Contents of Book Reviews

Book reviews should contain, at a minimum, a brief synopsis of the book including its main theses and conclusions. In addition, reviews should analyze the book from the perspective of internal consistency and in comparison to other major works in the field. What makes a JIBS review unique is that it pays special attention to the international business (IB) elements of the book. Books are reviewed through an IB lens, and integrated with well-known as well as emerging areas of IB research, citing key references. Reviews conclude with research questions that arise from a reading of the book that merit further exploration.

Some General Advice

The purpose of a book review is to convey clearly and concisely the value of the book to the reader who may not be familiar with the topic. It should describe the readability and pertinence of the book to various audiences including international business practitioners and researchers. A publishable review should be organized around the following three components:

  • A characterization of the central theme of the book, e.g. the theoretical, empirical, or policy issue of concern, and its relationship or relevance to the existing literature;
    Avoid excessive citations to the literature;rather frame the book in received knowledge.
  • A description of the structure and contents of the book, e.g., the way the author(s) develops the argument and the main conclusions reached;
    Avoid summarizing the book;this yields an over-long and descriptive review.
  • A fair appraisal of the book that is neither overly laudatory nor excessively critical but rather one that assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the book, e.g., were the right questions asked? was the reasoning sound? was the data appropriate? are the empirical methods adequate? were the appropriate conclusions drawn?
    Avoid presenting your own approach to the topic;
    your critique should be focused on the book.

    A request to write a book review is not an invitation to debate the author(s). Please do not take this opportunity to present your own views on the topic or to promote your own work. Self-citations should be avoided.

    The publishable book review is informative, fair, and well-written. The editor will not accept for publication a review that fails to meet these objectives.

Edited volumes

Conference volumes and edited collections are especially difficult to review. The following guidelines may be helpful:

  • In the first paragraph, give a brief overview of the type of essays in the book and the identity of the principal authors.
    Avoid a list of essay titles and authors’ names.It is not necessary to be fully inclusive nor is it useful to be overly descriptive.
  • Concentrate on the strengths of the volume by highlighting the essays that make a significant contribution to the literature but don’t hesitate to note weak contributions.

Format of Reviews

  • Not be longer than 1,000 words
  • Top of the first page should include bibliographical citation of the book, including:
    • the title of the book in Title Case (first character of each word capitalized)
    • the authors of the book in "Firstname Lastname" format with an indication at the end if the book is edited -- (eds.)
    • the publisher of the book
    • the year of publication
    • the ISBN number
    • reviewer name and affiliation
  • Single Spaced
  • Justified (instead of left aligned)
  • Paragraphs by extra carriage return, not hanging indent.
  • The word "References" bolded.
  • References provided in JIBS format.
  • If using notes, use endnotes not footnotes.

Book Review Editor

Please address all correspondence concerning book reviews to:

Sjoerd Beugelsdijk
Book Review Editor, JIBS
University of Groningen
Faculty of Economics and Business, Global Economics & Management
Nettelbosje 2
9747 AE Groningen
The Netherlands

Acknowledgement: these guidelines draw upon those developed for JCE by Hélène Bonin, whose permission to do so is gratefully acknowledged.