Book Reviews

Book Reviews provide critical appraisals of new books and serials that will assist readers of the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) in selecting works for their own professional use or for addition to their library collections. Authors of Book Reviews are chosen based on their knowledge of and experience in areas relevant to the library and information world.

Book Reviews Author Guidelines

Reviews should contain a brief overview of book scope and content so that readers can determine the book’s interest to them. Reviewing each chapter of a book in detail is not necessary. For a research or historical work, please comment on its significance in relation to the focus area as well as to the field as a whole. For an applied or descriptive work, be sure to comment on its usefulness. In both cases, compare the book with similar publications in its area and indicate its potential audiences, where relevant. When quoting the text, indicate page numbers in parentheses at the end of the quote.

Reviews should be double-spaced and normally should not exceed two to three pages in length (four pages is the maximum). Reviews exceeding four pages, double-spaced, eleven-point type may be edited for length. The number of photos, figures, illustrations, and tables is limited to one per review.

The following elements must be included in the bibliographic information at the beginning of the review:

  • Author name (last name, first name and/or initials) 
  • Title (bold) 
  • “Edited by,” with name(s) (not inverted) 
  • Edition 
  • Place of publication 
  • Publisher 
  • Publication date 
  • Series title (in parentheses) 
  • Number of pages 
  • Price 
  • ISBN 


Flaherty, Mary Grace. The Library Staff Development Handbook. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield; 2017. 154 p. $43.00. ISBN: 978-1-4422-7036-7.

Developing Librarian Competencies for the Digital Age. Edited by Jeffrey G. Coghill, AHIP, and Roger G. Russell Jr. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, Medical Library Association; 2017. 180 p. $41.00. ISBN: 978-1-4422-6444-1.

If the book is printed on acid-free or alkaline paper, please add the infinity symbol at the end of the citation.

Reviewers will find helpful suggestions in chapter 10, “The Book Review,” of Why Not Say It Clearly: A Guide to Scientific Writing by Lester King (Little, Brown, 1978), and chapter 7, “Editorial Review of Manuscripts,” of the CBE Style Manual, fifth edition (Council of Biology Editors, 1983).

Submission and Review Process

Deadlines are based on the production schedule for the JMLA, and adherence to them is necessary to ensure timely publication of your review. Reviews not adhering to JMLA guidelines—including word count and reference style—will be returned to the submitting authors. The Book Reviews editor may make minor editorial changes if these will not affect the reviewer’s meaning and will discuss substantive changes with reviewers.

Provision of Books for Review

Please submit items for review to Medical Library Association headquarters at 225 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 650, Chicago, IL 60606.