Guidelines for Writing CMJ Reviews
  • Please be as thorough as possible in giving the header information.

    • For recordings, include the year of release, label, label number (e.g. DG 12345), and a contact address, including email and webpage, and perhaps phone/fax. CMJ includes it all if the information is available. You do not need to list the compositions.

    • for books, include softcover/hardcover, year published, number of pages, details of contents (illustrated, bibliography, glossary, accompanying CD or CD-Rom), ISBN number, price (if listed), publisher and contact information.

    • for events: title of event, performers/presenters, location (city, perhaps venue), date. You do not need to list the contents of the program in the header.

    • the format for addresses is as follows: CMJ Publishers, 1234 4th Avenue South, Cambridge, Massachusetts <spell out the state> 98765, USA; telephone (123) 456-7890; fax (123) 456-7891; electronic mail cmj@mit.edu; World Wide Web www.cmj.org/.

  • Acronyms need to be spelled out the first time they appear (e.g. IRCAM). MIDI is common enough to not need to be. If you are not sure, better to spell it out, in case.
  • One space between sentences.

  • All listed items should be separated by commas (e.g. melody, harmony, and rhythm).

  • Don't worry about using templates. Separate paragraphs by a line break, with no initial paragraph tabs. No other document formatting is necessary.

  • Titles should be in italics, movement names in "quotations." Note that punctuation generally goes on the inside of a quotation mark.

  • Please proofread for style, such as:

    • using the same descriptive word(s) for every piece, or in too many sentences in a row.

    • using too many modifiers such as: very, sort of, ...

    • run-on sentences containing several clauses.

  • References should be embedded into the body of the review whenever possible. Footnotes are not used. If it is too awkward to avoid doing so, you may instead use a citation and full reference at the end, as in the Journal's articles.

  • Reviews are rarely longer than 2000 words, though there are exceptions. Please be as concise as possible. It may not be necessary to discuss every single piece, for example, if there are items that are peripheral (say, in a compilation of some kind) or that do not interest you. Use your judgement.

  • CMJ is generally interested in reviews that take up the issues raised by the contents of the item or event under review rather than merely a report (though this type of review has its place). Reviewers are encouraged to synthesize, summarize, and discuss, and not just present each item one after another.

  • Consult the CMJ spelling guidelines and style guidelines (on the website: http://mitpressjournals.org/page/sub/comj).

  • Submit the file as an attachment in Word if possible (I am using Mac Word 98 at the moment). The file should be named in all lowercase, no spaces or non-alphanumeric characters, and appended with the ".doc" suffix. An .rtf file can also be sent. It's a good idea to include the text in the body of your email, as a backup.

  • Photos and graphics can be submitted electronically, but you should be prepared to send a hard copy as well. The main concern for digital graphics is the resolution, which should be at least 300 dpi (600 would be better). EPS or TIFF files are best, but I'm told that GIF or JPG also work, as long as the resolution is high. It will appear in black-and-white, so you don't need to worry about millions of colors.

  • Use "quotation" marks instead of 'single' marks when emphasizing a word or phrase.

  • If English is not your first language, please have a native speaker proof-read your text. This is a good practice for everyone else, too.