A case for quick online publications of book reviews
Updated: Sep 21, 2019
Now I started to receive book reviews, it suddenly occurred to me that I wrote a book review for an academic journal back in December 2018, and haven't heard about its appearance in the journal. I emailed the (former) editor who requested it originally. She told me that there is a big volume of backlog, which I understand, but I now see the point of quick turnarounds of book reviews. I wrote back the reasoning and I decided to share it here:
"More and more universities require a monograph plus multiple book reviews on it for tenure review. I don't care if I can list my review on X is on my CV or not. But it could be of critical importance for Dr. X. I do understand conventionally publications in a journal could take time, article or review. But because of this changing hiring and promotion requirements, many journals have moved to quick online publications of book reviews, before they print them (if they do at all). To remind you, in this job market situation, some people have greater disadvantage than others, especially those who are not very mobile, such as mothers, those with physical conditions, those who have to teach a lot, and those who live outside of the US, because they (we) cannot travel easily to advertise our work in conferences and book talks. Book reviews in journals are a very very important venue that could level such disadvantage. So I really hope that you would understand the importance of this and try to adjust the online publication cycle."
To their credit, the editors of course know all of this! I couldn't help reminding them.