A book review is a form of academic writing that provides a succinct yet critical analysis evaluating the content, style, merit and significance of a book. The reader should gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the book, aided by input from the reviewer. The four stages of writing a book review are: introducing the book, outlining its contents, highlighting parts of the book by selecting particular chapters or themes, and giving a detailed evaluation. (+info)
Book reviews in medical journals.
In a study of book reviews published in four general medical journals over a six-month period, 480 reviews were analyzed. Twenty-five features that reviewers address when evaluating a text were identified, and the frequency of commentary for each feature was determined. The mean number of features addressed per review was 9.0. Reviews averaged 389 words, but review length did not correlate with the length or scope of the book, with the number of features addressed, nor with the reviewer's assessment of the text. Extraneous commentary by the reviewer occurred in 16% of the reviews. This editorializing appeared in lengthier reviews that addressed fewer features. Favorable reviews were far more common than unfavorable ones (88.5% vs. 11.5%). Consequently, for the fifty-five books reviewed in more than one journal, agreement regarding rating of the text was high (86%). Results of this study may provide useful guidelines for reviewers of medical texts. (+info)
Current status of biomedical book reviewing: Part IV. Major American and British biomedical book publishers.
This is the fourth part of a comprehensive, quantitative study of biomedical book reviews. The data base of the total project was built from statistics of 3,347 reviews of 2,067 biomedical books taken from all 1970 issues of fifty-four reviewing journals. This part of the study identifies the major American and British biomedical book publishers in terms of their quantitative production of book titles reviewed, and determines the relationships among these publishers. It is found that Williams & Wilkins, Charles C Thomas, Academic Press, and Springer Verlag are the most productive biomedical book publishers in terms of books reviewed in 1970. These four publishers accounted for 32% of the 1,674 books available in the United States and reviewed in the reviewing media in 1970. Williams & Wilkins is especially significant by virtue of reprint activity. The present study also explores the price trend of biomedical books. It is found that the mean price for 1,077 books studied was $16.20 per volume, with a standard deviation of $9.42. (+info)
Current status of biomedical book reviewing: Part V. Most frequently reviewed biomedical books in 1970.
This final part in a series of five articles on biomedical book reviewing consists of a list of 145 biomedical monographs which were reviewed four or more times in the year 1970. (+info)
Current status of biomedical book reviewing: Part III. Duplication patterns in biomedical book reviewing.
This is the third part of a comprehensive, quantitative study of biomedical book reviewing. The data base of the total project was built from statistics of 3,347 reviews of 2,067 biomedical books appearing in all 1970 issues of fifty-four reviewing journals. This part of the study explores the duplication patterns in book reviewing among these media. It is found that 35.17% (727 books) of the 2,067 titles were reviewed more than once in 1970, these titles accounting for 2,007 of the total of 3,347 reviews. For the most part, reviews of the most frequently reviewed titles appeared in such journals as British Medical Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association, and New England Journal of Medicine. These five journals covered 93.53% of the 727 books reviewed more than once in 1970. (+info)
Current status of biomedical book reviewing. I. Key biomedical reviewing journals with quantitative significance.
This is the first part of a comprehensive, quantitative study of biomedical book reviewing. The data base of the total project was built from statistics taken from all 1970 issues of biomedical journals held in the Science Library of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Of 285 so-called "life sciences" journals held by that library, fifty-four English journals (excluding Science and Nature) were found to contain bona fide book reviews (as contrasted with mere author-title lists) and were therefore selected for close study. The statistical results reveal that there were 3,347 reviews of 2,067 biomedical books in these fifty-four selected journals in 1970. Part I of the study identifies key biomedical reviewing journals of quantitative significance. The top ten journals, British Medical Journal, Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Archives of Internal Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, Quarterly Review of Biology, Bioscience, Canadian Medical Association Journal,(*) and American Journal of the Medical Sciences, accounted for 63.03% of the total number of reviews in 1970. (+info)
Current status of biomedical book reviewing. II. Time lag in biomedical book reviewing.
This part of the study explores the effectiveness of the review media in terms of speed of reviewing, comprehensiveness of review treatment, and authority. The time lags for the fifty-four journals varied widely, the mean ranging from 5.8 months to forty-two months. The time lags for all 3,347 reviews varied even more widely, ranging from less than a month to 108 months after a book was off the press. The 3,347 reviews had a mean time lag of 10.43 months and a standard deviation of 6.63 months. (+info)
Selecting for health sciences library collections when budgets falter.
The economic plight of the 1970s often limits the librarian, who should be the final selector, to insufficient funds for acquiring essential publications. The librarian, in addition to making every effort to acquire the best possible collection, must provide access from other libraries, within and outside one's parent institution, to materials not acquired; for this purpose, an effective document delivery network has proved more significant than formal plans for shared acquisitions. Too much is published, but the choices become more manageable with selection criteria that include limiting subject scope and keeping within the English language. In regard to journals, new titles should be added only reluctantly; cancellation lists compiled with the help of selective lists, the librarians' judgment, and users' responses; and newsletters and state journals pruned to a mimimum. As to books, selective lists should be consulted; congress proceedings generally ignored; and reprinted collections, multiple copies, and gifts considered with care. Book reviews are more useful selection aids now that lack of funds causes delays in purchasing than when new titles were acquired promptly with less discrimination. Audiovisual media, although widely pushed, do not replace printed materials, are not of central importance to many faculties, are expensive, and thus comprise a bandwagon which the impoverished library cannot afford to board without extra funding. The less money there is, the more need for a librarian's selection skills. (+info)