21 January 2015

"This book fills a much needed gap." Are academic book reviews a thing of the past?

We recently sent the Global Nutrition Report to 4 journals that should be interested in reviewing it. 

These are journals that regularly publish work on international nutrition.

Three of them said they no longer reviewed books and the 4th kindly agreed to review it on their blog.

As a producer of reviews, I must do about one a year and I always enjoy doing them.  They force me to read a book from start to finish (if Michael Gove were reading this he would be grinning). 

As a review consumer they are useful (is this tome worth spending precious time on?).

But where are they? Possibilities?

Maybe they are in other journals and my highly unscientific sample was unrepresentative.

Maybe they are in blogs and other outlets.

Maybe they are reviewed in twitter (gasp).

Maybe they are being read but not reviewed at all.

Worst of all, maybe anything inbetween something that can be read  in a morning & something that is an invaluable reference book just is not being read.

Of course it could just be that the 4 journals did not want to review the Report! 

At least we avoided the classic book review putdown from the late Columbia academic Moses Hadas (no relation): "this book fills a much needed gap"  (think about it).

No comments: