Reviewer Coordination

Rob and I started the Reviewer Coordination Program a few months into the 2017 season.  Since it's still a new and perhaps unfamiliar program, I thought I'd share some thoughts about what it is and why we're doing it.

Reviewer Coordination Process

Initial Actions

  • Once three reviewers have been identified for a book, the Awards Directors send an email to the author letting him/her know it's time to send us review copies.
  • At this time, we also send the three reviewers a "Reviewer Coordination" email notification.  In this way, reviewers...
    • ...know that a new review book will be on the way soon
    • ...are reminded whether they are reviewing and scoring the book (Reviewer #1) or just scoring the book (Reviewers #2 and #3)
    • ...learn who the other two reviewers are
  • No action is required (other than saving the email for possible future use)... it's FYI only!
    • Please do not contact the other reviewers before you do your own scoring!
    • Initial scoring of books should be an individual process--free from outside influence and/or collaboration.
  • However... IF any reviewer discovers that there is a problem with the book, they can contact the other reviewers AND the Awards Directors so that we can take action quickly.
    • What type of problem should I surface with the other reviewers and Awards Directors?
      • Not suitable for our website (X-rated, bashes military, etc.)
      • Wrong genre/subcategory
      • Desperately in need of editing
      • Possible copyright violations
      • Anything that might reflect unfavorably on MWSA!

Draft Review Stage

  • Once the #1 reviewer finishes reading and scoring the book, they are encouraged to share a draft of their review with the other two reviewers.
    • Why share the draft?
      • Mostly for editing/quality control by two other reviewers who've read the book.
      • A side benefit is that the review might have a better chance of representing a consensus among three reviewers if it's shared beforehand.
    • When should I share my draft review?
      • Ideally, it'd be best that this coordination/editing happen after all three reviewers have finished reading and scoring--thus avoiding the above-mentioned "influence and/or collaboration."
      • However, no one but the Awards Directors have visibility on who's done what and when, so the #1 reviewer should feel free to share his/her draft review at any time after they've finished reading and scoring the book themselves.
    • Bottom line: it's the #1 reviewer's review!
      • Fellow reviewers are free to suggest changes, additions or subtractions... but the #1 Reviewer has the final say among the three reviewers!