Guidelines for book reviewers

Book reviews in Oryx are by invitation only; the journal does not accept unsolicited reviews. If you are invited to review a book, please consider whether you have any conflicts of interest (financial, professional or personal relationships with the potential to bias your review) and only accept the invitation if there is no such conflict.

Book reviews published in Oryx are typically c. 600–700 words. Please use our book review template to prepare your review.

A good review should engage the reader, provide a general impression of what the book covers, highlight its strengths and, if applicable, address any shortcomings. Book reviews are less formal and more personal in style compared to research articles.

Here are some questions that can guide you in your writing:

  • Why were you interested in reading the book?
  • What is the subject or topic of the book?
  • What is the book’s thesis or main argument?
  • How does the author support and structure their argument?
  • In your view, is the topic covered in adequate depth and breadth?
  • Is the book well written and easy to follow? Did you enjoy the writing style?
  • Was there anything you wish the book had addressed that was not covered?
  • Is there anything that could be improved, or any argument you disagree with?
  • Are there any images/illustrations/photographs in the book, and if so, are they of good quality and do they help convey the book’s message?
  • Has this book helped you understand the subject? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • Would you recommend the book to others? Why?

If you use direct quotes from the book in your review, please always include the page number on which the quote is to be found.

At the end of your review, please include your name, e-mail address and affiliation as they should appear in the published review. Once complete, submit your book review to the editorial office via our online submission system or by e-mail to Please also send us the completed licence to publish.

Here are some examples of book reviews published in Oryx, to give you an impression of the general format and style: