Search by title, author, reviewer, publisher, ISBN/EAN, keyword
socialnet Logo

Standards for writing reviews

  1. General requirements
  2. Structure and scope
  3. General formatting information
  4. Spelling and gender
  5. Submission of the review

Status: 06/22/2021

Please also see our notes for reviewers.

General requirements

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

To meet this objective, we have developed some guidelines for writing a review.

Structure and scope

Each review should provide 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. This means 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 kept 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
  • Contents (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)
  • Discussion with justified evaluation
  • Conclusion, i.e.: 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 are combined, e.g. structure and content. However, the content, discussion and conclusion should always be clearly separated.

In the case of anthologies or legal texts, it is sufficient to present individual contributions as examples after an overview of the volume. In any case, there should be a discussion and 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 safely 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 significantly more detailed if the matter requires it. We would like to point out that reviews of anthologies can present 3-4 selected chapters and a complete reproduction of the content of the title is therefore not necessary.

General formatting information

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 of Open Office (ODT (Open Document Text)).

You make the work easier for yourself and for us if you use our sample text (in German) 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 interventions. The submitted text should not need to be changed significantly.

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

Please do not apply any individual formatting, with the following exceptions

  1. Headings are given an appropriate paragraph format, preferably "Heading 2".
  2. Personal names - and only these - are always italicised in body text, unless the name is not italicised in a verbatim quotation.
  3. Highlighting, if necessary at all, should be used extremely sparingly and only by the distinction "bold".
  4. Listings are formatted as lists (in no particular order) or bulleted lists (with a specified order). For clarity, please limit yourself to one level of outline.
  5. Links may be included for references to other reviews or sources on the internet.
  6. Footnotes are possible in principle, but should be avoided if possible for a better reading flow.

Please avoid any further 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, centred or right justified
  • The selection of special fonts
  • The manual addition of chapter numbers, listing characters or bullet points
  • Automatic chapter numbering

The best thing is to take a deep breath and then think only about the content ;-)
We take care of the formatting :-)

Spelling and gender

Reviews written in German should be written according to the rules of the new German spelling

Personal spelling - gender

As there are no uniform regulations on gender spelling (in German), we assume that you will consider gender diversity in a preferred and consistent spelling of your choice.

References to sources are particularly welcome in the case of new findings, controversial positions or personal statements. In addition, all arguments, thoughts and ideas taken verbatim (quotation) or in spirit (in your own words or as a paraphrase) from the present review copy or also from other texts must be substantiated by means of appropriate references.


  • Quotations in a citation are marked with single inverted commas.
  • Round brackets (...) in a quotation are only permitted as part of the quotation.
  • Sentences are concluded with a full stop after a quotation and corresponding reference.
  • Square brackets [...] in the quotation indicate own corrections, additions or omissions (ellipsis points in square brackets).
  • Each individual omission must be marked with [...].

References and bibliography

There are two types of references at the end of reviews:

  • References serve exclusively as evidence for statements made in the article.
    The annotated bibliographical references offer users the opportunity to delve deeper into the topic.

In the text, the works mentioned under the references are referred to, for example, in the form (author year, p. page number).

If the source reference is not clear, the first letter or, if necessary, the full first name is added after the surname or the year is extended by a continuous lower-case letter. If the source is referenced as a whole, the page reference is omitted.

  • Examples: (Koch and von Holt 2012, p. 12), (Koch Christian et al. 2013a, pp. 2-3), (Koch C. 2013).

Source references are usually placed before the closing point of the sentence or paragraph to be substantiated. Content statements should be exclusively in the text and not in the source references. The sources are listed alphabetically by author and year of publication in a chapter "References".

References should be as precise as possible (page number, date of access in the case of URL). If you refer to sources on the Internet, please save the page as a PDF so that it can be made available to third parties on request, e.g. as part of a review. Generally disseminated and accepted expertise should not be supported by references.

Literature that is recommended for in-depth reading (3-5 titles) is listed alphabetically by author and year of publication in a "References" section following the source references. A short commentary serves as orientation for the user.

Bibliographical information as source references or further literature references can be given according to ISO 690 or other standards in consistent spelling throughout.

Submission of the review

Submission of reviews is exclusively in electronic form via e-mail. File formats are possible: Word (DOC, DOCX) and Open Office/Libre Office (ODT).