As library budgets continue to lag behind increases in the cost of scholarly information in the geosciences, it becomes increasingly important for librarians to make good choices in collection development. One way to get more information about books to make an informed acquisition decision is through reading reviews, and especially timely reviews. Whereas the major book review indexes only cover geoscience titles sporadically, the authors decided to undertake a full study of the literature in earth and atmospheric sciences to find out which journals contain book reviews, and how old the books are that are reviewed. This study is modeled after the article, “Locating Book Reviews in Agriculture and the Life Sciences,” by Kathleen Clark and Brent Mai, and incorporates Lura Joseph’s, “Sources of Book Reviews in the Geosciences” (http://door.library.uiuc.edu/gex/bookreviews.html). This study examines 263 earth and atmospheric sciences journal titles which include book reviews. Of these, 247 are primarily in earth sciences, with the remaining 16 in atmospheric sciences. For this study, journal issues published in 2002 are examined. Of the journals listed in this study, 42 % review books that are equal to or less than one year old. The reviews average over one page in length and all are signed by the reviewers.

Published in:

Geoscience Information Society Annual Proceedings, 34 (2003): 55-62.

Date of this Version

December 2003