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Guidance for Book Reviewers

The Australian Defence Force Journal seeks reviewers for a range of books provided by publishers both in Australia and overseas. Reviews of books that cover a wide range of subjects, not just military matters and war studies, are considered for publication. Normally, books will only be considered for review if they are currently in print and have been published within 12 months of receipt of the review copy.

While no payment is made for reviews, books sent out can be retained by the reviewer. Persons interested in becoming reviewers are invited to contact the Editor via e-mail at:

Reviews should be around 600-800 words, although ‘review essays’ around 2000 words will be considered for particularly influential/important publications.

Book reviews should aim to provide a dispassionate analysis of the author’s central argument and approach, rather than a simple synopsis or précis of its content.

Additionally, reviewers are asked to keep in mind that:

  • Reviews are about the book's content and importance not the critic's personal opinions.
  • Reviews should always analyse the book's intellectual value to the prospective reader, not indulge the views of the reviewer.
  • Disliking a book is not a valid metric against which one can write a review.
  • Any critique needs to be measured and to be credible it must emanate from someone with a background in the subject or a strong interest in the field.
  • Reviews should be professional and dispassionate in tone and any criticism should state evidence in justification (for example, ‘it is unfortunate that A did not consider the work of B in examining this issue, which would have … ’).  

To assist in editing, reviews should be submitted in Cambria 10 pt font. They should not contain footnotes or endnotes, or inserts such as photos or maps.

Reviews should be submitted electronically in the following format:

[Title & sub-title] Bitter Ocean: the dramatic story of the Battle of the North Atlantic 1939–1945

[Author] David Fairbank White
[Publisher, date and number of pages] Headline Press: Sydney, 2015, 344 pages

ISBN: xxx

Price: $x

Reviewed by Lieutenant Charles Smith, Australian Army

Text ….


Reviewers accept the Editor may choose to abridge or make minor editorial adjustments, however, all proposed revisions will be provided to the author for clearance before publication. Not all reviews submitted will be published.

Copies of published reviews are provided by the Editor to the respective publisher.

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