Instructions for Book Reviews

MEJRS: Middle East Journal of Refugee Studies also publishes book reviews. The Editorial Board of the journal is of the opinion that the reviews have an important place within the academic network of publishing.

The reviews published in the journal are published with Digital Object Identifier (DOI) numbers, which are sent to the indexes where the journal is searched.

What is a Book Review?

Book reviews are discussions on a collection or a compilation publication (book, article, collection, and so on) while at the same time introducing the publication along with critical comments and contributions.

Book reviews are different from book reports. A book report solely informs the reader about the content of the book, whereas in a book review, the content only forms a part of the discussion.

Book reviews are expected to present constructive criticism of the book’s subject matter and the way in which such matters are handled by critiquing the ideas set forth in the text. In addition, the most prominent ideas in the book are to be critically evaluated along with the consistency of the book’s ideas and methods of using its sources.

How are Book Reviews Written?

The process of writing book review can be categorized into two parts: (a) the process before writing the text and (b) the process of reading the text to be reviewed and preparing the text. After these two processes are completed, the review can be written.

The Process of Reading the Text

Reviewers will find it helpful during the process of evaluation to note the following issues while reading the text to be reviewed. In this way, there will be no need to return to the text for author’s deductions and the reference points.

Aim
What is the author’s aim in writing the text? Does the author explicitly specify an aim or is it simply inferred? Is there any main theme set forth in the text?
Comment
How is the relationship between the text’s subjects constructed, how are events or persons depicted, and how are each of these important to the text? Does the author base his/her work on a type of analysis or on a theory, or are the ideas dependent on impressions? Do you find the author’s comments reasonable and consistent? Does he/she throw light on the subject or make it more uncertain? Can you propose any alternative to his/her analysis or comments?
Context
Are the ideas or events addressed in the text placed within a broader context? Is the writer focused on his/her work? Does the writer’s approach help you better understand the subject matter?
Silence
Are there any topics that the author does not examine or take into account? Do these decrease the effectiveness of the text? In such cases, does it become easier for you to understand the text?
Style
Is the book/text well written? Is it easy to understand? Is it fluid? Are there complicated remarks or complex terminology?
Sources
What types of sources does the author use? Does the author motivate his/her readers to search for more sources on the subject matter? Does he/she touch upon all the most prominent sources on the subject matter or are any sources neglected?
Field and the Literature
How closely is the text connected to the other sources in the literature? Does it modify their general approaches? Or does it take a certain side by repeating established views? Does it propose a new methodology or theoretical approach? If a source is old, did it cause any discussion or interference? (Further reading may be necessary to be able to answer these questions.)
Background
Many scholars wish to be informed about the experiences and the qualifications of the writer. Therefore, some information may need to be given on the author’s works. Is the author a young scholar, has he/she introduced new ways in the field, or does he/she have significant experience in the field?

Preparation for Writing the Review

After reading the book, the main points of the review text must be identified and reflected upon. The reviewer must think about how to incorporate such points into the review and prepare a writing plan. The text plan must basically consist of three parts: an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Main Points
The notes taken during the reading process must be re-evaluated and ordered according to their significance. This will show the reviewer the central argument of the text. While determining the main points, an effective and clear order for presenting these points must be prepared.
Main Theme
The review, like all other scientific studies, must have a central argument. How will the reviewer summarize his/her views on the text and its main argument, and how will he/she incorporate such points into his/her own text?
Style
A synopsis including the main themes and discussion points in the book must be prepared as a part of the review. This text must be approximately one paragraph long and should not be written as a summary of different parts.

While Writing the Review

While the reviewer organizes his/her work, he/she must ensure that the following aspects are included in the content of the review.

  • A short, strong introduction presenting the subject matter and the main argument of the work.
  • A brief introduction to the book.
  • A logically ordered and effective presentation of the inferences that could be made from the text as well as the text’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • A conclusion including the reviewer’s main ideas and points of emphasis.

The review must be carefully proofread, and the grammatical errors must be corrected upon completion. Parts that are not sufficiently clear must be revised in a clear and understandable manner.

Form of the Review

The general rules for writing articles for MEJRS also apply to reviews. The required grammatical rules and referencing system must be used.

  • The length of the reviews must be between 500–750 words.
  • The title of the review must be different than the title of the book.
  • The review must include the following information about the reviewed text:
  • First names and surnames of the author(s) or the editor(s) (If the text is a compilation, this must be specified).
  • Title of the book
  • Year of publication
  • Place of publication
  • Publishing house
  • Pages
Example:
Whistleblowing and Organizational Social Responsibility, Wim Vandekerckhove, England, 2006, Ashgate Publishing, 337 p.

The following information about the reviewer must be included at the end of the review:

  • First name and surname of the author/authors
  • Affiliated institution and title
  • A short biography of the author including his/her field, title, field of study, topics of interest, and contact information (25–40 words)
Example:
Dr. Abbas PINAR is an associate professor in the field of education management. His topics of interest include methodology [quantitative, qualitative, and mixed paradigm], types of analytical mistakes made in the education research and methodological qualities, advanced statistics and verifying factor analysis with SPSS and LISREL applications, leadership (spiritual leadership and transformative leadership), and social constitution. Contact: İstanbul University, Hasan Ali Yücel Faculty of Education, Department of Primary Education, 34660, Fatih, Istanbul. Email: abbaspinar@istanbul.edu.tr

The Review of the Book Review

MEJRS has a separate editor for book reviews. Books for review should be sent to the following address via mail:


EDAM (Eğitim Danışmanlığı ve Araştırmaları Merkezi)
Ferah Mahallesi, Ferah Caddesi, Bulduk Sokak, No: 1 Uskudar, Istanbul 34692 Turkey
Phone: +90 (216) 481-3023 pbx

The journal prioritizes reviews of works published in the last two years.

Since the journal has a limited space for reviews, monographs written by a single author are preferred. Reviews of compilations of congresses or symposiums are given secondary preference. Reviews of course books or handbooks are not accepted.

It is recommended that researchers wishing to send reviews to the journal contact the Book Reviews Editor, Abbas Pinar, before writing their reviews.

The editor expects that there will be no organic or personal relationship (staff of the same department, membership in the thesis jury, and so on) between the reviewer and author.

The editor evaluates submitted works in accordance with the Formatting Guidelines and Book Review Form and decides whether the review will be published.