Editorial Assessment, Manuscript Development, and Peer Review
Projects submitted to Baylor University Press for consideration undergo a thorough editorial assessment, rigorous developmental editing, and a demanding peer review process. At the Press, we refer to this entire program of evaluation as the acquisitions phase of the life of the book. The following steps provide a basic summary of how the acquisitions phase normally unfolds for BUP publications.
1. Initial contact: We encourage prospective authors to contact our acquisitions team at [email protected] before submitting a proposal to us. We discuss publishing queries during a weekly editorial meeting. If, upon initial evaluation and discussion, we determine that your project might be a good fit for the BUP list, we will ask you to submit a formal proposal.
2. The proposal: The main document we use to determine our interest in a project is the proposal. In the proposal, you are making a case for us to publish your book. For further information on how to substantiate your case, see our Proposal Requirements.
3. Preparing for peer review: If our editorial team takes interest in your proposal, one of our acquisitions editors will work with you to prepare your project for our peer review process. In addition to the formal proposal document, BUP requires written samples from the work being proposed (usually the introduction and 2 to 3 sample chapters, though preferably the full manuscript if available). Your acquisitions editor will advise you regarding any revisions to the proposal or samples that must take place before peer review. Please note: for authors proposing revised doctoral theses or dissertations to BUP, we strongly recommend for essential revisions to be made before peer review. See our Revisions Checklist for Doctoral Dissertations for further information.
4. Peer review: BUP employs a comprehensive, double-blind peer review process that reflects the standards of the Association of University Presses, of which the Press is a member in good standing. Reviewers receive anonymized copies of the proposal and sample chapters. Peer review normally takes 8 to 10 weeks to complete, though, under certain circumstances, it may take longer.
5. Author’s response: Peer reviewers draft assessment reports based on a 9-question template. Once the Press receives reports from reviewers, we return them to the author along with our own recommendations for revision. Authors are asked to draft a response to the review reports, addressing any essential revisions in that response. At this point, some projects may be declined based on external peer review, either from insurmountable objections raised, inability on the part of the author to address required revisions, or the project’s failure to receive approval from the University Press Committee based on negative peer review.
6. University Press Committee: Following peer review and the author’s response, the Press makes a presentation to Baylor’s University Press Committee recommending publication. The UPC ordinarily meets four times a year during the academic calendar to evaluate projects in development. We do not present any projects to UPC unless we expect them to be approved.
7. Contract and submission: After UPC, our team requests a formal contract through Baylor University’s CRM. It normally takes 6 to 8 weeks for contracts to be issued. During this time, we tentatively schedule a publication timeframe and begin the march toward submission. Your acquisitions editor, your main contact at the Press up to the point of submission, will continue to answer any questions you may have regarding manuscript development and revisions prior to the handoff of the manuscript.