Some reflections on being a book review editor

David Beer reflects on being a review editor, and the sometime challenges of getting people to write reviews. It is a great shame that some people take this narrowly instrumental view of what counts. Book reviews are useful to authors, to readers, and to reviewers.

Thinking culture

I’ve been the reviews editor for the journal Information, Communication & Society for a year or so. Things are going well with the journal. We get a very high number of article views and we are accessible through plenty of libraries throughout the world. I’ve found editing the review section to be really enjoyable, it’s also helped me to stay on top of the vast literature that is being published in the area. I’ve also found the job to be really manageable and containable. I tend to spend chunks of time commissioning reviews, often when I don’t feel I’m able to write that day, with the occasional moments used to read incoming reviews and to handle the management of the section. ICS is really well organised so editing the reviews can be quite efficient. I was very happy to take on the reviews section. ICS has always been one of…

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