Modern Language Association Committee on Scholarly Editions

Recurring Annual Deadlines

The MLA's year begins in July and ends in June; terms of membership on the CSE follow the same schedule.












Review Process

Initiating a Review:

  1. Ideally, editions should be submitted for review when they are nearing publication, preferably in the proof stage, so that it is not too late to make changes that might be recommended during the review process. However, editions already in print may also be reviewed.
  2. Editors may suggest the names of potential vettors, provided that the review would pose no conflict of interest for the vettor.
  3. Vettors may review multiple volumes at one time, as long as at least 10% of each volume is reviewed for accuracy.
  4. Reviews should be assigned to a review manager on the Committee--normally but not necessarily the chair or chair-elect. The review manager is responsible for all scheduling, communication, and paperwork associated with the review.
  5. Vettors should be appointed using the standard CSE letter of appointment, which makes clear the timetable, the vettor's fee, and the nature of the report that the Committee expects. The letter of appointment should be accompanied with a copy of, or pointer to, the CSE's current Guidelines for Scholarly Editions and the Current Guiding Questions.

Conducting a Review:

  1. Vettors do not need to make a site visit to conduct a review; reviews can be based on xeroxed or emailed materials. If vettors do travel to visit the editor, travel expenses will be the responsibility of the editor or the vettor.
  2. Vettors should attend to the advice and prompts offered in the letter of appointment, guidelines, and guiding questions.
  3. In the event that the volume under review is one of a series, vettors should consult textual essays from previous volumes and should be provided with vettors' reports from the inspection of those volumes. The particular concerns in this case are two: that statements of method should not be repeated automatically from one volume to the next when actual practice may have changed, and that problems which may have been called to the attention of editors in earlier reviews should not reoccur in later volumes.
  4. Vettors are encouraged to communicate with the review manager if questions arise during the course of the review.
  5. Vettors are requested to copy the review manager on all communication with the editor during the review process.
  6. Editors are requested to copy the review manager on all communication with the vettor during the review process.
See also Bob Hirst's notes on post-report procedures.

Completing a Review:

  1. Reviews should be completed within three months of being assigned.
  2. Checks for the vettor's honorarium can only be requested when a review is complete.
  3. Request forms should be sent to the MLA by fax, to initiate payment for the vettor.
  4. Paper record of the review process should be mailed to the MLA when the review is complete.
  5. Assuming a successful outcome, the review manager should send a hard-copy letter to the publisher, with congratulations on the sealing of the volume, and with a reminder that the seal may be used in marketing the volume.