Academia Press

Peer review procedure

Specifically for HSS-monographs, Academia Press aims to contribute to the correct valorization of specialized studies and high-quality series, with the explicit goal of acting as a gatekeeper of standards within the humanities and social sciences.


To this end Academia Press has established the special Ginkgo-imprint. The name is an allusion to the Maidenhair Tree, whose bifurcating leaves have traditionally been used as bookmarks, and to which have been attributed all kinds of medicinal qualities – such as the stimulation of brain activity – from the sixteenth century onwards. In this respect, the Ginkgo tree − the only plant species that survived the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima without difficulty − stands for the faith that Academia Press puts in the lasting value of rigorously assessed publications.


More concretely, this quality label guarantees blind, external peer review of submitted manuscripts. At the same time, inclusion in the Ginkgo-imprint stands for the success with which a manuscript has come through the entire review procedure. The latter includes initial in-house screening by the academic acquisitions manager, Pieter Borghart, who holds a PhD in Modern Greek Studies. On the basis of his internal report, it is decided whether to appoint an external evaluation committee comprised of academic peers.

As Academia Press values its independence, it has chosen not to work with a permanent editorial committee but to opt for shifting evaluation committees, consisting of prominent national or international experts in the relevant field. The three referees are asked to submit their advice on the basis of a standardized procedure and within a reasonable term (approximately eight weeks). Subsequently, their reports are made available to the author anonymously. The author can then decide whether or not to take into account each of the referees’ comments, and submit a revised version in order to finalize the review procedure successfully.

The added value of the publisher, acting as an intermediary, lies in the optimization and refinement of innovative knowledge. The peer review procedure, after all, serves to evaluate the scholarly quality of manuscripts, both in terms of their subject matter and structure.

Typical questions posed to the referees are:

  • Can this manuscript be considered an important (international) contribution to the discipline?
  • Is it original in terms of its central research question and/or the analysis of the source material? 
  • Will colleagues consider this publication an important contribution?
  • Is the methodology used sound? If so, is it applied consistently?
  • Is the methodology used sound? If so, is it applied consistently?
  • Are the main points logically and consistently argued?
  • Is the author sufficiently familiar with (the relevant academic literature on) the subject?
  • What linguistic and/or stylistic changes would increase the readability of the manuscript?

Finally, referees are asked to give one of the following recommendations:

  • Recommended without reservations
  • Recommended with minor changes
  • Not recommended without substantial revision
  • Not recommended

After a thorough comparison of the evaluation reports, the final decision is taken by Academia Press (as befits an independent academic publisher).