Multimedia & Technology Reviews Guidelines

Multimedia & Technology Reviews targets projects, products, events, and issues within the broad realm of multimedia and technology related to arts scholarship, research, and librarianship. Topics range from traditional research databases and subject guides to films, mobile applications, video games, and online publications or projects.

You do not have to be a member of ARLIS/NA or a professional librarian to be considered  for a review assignment. However, we do expect all volunteers to have some writing experience and the ability to assess a resource with objectivity and professionalism. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Multimedia & Technology Reviews’ Guidelines, Policies, and Submission Procedures. In addition, we welcome your suggestions for items to review; if you have a topic that you think should be reviewed, let us know by filling out this form.


Reviewer Guidelines

While assessing current products and projects, reviews are designed to engage the membership in a conversation about how technologies and multimedia are being or can be deployed within our profession and by our constituents.

Please Note: The Editors do not want descriptions or overviews of how a given resource functions.  Some description is of course needed but the reviewer should always think critically about the design choices and ways in which to interact with the content. In some cases, a resource’s platform or a website’s look and feel may be surpassed by the quality of the content.  This is important to note. And if reviewing a relatively new resource, reviewers should be prepared to do a little research on the company, who the CEO is, what the mission, etc. This will be important if, in the reviewer's estimation, the resource does not meet the goal.


  • Is the resource well-produced and executed effectively?
  • Comment on the style and quality of the writing, presentation, or performance; are there similar works that can compare and are more or less successful?
  • Identify users who would benefit most from the given resource. If you cannot identify a particular audience or group of people that the resource might directly serve, explain why it is worth exploring by anyone.
  • If a documentary, who might the target audiences be?
  • If a mobile device app, who could it help?

When applicable, the reviewer should evaluate the resource based on the following criteria:

  • Is this a free resource or subscription-based?
  • If subscription based, how is the pricing set?
  • Does one have to establish an account in order to access the complete resource?
  • In order to view the resource, is specific software needed?
User Experience
  • Is the resource easy to navigate?
  • Is the structure coherent and intuitive?
  • Is the user able to customize any aspect of the resource?
Use of Media or Technology
  • Does the chosen delivery platform make sense, i.e. the platform enables an experience that would not be attainable in another format such as a book, a physical exhibition, another type of media, etc.?
  • Does the resource make effective use of the media platform chosen by the author/developer?
  • Does the resource seem over/under designed?

Word Count

Each review should be between 550 and 600 words.



When possible, each review should be accompanied by at least one thumb-sized image, screen capture, or film still.  Reviewers will be advised if permission to reproduce images is necessary.  The ARLIS/NA Multimedia and Technology Reviews Co-editors will work with authors regarding image size and proportion.


Quick tips:

  • numbers one through ninety-nine are spelled out; thereafter use Arabic numerals
  • gender-neutral phrasing is preferred
  • all titles of publications should be italicized, not underlined
  • avoid the use of footnotes and/or endnotes

Review Policies

  • All reviewers are required to complete the Publication Agreement Form for each published review.
  • Reviewers must be able to complete their reviews in the time period assigned to them by their M&T Review Co-editor; if a submission is received after a deadline, the co-editors reserve the right not to include the review in the given publication cycle.
  • Reviews are not to exceed 600 words unless special arrangements have been made with the appropriate co-editor.
  • Reviews should start with either a bibliographic citation or title and resource URL
  • Reviews will be attributed to the reviewer and include his/her title, place of employment, and contact information.
    An example follows:
    John Jones, Bibliographer
    Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Co-editors reserve the right to not publish a submitted review if it does not adhere to the stated guidelines sufficiently in advance of issue publication.

Author / Creator Responses to Reviews: An author or publisher may respond to a ARLIS/NA Multimedia and Technology Reviews within six weeks of publication of the review. Reviewer responses should be limited to factual statements and corrections and may run no longer than 200 words. The Co-editors retain the right to refuse publication of all or part of the response in the case of inappropriate statements such as slander and verifiable mistruths. Upon receipt of a response, the Co-editors will notify the reviewer who will be given the opportunity to draft a response of no more than 200 words due two weeks from the date of receipt.

If the reviewer chooses not to respond, the author or publisher’s response will be posted on the ARLIS/NA Multimedia and Technology Reviews website. If the reviewer submits a response, the Co-editors retain the right to refuse publication of said response in the case of inappropriate statements, and may choose to publish only the author or publisher’s response. Upon acceptance of both responses the Co-editors will post both the response and the reviewer’s response simultaneously on the ARLIS/NA Multimedia and Technology Reviews website. No further responses will be solicited or accepted.

Submitting a Review

Reviewers will be paired with one of the Multimedia & Technology Reviews Co-editors. The reviewer will work directly with that co-editor, beginning with submitting the first draft copy to that co-editor.

Editing & Publication

All reviews will be edited by the ARLIS/NA Multimedia & Technology Reviews Co-editors who make all final editorial decisions. Reviewers will be able to preview their edited review before it is published. The Chicago Manual of Style should be consulted to resolve grammar and style questions.

Authors of reviews accepted for publication are required to submit a publication agreement form.