For Reviewers

Reviewer Guidelines

The role of the reviewer is to assist the Program Committee (PC) in assessing the quality of proposals submitted. Reviews do not wholly determine which proposals will be accepted or rejected. They provide expert information that the PC uses in making its decisions. Reviewers also provide helpful, constructive feedback to authors, which can strengthen the quality and intellectual rigor of the conference.

A good review will suggest concrete ways in which the proposal may be strengthened. This feedback is important whether you are recommending that the submission be rejected or accepted. If the former, it will enable the author to submit a stronger proposal next year (and may encourage and benefit a new member or a young scholar); if the latter, it will result in a stronger paper being presented. In either case, constructive criticism projects collegiality and an interest in others’ work.

Whatever you may think privately of the proposal or project, and whatever you may know (or think you know) about the author, it is essential that you be uncompromisingly professional and courteous in reviewing all submissions. Rudeness of any sort is destructive to the morale of the community and is absolutely unacceptable in a review.

ACH 2024 will use an open peer review process. We ask that reviewers keep the contents of assigned proposals confidential.

Reviewers will be able to read comments by other reviewers who have been assigned to assess the same submission. These peer reviews will only be visible after you have submitted your own review.  Reviewers are expected to assess each contribution independently, on its own merits, and are asked not to address other reviewers’ comments directly.

Please note that we encourage all reviewers to be aware of both explicit and implicit bias in the review process. Biases are developed through our background, cultural environment and personal experiences. Importantly, the PC for ACH 2024 reminds all reviewers that explicit or implicit bias can negatively shape the reviewing process, the conference program, and the conference as a whole. We reserve the right to reassign a review should we feel that it has been shaped by explicit or implicit bias.

Conflict of Interest

By agreeing to review a proposal, reviewers confirm that there is no conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest include collaborators, projects on which you have worked, colleagues at your institution, or a situation in which your evaluation (positive or negative) would be professionally advantageous to you. If you are assigned a proposal that presents a conflict of interest, please decline to review it in ConfTool, so we can reassign it. If you have questions or concerns about a potential conflict of interest, please contact the PC chair at

Submissions will be evaluated based on:

Relevance to Conference Focus: The proposal topic is connected to anti-racist work, Indigenous studies, culture and critical ethnic studies, intersectional feminism, postcolonial and decolonial studies, queer studies, and/or multilingualism.20%
Engagement with Relevant Scholarship: The proposal explicitly engages with relevant scholarship and offers context within the current state of the fields in which it engages. Formal citations (in the author’s preferred style) are only required when using direct quotation.20%
Framework and Purpose: The proposal offers clear theoretical, methodological, or pedagogical framework; concrete statement of purpose; and explicit articulation of the sociopolitical implications of the work.20%
Applicability, Significance, and Value: The proposal articulates the applicability, significance, and value of the theoretical, methodological, and/or practical contribution to digital humanities generally.20%
Overall Recommendation: The proposal is organized effectively and offers a clear articulation of presentation content.20%

Reviewing Submissions by Type

Please review the submission types before completing your reviews. Reviewers are welcome to suggest alternative presentation formats (for instance, considering long paper proposals for short paper presentations, etc).


Posters present work on any relevant topic or offer project, tool, and software demonstrations in any stage of development. Poster proposals should be evaluated based on the clarity of the information being conveyed.

Lightning Talks

Lightning talks are highly focused presentations that succinctly introduce a topic, method, tool, project, or work-in-progress to catalyze ideas and foster follow-up discussion. Lightning talk proposals should clearly focus on a single project, pedagogical method, idea, technology, or problem. They are intended to either solicit feedback from peers or to advertise the release of a new project, dataset, or tool. Reviewers should assess whether the submission can be accomplished in the time allotted (5 minutes).

Individual Papers

Individual papers are dynamic presentations that share experiments, works-in-progress, or sustained reflections on outcomes of more complete projects while engaging a range of participants and fostering connections and dialogue. Reviewers should assess whether the submission can be accomplished in the time allotted (10-15 minutes).


Panels are engaging sessions that facilitate dialogue between presentations that are largely independent, highlighting connections between projects, methods or themes and reserving a minimum of 15 minutes for discussion with the audience. Reviewers are advised to consider whether the constitution of the panel reflects the constitution of the field and/or research topic that is being addressed and ACH’s expressed commitments to diversity or to explicitly address problems in those areas.


Roundtables are sessions for which speakers provide brief interventions or framing on a cohesive set of issues, keywords, methods, and/or themes, reserving a minimum of 30 minutes for discussion among speakers and the audience. Reviewers are advised to consider whether the constitution of the roundtable reflects the constitution of the field and/or research topic that is being addressed and ACH’s expressed commitments to diversity or to explicitly address problems in those areas.

Installations and Performances

Installations and performances include art work, creative data visualizations, performances, demonstrations and other critical interventions that engage conference issues, methods, and themes. Reviewers should consider the relevance of the installation or performance to the conference.

Alternate Formats

Alternate formats are submissions that do not fit into the above categories. Reviewers should consider the suitability of the format to a virtual conference and the appropriateness of the proposed time frame.

Ten Tips for Conference Reviewing

  1. Be aware of the review criteria
  2. Offer constructive feedback that gives submitters direct suggestions for improvement
  3. Use positive language and affirmative statements rather than negative statements (e.g. “This submission could be improved by considering the following:…” rather than “You are missing X.”)
  4. Include full citations or links to information that you feel would benefit the submission
  5. Use specific examples when evaluating writing style: feel free to quote from the submission.
  6. If you disagree with the entire premise of the submission, be considerate of the work completed by the submitter when outlining your rationale. It is not appropriate to disagree without providing evidence to support one’s position.
  7. If you find a proposal wholly compelling, please still give one or two sentences complimenting its strengths
  8. Reviewing is a dialogue between the submitter, reviewers, and the program committee. Be aware that you may be asked to revise or update your review with additional information.
  9. Reviewing is a service to the digital humanities. Submitting and reviewing deserves to be recognized: list your contribution(s) on your CV or share your accomplishments.
  10. Follow the golden rule of reviewing: review others as you would want to be reviewed, fairly and constructively.

Adapted from the DH 2020 Reviewer Guidelines created by Laura Estill and Jennifer Guiliano.