Peer Review Process

    The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning uses a double-blind peer review for Feature Articles in order to guarantee the highest level of professional and academic rigor. Peer reviewers are asked to judge manuscripts according to the following criteria:

    • Clear goals
    • Appropriateness of methods
    • Effectiveness of the presentation of ideas
    • Compellingness and uniqueness of results
    • Reflectiveness of analysis

    Our unique peer review process is designed to increase collaboration and transparency between editors, authors, and reviewers and to offer substantive feedback beyond what might be accomplished by reviewers individually.

    In the spirit of reflecting the meaningful collaboration we ask of campus-community partnerships, the review process has two parts: Individual Review and Synthesized Review. After answering the Individual Review questions, reviewers are expected to discuss together the Synthesized Review questions. By pooling their thoughts rather than completing the review in isolation, authors receive more in-depth, thoughtful feedback from a unified perspective. Furthermore, holding conversations presents a unique learning opportunity for reviewers, who are able to collaborate and share their knowledge of the field. Participating peer reviewers are welcome and encouraged to invite graduate students to your discussion as a valuable learning experience for rising scholars.


    Reviewers individually fill out questions 1-3 PRIOR to talking with their fellow reviewer. Reviewers use their initial responses to these questions as the basis for their conversation with the other peer reviewer. Reviewers may revise answers to these questions after the conversation.


    Next, reviewers discuss questions 4-6. Each reviewer fills out questions 4-6 during or after the conversation. Please note that we require answers to questions 4-6 from both reviewers in order to represent the conversation from each individual’s perspective. We also acknowledge that reviewers may disagree and that this approach allows reviewers to express disagreement.

    Some reviewers have found it helpful to create a copy of this shared Google document to take notes and share thoughts during the conversation. Reviewers will not be able to see each others’ responses on Janeway, our manuscript management software.

    Authors will receive both reviewers' Individual Review and Synthesized Review. While the editors will have the opportunity to edit or summarize reviewers’ responses for purposes of clarity, reviewers should expect that their words will go directly to the author.

    Further guidelines on how to be an effective reviewer for MJCSL can be found here.

    Contact Us

    If you have any questions about the guidelines and instructions for feature articles, or if you are interested in serving as a peer reviewer for MJCSL, please contact the editorial team via