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The Complexity of Measuring the Impact of Books


The purpose of this study was to discover whether there are scholarly evaluation metrics that can be applied to a wide range of books’ types and contents. We analyzed over 70,000 books and collected various metrics per each title including traditional and altmetrics measures. The analysis in this paper depicts the top books showing the highest rates of citations, reviews, readership, downloads, twitter and more. Our results show that books display different impact in each of the measurements and vary by types and content. There isn’t one measure that captures the impact of books across the board. We conclude that books should be evaluated by types and contents while using different measures per each.

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Correspondence to Gali Halevi or Barnaby Nicolas.

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Halevi, G., Nicolas, B. & Bar-Ilan, J. The Complexity of Measuring the Impact of Books. Pub Res Q 32, 187–200 (2016).

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  • Books
  • Metrics
  • Scholarly impact
  • Altmetrics