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Book reviews in academic journals: patterns and dynamics


  • Weishu Liu

    () (Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics)

  • Yishan Ding

    () (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

  • Mengdi Gu

    () (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)


Book reviews play important roles in scholarly communication especially in arts and humanities disciplines. By using Web of Science’s Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index, this study probed the patterns and dynamics of book reviews within these three indexes empirically during the past decade (2006–2015). We found that the absolute numbers of book reviews among all the three indexes were relatively stable but the relative shares were decreasing. Book reviews were very common in arts and humanities, common in social sciences, but rare in natural sciences. Book reviews are mainly contributed by authors from developed economies such as the USA and the UK. Oppositely, scholars from China and Japan are unlikely to contribute to book reviews.

Suggested Citation

  • Weishu Liu & Yishan Ding & Mengdi Gu, 2017. "Book reviews in academic journals: patterns and dynamics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(1), pages 355-364, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:110:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-016-2172-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-016-2172-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Meijun Liu & Xiao Hu & Jiang Li, 2018. "Knowledge flow in China’s humanities and social sciences," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 607-626, March.
    2. Liu, Weishu & Hu, Guangyuan & Tang, Li, 2018. "Missing author address information in Web of Science—An explorative study," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 985-997.
    3. Maja Jokić & Andrea Mervar & Stjepan Mateljan, 2019. "Comparative analysis of book citations in social science journals by Central and Eastern European authors," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 120(3), pages 1005-1029, September.
    4. Junwen Zhu & Weishu Liu, 2020. "A tale of two databases: the use of Web of Science and Scopus in academic papers," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 123(1), pages 321-335, April.

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    More about this item


    Book review; Academic journal; Web of Science; Sciences and social sciences; Arts and humanities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • Y30 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Book Reviews - - - Book Reviews


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