Books have traditionally been given merit through the reputation of the author, author's institutional affiliation, and publisher. Book reviews are sources for qualitative and critical assessment and can be found indexed in many databases. WorldCat can also be used to see how many libraries world-wide hold the book in their collections.
Quantitative metrics typically involve counting citations to the books. While less developed than tracking citations to articles, some databases and platforms are available that count citations to books and book chapters.Other quantitative measures that may be available through the book publisher include sales figures, language translations and presence on best-seller lists or awards.
The Scopus database provides citation counts to books and individual book chapters found in Scopus. Since 2013, Scopus has been expanding book coverage from 360 book series titles to over 75,000 titles, with a new 10,000 titles to be added annually.
To retrieve citations to a specific book or book chapter:
If no citation counts are found for a book title, try searching on individual chapters within the book.
The Book Citation Index (Science, and Social Sciences & Humanities) is part of the Web of Science set of databases. Book coverage started in 2005 and cited by counts are provided for those books indexed in Web of Science.
To find the cited by counts for a specific book or book chapter:
Web of Science also provides a Usage Count for each item that measures the number of times the item has been accessed in full-text or saved to a reference manager.
The PsycINFO database from ProQuest covers psychological literature dating back to the early 1800s and includes book content.
To find citation counts to books or book chapters:
If no citation counts are displayed for a book, consider searching on individual chapters. All indexed chapters for a book can be found by changing the search field from Document Title to Publication Title.
SpringerLink is the online platform for Springer books and journal. Metrics, provided by a source called Bookmetrix, can be found for book titles and chapters. The metrics include cited by counts, online mentions, saves to reference managers and downloads.
To find cited by counts for Springer books:
Google Scholar provides cited by counts to books. In the search box, enter the book title and select search. To make the search more specific, use the Advanced Search by selecting the drop-down within the search box. Specify the search to find all of the words and select 'in the title of the article' for where the words occur. The cited by count will appear below the item information.
There may be more than one entry for any particular edition of a book with variants of the author name.