Music Educators Journal (MEJ) is soliciting reviews of software and technology-related books written by its readers. Please comply with the following guidelines in requesting a title and submitting a review:
Assignment of items for review: Reviews will cover software, books, and any other technology-related materials received in the MEJ editorial office. Members interested in writing a review should contact the technology review editor for a list of items available to review. NAfME will provide a list of items available for review to interested members. Reviewers are required to be NAfME members. Items will be assigned and sent to reviewers on a first come, first served basis. In most cases, the reviewer will be able to keep the item reviewed. Reviewers will be assigned one item to review at a time and may review no more than one item in one calendar year.
We prefer that reviewers not review materials written or developed by friends or acquaintances; if reviewers do know anyone involved in the creation of the materials, that relationship must be disclosed to MEJ. We also prefer that reviewers not review items that compete with materials created by the reviewer—any such conflict of interest must be disclosed.
Writing the review: Read the book in its entirety, or spend some time using the software. Teachers may wish to try out the software in the classroom with their students.
Your review should be approximately one typed page (single spaced) and no longer than 500 words. (The word count includes the introductory information included with every review.) Focus more on reasoned critique than on providing a summary of what the software does or what the book says. Discuss the material’s strengths and weaknesses. Provide details to support your praise or criticism. Offer specific examples of how the material being used might be helpful to music educators or what flaws prevent it from being useful.
Remember that many MEJ readers are not experts in the use of technology, so be careful in your use of technical language. If technical language is required, define the terms used.
Answer the following questions in your review:
- What is the goal or purpose of the book or software?
- Who is most likely to find the book or software useful?
- How might teachers use the software in the classroom?
- To the best of your knowledge, is the information in the book/software accurate?
Other questions that you might want to consider as you write your review include the following:
- How well does the software or book live up to the promises on the box or back cover?
- How does this book or software relate to other materials in the field?
- How useful is the material to someone who is not a technology expert?
- Are there other more useful materials available that meet the same needs? (If the item is truly weak, you may consider mentioning some better materials in your review.)
Editorial and publication policies: NAfME editors will edit reviews to ensure conformity with the reviewers’ guidelines and MEJ style, which is based on The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.), published by the University of Chicago Press. MEJ is copyrighted as an entity, so authors must transfer copyright to NAfME. Due to space limitations in the print journal, some reviews might appear on NAfME’s Web site. The technology review editor makes the final decision regarding publication of any review submitted.
Additional information: To obtain a list of materials currently available for review, contact Caroline Arlington or call 800-336-3768, x310.