You’ve signed up to be a reader. What happens next?   

 These pages take you through completing a reader evaluation and participating in a group conscience.  


 The ACA WSO Literature Evaluation Subcommittee (“Lit Eval”) puts all literature submissions (“Submissions”) through a comprehensive, standardized evaluation process to determine how closely they match up with the WSO Literature Evaluation Criteria (“Criteria” – ). Volunteer Lit Eval r eaders are the individuals who perform this evaluation, and they report directly to the Literature Evaluation subcommittee. The Lit Eval subcommittee then communicates with the Literature Committee’s Strategic Planning Subcommittee (“Lit SP”), whose job is to  determine how each submission might fit into ACA’s short and long-term literature strategy.        

  Any Submission that passes this evaluation threshold, will be moved to a team of publishing volunteers who focus on copy editing, proofreading, and layout. Once initially published, the literature will undergo a period of “fellowship review,” where feedback from the entire ACA fellowship is collected for possible additional revisions. At this point, the ACA Board of Trustees can recommend the new literature be brought to an ACA Annual Business Conference (ABC) for a vote on conference approval.   

Members of the fellowship can rest assured that all ACA literature Submissions undergo a rigorous and fair, group-conscience-driven development, evaluation, and publishing process on a path towards ACA conference approval.  

Independent Evaluation 

  When you sign up to be a Lit Eval volunteer reader . . .   

  • You will be matched with a Submission and individually evaluate how it meets the Criteria. This provides WSO with a neutral evaluation,

  • You will receive  an orientation on completing the assessment, a copy of the Submission and any supporting documents, a link where you can submit your reader evaluation form, and a completion date, and 

  • A Team Leader  assigned to the project will support you with any questions or issues that arise.  They will also check in periodically to see how you’re doing with the process.

 For all Literature Committee projects that have not been conceptually approved by an Annual Business Conference (ABC), you are asked to make one of the following recommendations: 

  • Recommend,

  • Recommend contingent on specified changes,

  •  Recommend for further development and re-evaluation , or  

  • Do not recommend for further development.

 You are asked to make one of the following recommendations for WSO Literature Committee projects that have received Board or ABC conceptual approval: 

  • Recommend,

  • Recommend contingent on specified changes, or

  • Recommend for further development and re-evaluation.

 If you would like to offer feedback unrelated to the criteria, you can add that feedback to the Reader Evaluation Form, or email it to your Team Leader. These materials will be shared with the author(s) or WSO Literature Development Team, and all reader names will be removed to uphold anonymity.    You also may upload a scan or photos of an annotated Submission and send that to your Team Leader.

 Evaluation Deadline: Lit Eval provides readers with a completion date for the individual assessment.  Usually, you are given 1-4 weeks depending on Submission length and complexity.

Group Conscience  

 Readers who complete an evaluation form will be invited to join in a group conscience shortly after the evaluation deadline.     

 The purpose of the group conscience is to reach a recommendation by substantial unanimity and better understand what readers collectively think of the Submission. These conversations can help ACA WSO better adapt to the needs of the fellowship. Group conscience happens online via Zoom (telephone participation is also possible).

   The Team Leader guides the discussion, focusing on Criteria where the group has the greatest variance in perspective and asks clarifying questions to arrive at a group conscience recommendation. Once a group conscience recommendation is reached, there will be time for readers to offer general feedback on what worked or didn’t work about the Submission and suggestions for improvement.  

   Lit Eval records these conversations and take notes (without naming anyone). The notes may be forwarded to the author(s) or a WSO Literature Development Team to support the revision process. The Team Leader captures the group conscience recommendation reached by substantial unanimity. If there is none, Lit Eval forwards the information gathered during the group conscience session to Lit SP. Lit SP either directs Lit Eval to form a new team of readers or reviews the Submission and makes a final recommendation based on reader evaluations, and information from the group conscience process.  

Timeline 1-3 weeks 

 The Group Conscience is Over. What Happens Next? 

 Lit Eval assesses all reader evaluations, recommendations, and results of the group conscience. They share the results and recommendation with Lit SP. Lit SP considers how the project fits in with the Literature Committee’s overall long-term strategy and makes a final recommendation to the Literature Committee. Lit Eval will copy the Team leader on the Literature Committee’s decision letter.  

Evaluation Feedback to Authors

 Regardless of type of recommendation,  all author(s) will receive a letter explaining the evaluation decision for their Submission, along with:  

  • All the anonymous individual reader evaluations, and notes and comments made on the Submission by individual readers who provided them.

  • Anonymous notes from the Group Conscience.