Review process

General information about the review procedure

Paper submission will be subject to a double-blind peer-review procedure conducted entirely by international students representing the various subdisciplines of systematic musicology.

One of our aims as organizers of a students’ conference is to ensure and enhance the scholarly quality of their conference contributions by helping them to improve the quality of their papers and to prepare their talks or posters and their proceedings paper. The feedback delivered by the paper reviewers should be regarded as constructive feedback and not as personal criticism, which should be also reflected in the type of comments given by reviewers (preferably based on a mixture of honesty and tactfulness).

A good paper should focus on two main things, namely contents and academic writing style. Indeed, the scientific work behind a paper is essential; however, the text should also be well written since otherwise the researcher´s ideas may not be communicated to colleagues in the way it deserves. Therefore, a lack of writing skills may often lead to the rejection of a paper.

Expert rating (first step):

Papers will be independently reviewed by students specialized in the specific subfield of systematic musicology to which the paper has been assigned. Reviewers will primarily focus on the academic quality of the research in their ratings.

General rating (second step):

Abstracts will be randomly assigned to members of the review committee coming from various fields of systematic musicology. The focus of their rating will be on the general impression of the abstract’s scholarly contents.


Ratings will only be one part of feedback. Reviewers may give written feedback to the author about the academic contents and English writing skills. One of our aims is to help students who are nonnative speakers of English to improve their academic writing skills if necessary. That is why we ask  reviewers to comment on the English of the papers and to suggest improvements. Most importantly, the level of English is not explicitly rated in our conference. Since we do not want to discriminate against non-native speakers of English, the level of English is secondary in the ratings.

After the completion of the review procedure, authors will receive some feedback sheets and get to know their overall score with a notification of acceptance as oral or poster presentation or refusal. Talks and posters are treated as equal ways of presenting research at SysMus12 (i.e., poster 
presentations are not considered to be of lower academic quality).

Members of the review and organizing committees are also invited to submit papers. These will be reviewed anonymously by other members of the review committee.