Purpose: To describe and discuss the processes used to write scholarly book reviews for publication in peer-reviewed journals and to provide a recommended strategy and book appraisal worksheet to use when conducting book reviews. Methods: A literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Index to Chiropractic Literature was conducted in June 2009 using a combination of controlled vocabulary and truncated text words to capture articles relevant to writing scholarly book reviews for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Results: The initial search identified 839 citations. Following the removal of duplicates and the application of selection criteria, a total of 78 articles were included in this review including narrative commentaries (n = 26), editorials or journal announcements (n = 25), original research (n = 18), and journal correspondence pieces (n D 9). Discussion: Recommendations for planning and writing an objective and quality book review are presented based on the evidence gleaned from the articles reviewed and from the authors' experiences. A worksheet for conducting a book review is provided. Conclusions: The scholarly book review serves many purposes and has the potential to be an influential literary form. The process of publishing a successful scholarly book review requires the reviewer to appreciate the book review publication process and to be aware of the skills and strategies involved in writing a successful review.
About the Authors
Alexander Lee is with the Department of Graduate Education and Research Programs, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.
Bart Green is with the Chiropractic Division, Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, the Department of Publications, National University of Health Sciences, and is Editor-in- Chief for The Journal of Chiropractic Education.
Claire Johnson is with the Department of Publications, National University of Health Sciences.
Julie Nyquist is with the Division of Medical Education, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California.