Book Reviews as ‘Mega’ Citations’; Towards a Composite indicator for evaluating the impact of a book

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university


We review the history of citation theory to show how the book review fits the role of ‘mega-citation’ due to its formal, public presence within the scholarly communication system. The purpose of a book review is to alert readers to a newly published book and to cite different parts of the book in the assessment of its scholarly credibility and writing style. A book review rarely receives citations from other documents, but as a content-rich mega-citation it has potential to join the ‘citation proper’ in the development of a composite indicator for evaluating the impact of a book. Thomson Reuters’ Web of Knowledge (WoK) is currently in a strong position to compile data necessary for this composite indicator. While the selection of books for the new Book Citation Index (BCI) is still underway, work needs to be done to ascertain the language of reviewing across different fields. Then, if database links between books, book reviews, journal articles and publishers become more accurate, bibliometricians may consider applying the mega-citation to large-scale research evaluations.




Book Reviews as ‘Mega’ Citations’: A Fresh Look at Citation Theory

Alesia Zuccala, Rens Bod

Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam,



Paper presented:




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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: Here is my other weblog on impact of research:

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