Reviewer/Author Ethical Guidelines (2011 Update)
These guidelines are to insure that MWSA reviews are standard, consistent, fair, and professional.
1. There are standard criteria for reviewing a book which have been defined and published on the MWSA web site, Twitter, Facebook, and on any marketing or other MWSA brochures, etc. Reviewers must review and score books based on these criteria ONLY.
2. Books may not be accepted for review until the author's membership has been confirmed by the Lead Reviewer. A book is not eligible for an award if the members dues have expired prior to October 1st. (the day after the yearly Awards Banquet).
3. All authors will receive the same consideration regardless of method of publication and all will be held to the same standards.
4. Reviewers must recuse themselves if they are assigned a book written by a friend, family member, or close associate—or if they have submitted a book in the same Genre/Sub-Category.
5. If a reviewer plans on submitting his own book for review and award, he/she cannot serve as a Judge in that Genre.
6. Officers/Board members may not serve as Judges. NOTE: Beginning October 2012, Officers may not submit books for the awards process while they are in office. Officers can submit books for review and those reviews will appear on MWSA site. However, these reviews will not include a score and the books will not be considered for awards.
7. Final scores are determined by the combination of the reviewers score and the two judge’s scores. The Vice President and Lead Reviewer receive and verify scores. Awards determinations are then made by the President and Lead Reviewer, both must agree before any announcement can be made.
8. If an author contacts a reviewer or judge directly during the review process, a reviewer or judge must report the incident to the Lead Reviewer. Authors who contact reviewers or judges about their books (by message, phone, Text, Twitter, Facebook, email or any other method of communication) during the review and or award process will be disqualified from any award.
9. Award categories can only be changed with the approval of the Board by a majority vote.
10. Officers, Board Members, Lead Reviewer and Reviewers may not offer awards to authors, publishers or any other agent or organization in exchange for joining MWSA or in exchange for money or other favors.
11. Reviewers may not negotiate with authors, publicists, or publishers about reviews or scores.
12. Author (members)/publisher (members) may appeal a review one time by query to Lead Reviewer who will assign another reviewer. The second review will be published and scores will be averaged
13. Vice President and Lead Reviewer each receive copies of the judges scores, the Vice Presidents excel sheet is the backup in the event of a computer or contested issue, and the Vice President is not permitted to divulge or discuss those scores with anyone beyond the Lead Reviewer. Only the Lead Reviewer provides scoring information to the President about winners, the President in conjunction with the Lead Reviewer confirm winners. The President (or a person designated) will make the radio announcement of winners. The Lead Reviewer plans and arranges the award ceremony.
14. The Lead Reviewer is responsible for reviewer assignments. If a reviewer has a book eligible for award, the Lead Reviewer must ensure that the reviewer is not assigned competing books. NOTE: The Lead Reviewer is responsible for maintaining the fairness of the review and scoring process, and is subject to removal by the board if conflicts of interest in the reviewing process arise.
15. A book will go through the review/evaluation for award process once and only once, regardless of year published or format (hard cover, soft cover, ebook). Subsequent editions will not be reviewed again (though new cover art may be submitted for display on the website). NOTE: The only exception is when a book changes genre that will significantly impact the judging criteria —such as audio book or teleplay or screenplay.