Contribute to the Review

The Review actively welcomes submissions from contributors from diverse professional and geographic backgrounds committed to engaging in the discussion and debate surrounding international humanitarian law, policy and action. Authors may submit articles, notes and book reviews.

Contributors are invited to consult our Guidelines for authors. Manuscripts may be submitted directly by e-mail in the form of a Word attachment to the attention of the Managing Editor, Ellen Policinski at: review@icrc.org. Articles that do not meet the criteria in the guidelines for authors may be returned without review.

The editorial team cannot guarantee publication of any submissions, be they solicited or unsollicited. Authors will be notified once a decision has been reached by the editorial team based on feedback from the peer reviewer(s). Due to the high volume of submissions the journal receives, authors should be aware that it can take several months for a final decision to be reached.

Opinions published in the Review reflect the authors' views only. As the Review is produced and distributed by the ICRC, the Review reserves the right to reject submissions if their publication would jeopardize ICRC operations.

Taking into account the feedback from the peer reviewer(s), the editorial team may reach one of the following decisions:  1) Accept the submission in its current form; 2) Accept with minor revisions; 3) Accept with major revisions, meaning manuscripts will be subject to a second round of review once an updated draft is received; 4) Reject with an invitation to resubmit, meaning that if the author resubmits a revised manuscript it will be treated as a new submission; 5) Reject the submission.

Open call(s) for papers

The Review principally solicits articles, but it also invites the submission of articles on the following topic(s):

The Review also publishes selected articles not related to the main themes of its editions, and welcomes submissions on relevant aspects of humanitarian law, policy and action including topics such as:

  • Human rights and IHL;
  • Humanitarian access;
  • Transformation of the humanitarian sector;
  • Cyber warfare;
  • The role of States in IHL and humanitarian action.

Book reviews guidelines

International Review of the Red Cross started publishing book reviews in 2012. Each issue of the journal includes up to three book reviews. The Review primarily solicits reviews, but we also welcome submissions on topical, non-fiction, major publications on international humanitarian law, humanitarian policy and action. Only books published within the past two years qualify for review in the journal.

Book reviews should be approximately 1,500-2,500 words and be submitted in Word format in 12 pt Times New Roman font with 1.5 line spacing (including the footnotes section). Book review authors are invited to also identify their affiliation and area of expertise. For an example of a book review published recently in the journal, see here.

All book reviews should be prepared in accordance with the Review’s general Guidelines for Authors.

In drafting a book review, authors are asked to briefly summarize the main qualities of the book, as well as any areas for improvement and further research. Elements of the analysis could include, among others:

  • The book’s intended audience;
  • The main objectives of the book and the extent to which they have been met;
  • The originality and comprehensiveness of the analysis
  • The diversity and reliability of sources used;
  • A comparison with prior works in the same field of research;
  • The research gap that the book seeks to fill; and
  • The main contributions of the book to theory, policy or practice.

As with all other submissions, the editorial team makes the decision on publication based on the quality of the submission. A notification of the acceptance, rejection or need for revision of the book review will be provided within 6 weeks from submission.

Reviewers are welcome to address any questions, recommendations, and concerns to the attention of the Book Review Editor,  Mr. Jamie A. Williamson at review@icrc.org.

Peer review guidelines

The anonymous peer-review process is there to assist the editorial team in making an objective critical evaluation of the manuscripts we receive for publication and to improve the quality of articles to be published in the Review through constructive comments and suggestions.

We hope that the guidelines below will assist our peer reviewers in preparing helpful reviews and we are grateful for the time and commitment they devote to this.

Topic and title

  • Has the author put forth an interesting problem or question? Does the problem seem too broad or too narrow? Does it fit with the rest of the proposed topics in the journal? If not, how might the author narrow or broaden the problem/question?
  • Do you as a reader care about this problem or question? If not, why not?
  • Is the title of the article adequate? Does it convey well the content of the article? Is it catchy? If not – would you suggest a reformulation?

Content

  • Is the topic well researched and referenced? Are there important references to the literature on this subject missing? Please point them out.
  • Is the information presented accurate? If there are factual/legal inaccuracies, please point them out.
  • Is the thesis/question/problem of the article novel and relevant to the overall theme of this issue of the Review?

Structure and argumentation

  • Does the author formulate a clear thesis/question/problem at the beginning of the article, and is this developed in the article?
  • Does the structure make sense? What works well, and what works less well?
  • Has the author made smooth transitions between the different parts/sections of the article?
  • Are some sections too long/too short, or irrelevant? Please point them out.
  • Is the flow of the arguments logical? Are the connections between arguments logical? If not, why not?
  • Does the author provide sufficient support for each point? If not, can you think of more pertinent or persuasive examples?
  • Does the author take sufficiently into account other perspectives that exist on the topic? Is the argumentation thorough? If not, what more can be added?

Language and style

  • Does the introduction engage you? If not, why not?
  • Is the language of the article vivid and clear? Is it grammatically correct? Are the sentences clear and easy to read? What can be improved?

Overall assessment:

  • I recommend publishing this article as it is
  • I recommend publishing this article, contingent on minor revisions
  • I recommend publishing this article, contingent on major revisions
  • I recommend rejecting this article, with an opportunity for re-submission
  • I recommend rejecting this article