Professor of Sociology

Quota Reviewing

Thanks to my upbringing, I have a really hard time telling people no, especially when it is something I want to do. I also love reading research and feel a moral obligation to give back to the academic community by reviewing other peoples’ work. Unfortunately, the end result of my inability to say no and my desire to do right by the academic community is that I agree to review too many articles and books, which means I both neglect my own work and often deliver reviews late.

I think I may have come up with a solution: quota reviewing. I have set up quotas for how many articles and books I can review each quarter and am tracking them in a Google Sheet:

The quotas are: 4 article reviews per quarter and 1 book proposal or review.

If you’re looking at 2020 (when I set this up), you’ll see that I’m over-committed and keep over-committing. Thus, quota reviewing.


Some may be wondering what I mean by “too many reviews.” I average between 12 and 20 article reviews every year and about 3 to 5 book reviews or book proposal reviews. That’s too many for me to do and to also do my own work.

In thinking about my inability to tell people no, I kept thinking that this was relevant to a Princess Bride quote. Here’s the quote, “You’ve got an overdeveloped sense of vengeance.” If you’ve been the recipient (read: victim) of one of my negative reviews, the quote is relevant.