Referees Guidelines for the Stuart Rossiter Trust

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Notes for the Guidance of Referees

The Trust as a Charity must take all reasonable steps to satisfy itself that the quality and the integrity of the publications which it is supporting are of the highest standard. It is the policy of the Trustees of the Charity not to rely entirely on their own judgment. The Trustees usually appoint two independent referees who report to the Trustees, after taking an independent and objective view of the work. The Trustees appoint a general referee to comment to them on the subject matter that the author is writing about, how well that objective has been satisfied and the way that the work is set out for the reader in terms of clear presentation and comprehensibility, and a special referee who will consider and give guidance on the technical content of the work.

General Referee

Generally speaking, the Trustees retain control of the appointment of the referees, though the general referee is appointed totally at the discretion of the Trustees but with the knowledge of the author.

A general referee will have regard to all the considerations that he himself would apply to writing a book and what he would expect a reader to gain from reading or consulting the work. As a result of such an assessment, the general referee should inform the Trustees what aspects need to be considered by them before deciding whether or not to proceed with publication of the work.

Special Referee

The Trustees generally accept a recommendation from the author as to who might be the best person to be the special referee on the subject-matter of the work. The Trustees may, in some cases, decide to appoint someone of their choice to act as special referee. As the special referee reports to the Trustees, the author may have to accept a degree of criticism so that the quality of the work fulfils the standards set by the Trustees. Good understanding (and perhaps lack of rivalry) between the author and the special referee is highly desirable.

The Trustees need a critique of the proposed work. It may be that facts are actually incorrect, or analysis or deduction needs to conform to the facts or should be better expressed by reference to other material included in the work. Alternative views may need to be expressed in order to state the argument that flows from the propositions in the text. Lists and tables of data may necessitate improvement; additional illustrations, maps, diagrams or charts may also be necessary to help a reader to understand the text or perhaps replace a particular piece of text visually. The special referee should feel able to make critical remarks in a way which we will be accepted by the author in order to ensure that the work will be valued by those who read or consult it.

The special referee should take care to make sure that the author has correctly represented the limitation imposed on the subject matter either because of the lack of historical or other reference material or because the author is a specialist in a specific field and the work is not of a general nature. Particular attention should be paid to the introduction and opening chapter of the work in this regard, to the method and quality of the bibliography, and the quality of the index.


The Trustees take decisions as to the method of production adopted for the proposed work. Nevertheless the Trustees would value recommendations or suggestions from the referees about ways in which the work might best be published to achieve quality standards and their views on the most appropriate market in which the work might sell. 30.05.2011

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