One or more of the editors read each contribution. If they decide that an essay warrants further consideration, the editors, with the assistance of Associate Editor specialists, may ask one or more anonymous external reviewers to offer a written assessment of it. When the reviewers return their assessments, the editors confer about the essay and make a decision. This process generally takes about five months. The editors reserve the right to accept or reject any manuscript, even contrary to the recommendation of a reviewer or without any external review whatsoever.