Academic Book Review

It is a widely known fact in the scientific community, that scholarly information is disseminated mainly through print media. From books and journal articles to so-called gray literature, such as any abstract lab report, the flow of scholarly information is highly important. Among the most influential literature, there are scholarly monographs, which are commonly considered as a traditional source of innovations and strongly synthesized knowledge. The author often works for several years to create a scholarly book and this is often considered as an advantage in comparison with journal article writing, because the author possesses more time and print space for developing his or her ideas. Surely, journals propose a fast and brief way of presenting research, but at present books are still a favorite form of publication in the social science and humanities. Many scientists think that it is not wise to restrain their ideas and put them briefly like for a research proposal format, especially if a spacious book format is freely available. Furthermore, in some disciplines of the social sciences and humanities academic rank is determined partially by the number of books published.

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Hence, the decision about what samples of books should be selected is usually based on several criteria derived from the theoretical principles of literary reviewing, namely:

  • the sample must contain the elite or key research in its area of study. It was statistically proved, that the "cutting edge" of every discipline makes the most valuable contributions in scientific progress.
  • the sample should have at least one peer review before publication. The fact of previewing ensures the critic that the published book is crucial for the scholarly community.
  • obviously, there should exist easily accessible data about the sample, that is freely available and printed in English.
  • the sample should be chosen correspondingly to the required time frame.
  • the time frame that is represented by sample must be at least of 20 years so as to visibly demonstrate trends over time.

The most recognizable and consistent method of classification of literature was proposed by Choice journal, whereas other ways and schemes of classifying the books were predominantly rejected. The categories of Choice are presented by narrow categories and broad as well. Thus, one may come across something definitely non-specific as American and English Literature or Art as well as encounter a special category, for example, books with a Forensics homework help. Mainly, each category is supposed to match a discipline, whether it be Law or History; nevertheless, many categories seem to have quite an intuitive fit, such as General Arts and Humanities or Science and Technology. The monographs in these categories are considered to be interdisciplinary in nature. Well, it is a hardly rare situation, when one cannot define or categorize the book clearly by the title. The match of categories and disciplines itself is objectionable, but scholars use it nonetheless as the most feasible solution.

Moreover, the journal categories are even less straightforward compared to the book categories and various thesis editing services as well as their users are sure knowledgeable of this problem. Usually, the categories that are used by the databases do not match any category recognized by Choice. In addition, many of the scholarly journals are classified under more than one disciplinary category. Therefore, each journal can belong to several categories simultaneously, proving in this way the interdisciplinary nature of many articles. Thus, The Journal of Economic History was classified by this system as both History and Economics. Ultimately, such nuances cause the situation when one review is counted several times accordingly to each discipline represented. No surprise, that in some journals a single review may get several exposures.

Generally, disciplines differ in size which may depend on the scholarly output or number of faculty appointments. Furthermore, the numbers of scholarly text produced by different disciplines differ from year to year as well. Thus, Linguistic is a relatively small branch of science, with a typically small number of faculty members, who are working at the institution of higher education. At the same time, History and Economics represent huge disciplines that exist in virtually every college and university. However, the proportion of written books is rather weakly connected with a size of a discipline – obviously, there are somewhat more talks about a Romeo and Juliet coursework help than about some astrophysical peculiarities.

Hence, the disciplinary book reviews can perform many highly valuable functions, among which are: the gatekeeping function that permits quality control and strict standard monitoring of the scholarly informational flow; the existence of an open public forum, where critics and scientists can share ideas and evaluate books aloud. Also, book reviews are great interpreters, which establish the commonly available base of a shared understanding such as how to estimate hypotheses and what to do with them further – like in process essay topics. These days, book reviews can be easily found in most scholarly journals and the interest of specialists from various disciplines toward reviewing is constantly increasing. All these facts mean, that the contemporary book reviewing has proved its importance and informativeness for the readership.

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