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Book Reviews

Tips for Review Readers

Not all reviews are refereed. 
Academic book reviews aren't necessarily subject to peer review. This doesn't automatically mean that a review is of dubious or low quality, but it does mean the review only reflects the opinion of its author, not a journal's editors. 

Gather multiple points of view. 
Different authors have differing opinions about a given book. Where possible, you'll want to sample multiple opinions rather than placing your trust in a single source. This is the essence of popular review aggregators such as Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, which allow readers to see a range of opinions on a movie, book, or video game. When reading academic reviews, you'll have to do the aggregating yourself (i.e., seek out more than one).

Know thy reviewer. 
Who's doing the reviewing? Does he or she have any special qualifications that enhance the trustworthiness of his/her opinion? This is less important when we want to know what Joe and Jane Public think about the latest John Green novel, but it's essential when doing academic research. In short, evaluate the source of the review.