Notes and Queries is a very famous and very long-running humanities journal, noted for its pioneering question-and-answer format. It's spun off a number of regional editions, a series of anthologies, and given rise to countless imitators.

I'd like to know whether (and if so, which types of) contributions to Notes and Queries are peer-reviewed. The journal's own website is silent on the matter—the only reference I can find to the review process is a short statement in the guidance for contributors that professional editing can help non-native speakers of English "ensure that the academic content of [their] paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers" (emphasis mine—and note that this statement refers only to "reviewers", not "peer reviewers"). And third-party sources give conflicting or incomplete information on the journal's peer-reviewed status. For example:

So what's the story here? Notes and Queries clearly has some sort of review process, but is it peer review? And if so, which of its four types of contributions (Notes, Queries, Replies, and Reviews) are peer-reviewed?


Having just had a piece accepted for publication in the journal, albeit without having received copies or even mention of any reviews, I decided to ask the editorial assistant, Alicia Black, whether submissions to Notes and Queries undergo peer review. This is her response in full:

N&Q is a peer reviewed journal. Your Query has been reviewed, though Queries do not always need a detailed review.


Notes and Queries is listed in Web of Science's Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI). This fact indicates that the journal's "primary research articles must be subject to external peer review" (according to Web of Science's evaluation criteria).

As Web of Science regularly evaluates its journals, one can probably trust that Notes and Queries indeed has a peer-review procedure, at least for its "primary research articles".

On the other hand, if you look at Publons' page on Notes and Queries, one cannot see any confirmed peer reviews yet (it says "< 10" [less than ten] reviews are confirmed, but that can be a range from zero to nine).

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