorough and very helpful comments.
- I submitted via FastTrack in November 2016. My article was marked at "Reviewers not assigned" until March 2017. The first review was completed fairly quickly after that (about two months?), but I did not hear back from the second reviewer and from the managing editor until August 2017. The reviews themselves were thorough and helpful.
- Does anyone have new information on the submission process with African American Review since they've been using manuscript FastTrack? I submitted an article 3 months ago and haven't received any word about it's status. It is listed as "Reviewers not assigned" on Manuscript FastTrack. Should I contact the editor to check on the status?
- Submitted an article in 2011. Received a revise/resubmit exactly 3 months later. The reader responses were excellent and thorough. It took me about 1 month to finish my revisions and resubmit the article. Exactly three months after the resubmission, the article was accepted, with a few more small reader comments, including some praise for the revisions I had done. Thanks!!! The article has not appeared in print yet, as the journal is currently backed up, but my experience with submission and reader response was wholly positive with AAR.
- Submitted article in 2011, as well. Received R&R within 3 months; similarly to the above poster, the two reviews were helpful and thorough. Also completed my revisions in a month. Second review delayed because of an unresponsive reader, a condition outside the editor's control. Ultimately a new reader was found: to his credit, the editor was patient and graceful in responding to repeated inquiries. Finally accepted about a year after initial submission. In all, totally worth the wait, as their assistance improved the essay considerably (not to mention my tenure case!).
- According to reports I've heard, unresponsive readers seem to be a recurring problem with this journal.
- Submitted a manuscript with a very small formatting error. The journal took six months to get back to me, and it was ultimately to tell me that the manuscript was rejected because of the formatting error, and could not be resubmitted for reconsideration. Yes, I felt like a complete idiot for the small error, and was so angry at myself, but the tone of the response from the editor was completely humiliating and alienating. If they weren't going to bother actually reading the manuscript, and were going to reject it, it would have been nice to know sooner than six months. I can only assume that they have a tremendous backlog of submissions, and look for any possible way to slough manuscripts off the pile. This was in 2012 so I hope things have changed since then.
- Reader reports were detailed, thoughtful, and ultimately quite helpful in improving my work. Journal personnel were very amiable and responsive. However, I was frustrated with aspects of the copyediting process. The final copy of my AAR article contained typos that were not present in the proofs, contained a few unanticipated and inexplicable deletions of text, and ignored several important corrections that I made to the proofs. (Note that many of those corrections were only necessary because errors appeared in the proofs that weren't in the final Word document I submitted.) Significantly, I suspect that the copyeditor was unfamiliar with particularities of my material, and was content to change some of my very deliberate, nuanced, and content-specific writerly choices into generic/"textbook"-style copy. I encourage contributors to be very meticulous about reviewing proofs and very assertive about linguistic choices you make that are crucial to your intellectual project but might not be salient to someone performing generic copyedits.Note that this all refers to a piece published in 2013.
Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies
Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingue
- Submitted in June and never received acknowledgement. Inquired at 4 months and heard nothing. Inquired again at 6 months; again, nothing. Finally. A few days after second inquiry, I got my package with a letter stating the journal is not taking new submissions due to an 18 month backlog. I understand the drastic cuts but not indicating this on a website is irresponsible, especially to those on the T-T.
Journal of African American Studies
Journal of Asian American Studies
Latino(a) Research Review
- December 2020: Very pleased overall, considering after I initially submitted, several people cautioned me that this journal frequently does multiple rounds of revision. Due to the structure of needing to pass the editorial board before actually sending submissions out for review, reports come back slowly so if you're on the tenure clock, you'll want to submit early on. I was not asked to do any revisions by the editorial board so it was sent out fairly quickly but first reviews didn't come back for 5 1/2 months. After one round of revision, acceptance came 2 months later. All told, it will be 1.5 years from initial submission to being in print, which is in line with many other journals.
- Very careful editorial process produces excellent articles. Every submission is first read and discussed by the editors, and often revisions are required before it is even sent to outside readers. A large percentage of submissions are eventually published, but sometimes after multiple rounds of revision. The journal nonetheless keeps the process moving: my essay was published one year after initial submission.
- Articles are top quality, but the editorial process is tedious and out of sync with most journals, in most fields. I sent an article in, went through the initial screening, revised it thoroughly and had to wait over as year (I checked at 6 and 9 months) to be told the truth of why the review was taking so long -a reviewer had been ill. That delay didn't merit consideration of the time I took to complete the major revise and resubmit (11 months). I was told the journal doesn't review articles that "have been withdrawn," which I never did. Bottom line: not a journal to submit to if you are on the tenure track and don't have 1 - 2 years to lose on editor back and forth.
- Agreed: very careful editorial process. I find it to be so helpful as they really guide you in ways that I have not experienced with other journals. Yes it makes the process a bit longer however the quality is increased and the authors themselves really learn something from this experience.
- 2021: Got peer-reviewed and rejected after less than 2.5 months. Both reports were very helpful.
- 2021: Quick and pleasant experience. Submitted Jan 2021; received acceptance with minor revisions late Feb 2021 and two helpful reader reports. Editor is quick to respond with useful feedback.
- 2019: I've been always a fan of Melus since attending one of their conferences as a PhD student. I was excited to send them a manuscript that I worked on extensively. Even though I got two positive reviewers' reports (one was a straight acceptance), the editor rejected the paper. I was greatly disappointed because I agreed with the suggestions reviewer2 and editor made but I could have revised the paper and resubmitted it within three months. This was a major disappointment.
- 2018-2019: First submitted in Sep 2018, R&R received in Feb 2019, resubmitted in early Oct 2019, acceptance with minor revision received in Dec 2019. Got solid feedback and suggestions with both rounds, from a total of 3 reviewers.
- 2017-2018: While it did take about 7-8 months before I heard back from the journal (my article was rejected), I really appreciate the incredibly thoughtful and engaged readers' reports I received back. They have helped me revise the article into something much better.
- 2017-2018: submitted in late August 2017. Accepted with revisions in late December 2017. Resubmitted early February 2018 with full acceptance in early March. Pretty careful revision process, with the chief editor Totten submitting editorial queries to me in May 2018 and then Oxford UP providing proofs with queries in mid-June. Should be available online before August and in print by the end of the year.
- 2017: 10-month turnaround. The editor's assistant was responsive and courteous when I would write to check in (at the 6 month and 9 month mark); it seemed that they were having trouble finding reviewers. After that long wait I was rejected with minimal comments on the reader reports. An extremely disappointing experience, no less because I admire the journal and the organization.
- 2017: 3-month (to the day) turnaround. Rejected but with helpful reader reports. The readers were split but the editor made it clear why he sided more clearly with the more critical reviewer (who had fair and helpful points that will definitely shape my revision, I think for the better). I appreciated the quick turnaround and the editor's suggestion as to another journal that may be interested after revision.
- 2016: 3-month turnaround. Rejected, but gracefully so. Two reader reports were thorough and extremely helpful. Reviews were consistent with each other, and I agreed with the criticisms, as well.
- 2015: 4-month turnaround. Ultimately rejected, though reader reports conflicted each other. One reader's report particularly helpful, encouraging, and insightful (and persuasive in its critique). Other seemed defensive of field and quite snarky, taking more pleasure in taking shots at the article than offering coherent reasons for rejection. Editor helpful and encouraging.
- March 2015: Submitted in September 2014 and just received a R&R with incredibly detailed and helpful comments. Their site says they aim to return a decision within six months and encourages you to contact them if you haven't heard by the six month mark. I wasn't quite to that mark yet; it seems like they do take that six month max timeline seriously.
- Dec 2014: Received R&R with two positive reader reports and lots of suggestions for edits (as well as an encouragement from the editor to resubmit). It took 4 months plus a couple weeks to receive this response after initial submission.
- Terrific experience in 2013-2014: 4 months from submission to R&R (with incredibly helpful reader reports); conditional acceptance within 2 months; full acceptance in just over a month after that. It's not yet in print, but the process was encouraging and improved the piece considerably.
Studies in American Indian Literatures
- Submitted via email as requested and never heard anything. I later learned that the editorial staff changed. I assume the article was trashed.
- Submitted in 2009. Never heard anything. All email inquiries were ignored. Eventually gave up.