Structure-Based Interpretation of Scholarly Book Reviews:
A New Research Technique

Jeppe Nicolaisen

Royal School of Library and Information Science
Birketinget 6, DK-2300 Copenhagen S.,

Abstract. Scholarly book reviews contain evaluative parts, which, if decoded properly, hold great potential value for scholars, scientists, librarians, collection developers, information seekers, and LIS-researchers who are depending on access to valuated information and test collections. This paper introduces a new structure-based research technique for the interpretation of opinions reflected by authors of scholarly book reviews. The structure-based technique combines the strengths of two prevalent content analytical approaches, while additionally utilizing the typical rhetorical organization of book reviews as an enriched point of analytic departure. The validity of this research technique is established by statistically correlating results derived from the structure-based interpretation of 60 LIS book reviews, results of a quantitative content analysis of the same sample, and results obtained from questioning the actual reviewers about their genuine opinions of the books under study.

Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, pp. 123-135.