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Notes for reviewers

Helpful documents for socialnet Reviews (mainly in German)

Frequently asked questions and answers about socialnet Reviews

How do I become a reviewer?

Bring your expertise and practical experience from the fields of social work, health care, and nonprofit management to the review of current professional literature. We are always interested in recruiting new reviewers for socialnet. Please simply contact the socialnet Reviews editorial team using the form. Tell us your areas of expertise or suggest a specific title right away (see next section). By accepting a review, you agree to the agreement on reviewing activities (PDF, in german), which regulates the basis of cooperation between you and socialnet GmbH.

Which titles can I suggest for review?

You are welcome to suggest titles from the fields of social work, health care and nonprofit management for which you would like to write a review.

Occasionally, we also allow titles for review that are thematically more marginal to socialnet, but which we consider to enrich our offerings. Just browse through our reviews and consider whether your title might fit.

Basically, we only accept suggestions of currently newly published or reissued titles. We are guided by the current as well as past calendar year.

When you take on a review project, you assure us that you have no conflict of interest with the authors or editors of the book or that you do not expect any positive effects from a review. Reviews commissioned by publishers or even the authors themselves are not in accordance with our review agreement. See also the following paragraphs on title selection.

If you would like to suggest a title, please provide us with the complete bibliographic data including the 13-digit ISBN. We look forward to receiving your request from the editors.

Can foreign titles also be reviewed?

Currently, most of socialnet's visitors come from German-speaking countries and the publishers of most titles are based in Germany, Austria or Switzerland.

However, we think it is very helpful to look beyond our own backyard. This applies not only to thematic boundaries, but also to regional and national boundaries. Therefore, you are welcome to suggest titles from foreign publishers. We already have initial experience with English-language titles and publishers. We ask for your understanding that we can currently only offer German, English and French as correspondence languages.

Can other media, e.g. videos and working materials, also be discussed?

If you would like to discuss other media, please ask the editorial office in each individual case. As a rule, the reviewed media should be available for order through bookstores.

Can I also submit a review that is already available?

As a rule, it is a good idea to contact us before you write the review. We can then clarify whether there is interest in the review and what the requirements are for publication on socialnet. We will then get the book for you from the publisher.

If you would like to offer us a review that has already been written, you must have the copyright and the right of use. As a rule, we only accept first publications. Furthermore, it must not be a commissioned or favored review initiated by the publisher or author.

Can a title be reviewed more than once by you?

In rare cases, we allow multiple, independent reviews. This can be useful for the readership if, for example, the reviewers arrive at different well-founded judgments or write from a different usage perspective.

Can two of us write a review?

Yes. This makes work easier for some titles, e.g. anthologies, is helpful due to the breadth of subject matter, e.g. encyclopedias, or allows for different roles to be brought in.

How do I get the book?

We request the review copy for you from the publisher, who sends it directly to you. After the review, the copy remains in your possession. See the full process in the next section.

What is the full publication process?

A review project essentially involves the following steps:

  1. You suggest a title to us or we inquire with you about a review.
  2. We take up your suggestion or you tell us to do so.
  3. We request the review copy from the publisher, who sends it directly to your address.
  4. You send us the review by e-mail. For economic reasons, we can only consider reviews submitted electronically. For review requirements, see below.
  5. We provide a preview online for you to proofread.
  6. After the deadline for corrections has passed, your corrections have been incorporated, or you have given your approval, the review will be released for publication in the next few days.
  7. We ensure the widest possible readership, including by publishing all reviewed titles in our socialnet newsletter.

In order to make the process as pleasant and effective as possible for both sides, the editorial team is exclusively committed to electronic communication (e-mail, web forms). The review copy is provided in the form in which it is offered for sale, i.e. so far almost exclusively in printed form.

How long does it take for a review to be published?

If the process runs smoothly, a review can be published within about four weeks. In most cases, our editorial team responds within a maximum of three working days. Delays can occur, for example, because a title is not yet available, e-mails get lost in a spam filter, or reviewers cannot find the necessary time and peace of mind so quickly after all. A review project should be completed after three months at the latest.

Are there certain quality standards for a review?

The aim of the reviews is to help the users of the review service in their reading and buying decisions. After reading your text, readers should have an idea of the benefits that reading the reviewed book might provide. As readers, we envision primarily employees of the social economy. But also the scientific community should be able to orient itself with profit about the publishing activities and the developments in theory and practice behind them.

To meet this objective, we have developed some guidelines and standards for writing a review (in german) as a suggestion. See the next section.

Is there a guide to writing a review?

Very different reviews can be useful for the readership. Thus, while we have developed formal criteria for the outline and layout of a review, we leave you a free hand in terms of content. Therefore, we would primarily like to give you some suggestions and not constrain you by "rules".

Every review should convey a differentiated picture of the reviewed work that is meaningful to the reader. In addition, it can shed light on the thematic environment of the publication or the authors or editors. It follows that socialnet Reviews have a "serving" function: they should provide our users with solid information about promising new publications. One consequence of this task definition is that the presentation of the reviewers' own ideas and positions should not be in the foreground here - there are other publication forums for this, e.g. In the first place and predominantly it should be about the presentation of the reviewed work.

The review should be factual, concise and clearly structured. The following structure of a review has proven itself in practice:

  • Topic of the publication
  • Introduction of author or editor
  • Background of the publication
  • Structure (as a rule, this should be the most extensive part of the review and can be smaller in the case of legal texts or anthologies after consultation with the editors)
  • Contents (this should be the most extensive part of the review)
  • Discussion with justified evaluation
  • Conclusion = a meaningful and comprehensive summary of the book content and your evaluation (abstract of your review)
  • desirable, but not mandatory: Summary = English translation of the conclusion

In individual cases, deviations may make sense or accommodate your personal intention. More often, sections, e.g. structure and content, are summarized. However, content, discussion and conclusion should always be clearly separated.

In the case of anthologies, it is sufficient to present individual contributions by way of example after an overview of the volume. In any case, there should be a concise conclusion at the end, if necessary under a different title.

At the beginning of the review, it is best to mention the author, title, and your name to ensure that the text can be reliably attributed. You do not have to take care of your naming as reviewer at the end of the review and the citation suggestion. This will be inserted automatically from our database.

The appropriate length of a review can vary considerably and is in most cases two to three printed pages or 5,000 to 8,000 characters. In principle, a review can also be much more detailed if the matter requires it.

Paying attention to some technical aspects of writing a review makes our job much easier and speeds up the publication process. See the next section.

What should be taken care of when writing the review?

Please submit your texts only electronically, i.e. by e-mail or (planned option) by form, in the formats of Word (doc, docx, rtf = rich text format) or Open Office (odt = open document text).

You will make your work and ours easier if you use our German sample text for Word or Open Office as a template.

Please proofread as thoroughly as possible before submitting the review or ask someone in your environment to proofread it. Requests for corrections after submitting the review should be limited to errors caused by editorial intervention. The submitted text should not need to be changed significantly.

After editing, we invite you to proofread. Since the editorial staff does not have resources for final review, we sincerely request that you thoroughly review the text intended for permanent publication, as any remaining errors remain your responsibility.

Please do not apply any custom formatting, with the following exceptions.

  • Headings are given an appropriate paragraph format, preferably "Heading 2".
  • Personal names - and only those - are italicized unless the name is not italicized in a verbatim quotation.
  • Emphasis, if needed at all, should be used extremely sparingly and only by the distinction "bold."
  • Listings are formatted as lists (in no particular order) or bulleted lists (with a specified order).
  • Links may be included for references to other reviews or sources on the Internet.
  • Footnotes are generally possible, but should be avoided if possible for better reading flow.

Please avoid any additional formatting, especially

  • fixed line breaks
  • blank lines
  • empty paragraphs
  • automatic or manual hyphenation
  • changes to the only two required paragraph formats, standard and heading 2
  • changing alignment from left justified to justified, centered or right justified
  • the selection of special fonts
  • manual addition of chapter numbers, listing characters or bullet numbers
  • automatic chapter numbering.

It's best to take a deep breath and then think only about the content ;-)
We will take care of the formatting :-)

For more information on spelling, bibliography, citation suggestions, and gender-appropriate language, see our standards for writing reviews.

Are there any legal aspects to consider?

The adoption of third-party texts is only permitted as a marked quotation in appropriately short excerpts. Plagiarism constitutes copyright infringement.

If you have granted third parties the corresponding right to use your own review, you may be prohibited from using it, even in part, on socialnet. This depends on the regulations in the individual case.

It should go without saying that formulations must not be offensive and that false statements of fact must be avoided in reviews. If you are already in dispute with an author or publisher, please refrain from writing a review.

What should you pay particular attention to in critical reviews?

socialnet Reviews present promising new publications and new editions. From the flood of new publications, about 10% of the titles that seem particularly interesting are selected for review projects. Although this is expected to result in a positive selection, it is not surprising that some books do not live up to what their title seems to promise. It is editorial policy to publish such critical reviews so that authors, publishers and users are not deprived of this information. In addition to the rules already mentioned above (especially "Is there any legal information to be observed?"), the following special instructions apply to the writing of such reviews:

  • The separation between neutral reproduction of the content and commentary in the discussion section is of particular importance here.
  • The critical evaluations cited should be carefully substantiated. This promotes the objectification of conceivable replications and statements.
  • Criticism should be limited to the book itself and not include issues surrounding its creation or the like.
  • The critique should be formulated in such a way that other persons - especially the criticized authors - can deal with it in an objective and productive manner.

If critical feedback on the review is received by the editorial office, the following procedures can be considered:

  • The editors and the reviewer check the justification of the objections raised and, if necessary, make changes and corrections, e.g., in the case of obvious errors.
  • If the editor and reviewer see no reason for changes, the critic is invited to summarize his or her objections as factually as possible and with references in a reply to the review. The editorial office forwards this replica to the reviewer with a request for comment. The replica and statement are appended to the review, and reference to these additions is made in the header of the review.

Can I link to my reviews on my homepage?

You are welcome to link to your reviews from us, e.g. on your homepage, in social communities, blogs, forums or from your employer's website. Please note the regulations of the respective website operators.

In the future, we will also offer that you can reach all reviews written by you via a link or embed them dynamically, so that each additional review is automatically accessible from your homepage. You will receive information about this and other new options for the review service via the socialnet newsletter and, if applicable, in special mailings to active reviewers.

Can I publish my review elsewhere?

Our agreements with reviewers stipulate that reviews are published exclusively by us or third parties authorized by us. In return, we organize the review process, take care of the editing, bear the costs of the online publication and promote the distribution through promotional measures. In justified exceptional cases, deviating agreements can be made.

Why do my reviews appear on other websites or in journals?

socialnet operates a whole series of subject portals on which continuously updated thematically appropriate reviews or, in most cases, only references to the selected reviews appear on socialnet. See as an example A look at the imprint will convince you that the publisher of this site is socialnet GmbH. socialnet is clearly recognizable as the source of the reviews.

We have agreed with other website operators that they will refer to the socialnet Reviews . In doing so, no complete texts are taken over, but only thematically arranged references are given. See as an example Deutsche Vereinigung für Sozialarbeit im Gesundheitswesen e.V. (DVSG). Here, too, socialnet is identifiable as the source and book orders are placed via socialnet Buchversand. The orders contribute to the financing of the review service. If you come across complete reviews that are not published on socialnet pages, please inform us. The same applies if third parties combine references to socialnet Reviews with book sales on their own account.

Our sponsors (as a rule, publishing houses) acquire the right to quote reviews of publishing house publications as they wish, stating the source, or to adopt them in full. The right of use covers both electronic and printed publications.

In order to promote the dissemination of the reviews, we occasionally make agreements with journals about a reprint. We inform the reviewer about this in a timely manner. If you come across a publication that has not been announced to you, please inform us, as a copyright infringement may have occurred.

Can I also report a review to VG Wort?

Yes, in principle, online publications can also be reported to the VG Wort. You can find more information at VG Wort and Wikipedia. As a publisher, we do not currently register with the VG Wort ourselves. However, you can do this yourself as an author and send us the required code with a tracking pixel, which we will gladly insert into your text for you. The responsibility for registering with VG Wort lies with you.

Who is my contact for further questions?

You have looked through the page and your question is still unanswered? Then contact the editors of socialnet Reviews.