Manuscript Evaluation Guidelines for CSR Anonymous Evaluators


On behalf of CSR, thank you for willingness to serve as an anonymous evaluator.  Your efforts offer our contributors invaluable feedback.  Our mission at CSR is both to produce a high-quality academic interdisciplinary journal and also, quite self-consciously, to assist those who submit articles for consideration in the development of their research and writing.  We welcome frank and constructive comments and suggestions with both of these goals in mind.  When we receive your comments, we add them to those collected from our editorial staff along with another anonymous reader.  We coordinate, edit and consolidate these and present them to the author(s) with careful attention to protecting the anonymous character of their source.

The questions and guidelines below are intended to help you focus your evaluations and to ensure that each manuscript is measured against a set of common criteria.  We are happy to receive as specific and thorough comments as you are willing to provide and ask that, at a minimum, you provide us with a total of 300-600 words of assessment and rationale and that you address each of the areas below. Please, if you would, answer the following questions: feel free to use this form as a template, opening this file in a word processing program and filling in your comments under each question as you go.

Areas for Evaluation

  1. In light of CSR’s policy statement how well does this manuscript fit with the mission of the journal? Who is the likely audience?
  2. What is the significant contribution of the article to “Christ-animated literature?” Are the voices of the authors clear or is there too much reliance on the arguments of others? Will readers be stimulated and nurtured by reading the manuscript? At the end of reading the manuscript will readers be challenged toward new modes of thought or to re-evaluate commonly held perspectives?
  3. Is the manuscript well written? Does it have a clear thesis? Is it well-supported? Do the arguments flow logically?  Are its conclusions supported by its arguments? Is the manuscript an appropriate length for its contribution? If it does not follow a conventional argumentative structure, does the manuscript nevertheless proceed persuasively toward a clear conclusion? Is there an overuse of quotes or ideas from others that overshadows the arguments presented by the authors?
  4. Is there evidence of significant engagement with other scholarship? That is, does the manuscript show the author is aware of the relevant scholarship in the subject area and is such scholarship properly acknowledged?
  5. Indicate one of the four following recommendations and provide a rationale for that decision:
    Reject Outright. This meaning that the article is either not fitting for the mission of the journal or that the deficiencies of the article are substantial enough that it is irretrievable for the sake of publication in its current form.
    Reject, Invite Resubmission.  The article shows substantial deficiencies but there is enough in the idea or the form of the article that significant revisions might produce something that could be reconsidered for publication.
    Accept, Contingent on Revision. The article demonstrates sufficient coherence, cohesiveness in form and execution of its purpose, and in its fittingness for CSR that it can be accepted for publication with the caveat that there are still areas of moderate to substantial revision that need to be undertaken before it is finally accepted as is.
    Accept. The article is fully acceptable for publication in its present state with only the need for light revisions and copyediting.


Please upload your evaluation within four to six weeks of receiving the manuscript.

As a gentle reminder, many authors are submitting their first work of Christ-animated scholarship. When providing negative feedback, please frame your comments and feedback in ways that can help authors understand and accept the feedback in a way that can strengthen further scholarship in the area.

Thank you for the remarkable service you are providing to others in your field of Christian scholarship.  The contributors consistently express deep gratitude for the frank and thorough help that the anonymous readers provide them in the development of their vocation.

Again, thank you for your expertise, for your willingness to offer your valuable time, and your important professional service.

Margaret Diddams