Lists are available of books that are available for review and currently under review, as well as a list of accepted reviews. Book topics include psychometrics, quantitative psychology, and areas in statistics and data mining, as well as substantive areas in psychology, social sciences, etc. that are inspiring for quantitative work in Psychometrika.
Who can Review Books?
Although the Book review editor will solicit reviewers, self nominations are highly encouraged. One does not have to be an expert to review; in many cases, the perspectives of novices and others who are learning a new field will be valuable. Books can also be reviewed jointly (e.g., by experts and novices) to provide multiple perspectives. If you review a book, it is yours to keep with our thanks for your time and contribution to Psychometrika.
Types of Reviews
Three types of reviews are published by Psychometrika:
- Featured Review: A featured review typically covers two to three books that deal with the same or related topics. The topics should be of interest to a relatively large audience and/or one that is especially important to the field of quantitative psychology or psychometrics. Such reviews are intended to provide an up-to-date perspective on the current state of a field. A single book may be the appropriate for a featured review if is likely to be influential or it is an important contribution to the literature. Featured reviews should be about five to eight doublespaced pages (12 pt type).
- Standard Review: A standard review is shorter than featured reviews, cover a single book and is similar to those published by Psychometrika in the past (see earlier issues of Psychometrika for examples). These typically provide a substantial impression of the content of the material covered in the book and the quality of presentation. Standard reviews should be about two to four doublespaced pages (12 pt type).
- Telegraphic Review: The main purpose of telegraphic reviews is to provide information in a timely manner about books that have not yet been selected for a Feature or Standard review. These reviews will describe the intended audience and give a general overview of the content of the text. Telegraphic reviews will be based on a less in-depth reading of the book. Telegraphic reviews should be about a paragraph.
Reviews are intended to provide a different perspective than that of the author or publisher. A good review is one that is informative, accurate, comparative, evaluative, lively and interesting. Since the table of contents and back cover material for many books is available online, reviews should go beyond this. The review should help readers decide whether they should borrow or buy a copy of the book. The comparative and evaluative aspects of the review are especially important. Adding in your opinion on the developments in the field and undeveloped areas can make a review considerably more interesting.
Reviews are the opinion of the reviewer. When writing a review, keep in mind that the author has put in a tremendous amount of time, energy, and themselves into the book. If you really hate the book, rather than listing all the faults you find, make it a short and humane review.
The content and detail of the review depends in part on whether it is a Featured, Standard or Telegraphic review. Questions that reviews often address are:
- Who is the intended audience? What background knowledge does a reader need?
- Who should buy this book? Why? What is the purpose of the book? (e.g., a textbook, reference, introduction, etc).
- Is it important? Why is important (or not)?
- Is it well written?
- If it's a new edition, what's new and/or different?
- Are there online resources or media available with the book? How useful are these?
- Is the book worth the price?
- What other books exist on the subject? How does this book compare?
- Are there any or many errors in the book?
Book reviews in Psychometrika must meet the same standards of quality, fairness and objectivity as other material published in the journal. If you have a real or apparent conflict of interest, please discuss this with the Book Review editor, who will help you decide whether you or someone else may be more appropriate to review the book.
Procedural and Technical Aspects
Reviews should be submitted via Editorial Manager.
Books for review by Psychometrika or questions regarding reviews should be sent to the Book Review Editor:
Maarten Marsman, University of Amsterdam