Evaluation based on scientific publishing: Evaluating books

Evaluating books

The impact of an academic publication is typically measured by how much it is cited. Services that measure impact based on citations work well for journal-based disciplines but not so well for book-based disciplines such as the social sciences and the humanities

Beside possible citations impact of books can be evaluated by exploring the visibility and attention a book has received in social media and scholarly networking tools. Books can also be evaluated by author background information and prestigiousness of the publisher, especially the JuFo-level of the publisher. Other ways of evaluating books are through book reviews and sales figures from publishers. 

GPRC label (Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content) is quality label for certifying the peer review procedure of a book.GPRC is an initiative of the Group of Educational and Scientific publishers of Flanders (GEWU).

Publication Forum (Julkaisufoorumi, JUFO)

Publication Forum system is based on quality classification of scientific publication channels. Rating takes place in field specific expert panels. Evaluations based on bibliometric methods can be complemented with JuFo which is suitable for evaluation of publications of research institutes, disciplines or countries but not for evaluation of individual researchers. JuFo -levels of publications are used as one criteria in the funding model  for universities by the Ministry of  Culture and Education.

Information about classification criteria of JuFo.
Search publication channels in JuFo.
JuFo is updated by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies.

Tools for finding book citations and book reviews

Book reviews and  citations can be explored in Web of Science -database. Read more about  book indexing policy of  Web of Science.

Scopus-database does not cover book reviews: "The reason for this is that they do not  represent primary literature, and the publishers in whose journals they appear   often regard them as full-text. As a full-text article, Scopus would only be able to display the title of the book review, which is often identical to the actual book,  causing confusion to Scopus users. Lastly, book reviews are not often cited in research literature. As an example of this, the average citation per item for the“Journal of Academic Librarianship” drops by 50% (2.13 to 1.12)  when book reviews are included."

Read more about  book indexing policy of Scopus.

Web of Science and  Scopus have citation information on books only from journals that are indexed by the databases.

In Google Books it is possible to focus search to full text including table of contents which offers possibilities to search book citations widely.