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 peerreviewed 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 D 26), editorials or journal announcements (n D 25), original research (n D 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. Appendix A: Book Appraisal Worksheet (WORD)
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