Which Zotero type for a book review ?


Which Zotero document type do you use when you want to create a reference that is a book review ?

The "journal article" type allows to add a "reviewed author", but where shall I add data like the Publisher of the reviewd book, its place, its number of pages, its series etc. ?
To add these in the article title is weird when I want to generate a bibliography, I can't have the right typography (italic for the title etc.).

Do you have a solution ? or at least any advice ? :-)
Thank you very much !
  • I don't typically see publishing information about the book included in citations of a book review (since you're citing the review, not the book). Chicago Manual and APA don't do this, for example. So I'd just put "Review of: Book ABC" into the title field of a journal article and then fill out the other fields accordingly.

    We may or may not need a full book review item type in the long run (I'm a bit skeptical, given that book reviews can appear in all types of different publications). As of now, the biggest problem is to cite a book review that itself has a title. You'll have to hack that with the title field, using rich text markup as needed:
  • edited July 7, 2017
    Markup for rich text bibliography seems to choke around the 108-116 character count from opening < i > to closing < / i >. Using APA I'll need the title to appear as:

    [Review of the book Design talk: understanding the roles of usability practitioners, web designers, and web developers in user-centered web design, by Brenda Reeb]

    In the above title, italics format output works up to the word "centered", so we're very close! Strangely, bold formatting via the < b > tag works for the entire title!

    My work-around for now is to make a note for myself that book reviews need manual format fixing after inserting bibliography.

    If anyone finds a fix, please let me know.
  • edited July 7, 2017
    You don't need rich text for this title. Just enter "Design talk: understanding the roles of usability practitioners, web designers, and web developers in user-centered web design" in the title field and "Rebb, Brenda" as a "Reviewed Author" creator. The APA style will add the square brackets, the "Review of" part, and the reviewed author to the title automatically.

    You only need to use rich-text formatting if uncommon case that the book review itself has a title--e.g., "The worst book I ever read: Review of A really bad book, by John Smith"
  • Thanks bwiernik. That method is certainly easier and I'd be happy to use it.

    I'll double check whether the lack of italics and those two words (the book) are acceptable to our university's interpretation of APA 6th which was last updated 25th November 2016.

    Cheers :)
  • I'm wondering if Reviewed-Title is something we will be seeing in the near future. I can't see getting a proper output without it.
  • You can enter reviewed-title in Extra like this:
    reviewed-title: A book title
  • edited April 21, 2020
    The "Reviewed Author" method works well, and generates proper bibliographies in Chicago style... most of the time

    However, in the (seemingly rather rare?) situation when the article title is not simply the title of the reviewed work, matters go amiss, at least with the Chicago style (I have not tested other styles).

    If the review article title is "Cogito Ergo Sum: A Review of the Meditations", then the generated biblio will say:

    "Review of Cogito Ergo Sum: A Review of the Meditations",
    with all but "Review of" in italics.

    Whereas (I believe) it should simply list the title as:
    "Cogito Ergo Sum: A Review of the Meditations", fully in italics, without the added "Review of"

    Is there any way to fix this? Am I doing something wrong?

    Thank you to anyone who might have an answer...
  • I suspect that your problem might be a data entry issue. Is the article a review of the work titled "Meditations"? Is the article a review of a review? If the article is "Cogito ..." then it seems that the author of the article with that title should be in the article author field. It depends on your institution's requirements if you need to also include the reviewed-author's name of "Meditations". If I were mentioning this in my manuscript I would mention the name of the author of Meditations in the text and also comment upon the article "Review of ..." with a reference to the journal article and the journal article author without also including the author of Meditations in the citation.

    I hope that I am clearly describing my position and suggestion.

  • Hello, DWL-SDCA -
    Thank you for the comment. My example was invented, but I meant that this is a review article of Meditations, not a review of a review. Yet the generated biblio meant it sound (erroneously) like it's a review of a review. That's what I would like to avoid.
  • I haven't used Chicago style in 25+ years. That said, I would cite the author(s) of the article and not include the author of Meditations among the authors cited. I would include the name of the author of Meditations in the body of the text of my manuscript.
  • edited February 15, 2021
    Hi, I appreciate that reviews of books (or other publications as it may be) normally appear in journals, hence the recommendation to use "journal article" item type for them. Also noted about rich text mark-up for italics within, that's helpful. However, in styles like the Oxford New Hart's (used fairly widely in British academia I believe) reviews are referenced quite differently from original articles, the main difference being the lack of quotation marks around the entire title string.

    If you can humour me here's the relevant bit from New Hart's Rules:

    "Reviews are listed under the name of the reviewer; the place of publication and date of the book reviewed are helpful but not mandatory:

    Ames-Lewis, F., review of Ronald Lightbown, Mantegna (Oxford, 1986), in Renaissance Studies, 1 (1987), 273–9.

    If the review has a different title, cite that, followed by the name of the author and title of the book reviewed:

    Porter, Roy, ‘Lion of the Laboratory’, review of Gerald L. Geison, The Private Science of Louis Pasteur (Princeton, 1995), in TLS (16 June 1995), 3–4."

    One other notable departure from the journal article format is the use of "in" as prefix for the journal title. For a review that has a title of its own, the quotation marks do come into it, but just for this title.

    Hardly the end of the world, but I guess if we are to enjoy different styles (and this one is arguably pretty neat), then perhaps a solution could be considered. I will look for a workaround among other item types, but happy to hear suggestions for that too.
  • edited February 15, 2021
    To enter the reviewed title, enter it in Extra like this:
    Reviewed title: Title of the work being reviewed

    In that case, the title of the item will be the title of the review itself. You can also specify the item is a book review in Extra by:
    Type: review-book

    But support for that varies across styles.
  • Which item type are we talking about? Journal article has no Type field, and if I don't fill in Title, just Extra, the entry is empty.
  • I have figured out what you mean, thanks very much! That is to say, I will try to replicate what you did for APA in my local version of New Hart's; that should work for getting rid of the quotation marks too. Only I can't seem to upload an edited copy of the style to Zotero successfully - I'm getting "An unexpected error...". It is fine in the preview, and while the visual editor at https://editor.citationstyles.org/visualEditor also reads it no problem, it won't let me download the style. Probably not the best place to ask about a basic glitch but would you have any advice on that please?
  • Hello, all -

    Does anyone know how to properly enter a single review, which reviews multiple books?

    If one uses the "Reviewed Author" field, then the formatting is improper: All the authors are listed together after the list of book titles, instead of grouped per book title.

    If one does not use the "Reviewed Author" field, and tries to manually format the title (using rich text of and to italicize the book titles, and adding author names per book title, then the result is that the entire title is erroneously formatted within quotation marks when citing (not proper, at least for Chicago windy city style).

    Thank you for any guidance.

  • I'm a neophyte on Zotero, looking for guidance on how to cite a book review.
    Seriously, it seems Zotero hasn't thought of this and created a simple way to do this as a standard type of publication. I hope I'm wrong.
  • Does the above -- simply specifying the Reviewed Author -- not work for you?
  • edited April 27, 2023
    I opened the APA CSL file and discovered that it can generate a bibliography that adheres to APA guidelines.

    The web page (https://columbiacollege-ca.libguides.com/apa/bookreviews) provides two examples for different types of book reviews: 'Book Review From Library Database (No Title)' and 'Book Review from a Website (with Title).' The examples use brackets([]) to enclose the reviewed item information, with the prefix 'Review of the book.' However, when using Zotero to generate citations, only 'Review of' is included.

    Here is my solution and it worked as charm:
    At first, I used 'Document' as the item type for a book review citation in Zotero and this would work for other item types such as journal articles or webpages.
    Then, following the example of other users like justine.fabre, I entered the name of the reviewer in the 'Author' field and the name of the book author in the 'Reviewed Author' field.
    To include the book title, as suggested by bwiernik, I added it to the 'Extra' field in the format 'reviewed-title: A book title.'
    Finally, I replaced the default prefix 'Review of' with 'genre: Review of the book' in the 'Extra' field. Alternatively, you can use 'medium: Review of the book'.
  • edited June 24, 2023
    Okay, this all works well. However, here's one more rub: What if the review authors are not authors but editors? I want the reference to include "Eds." after the editors' names, like this:

    Raskin, J. D. (2021). Not quite beyond the DSM [Review of the book Beyond the DSM: Toward a process-based alternative for diagnosis and mental health treatment, by S. C. Hayes & S. Hofmann, Eds.]. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 35(2), 841–843. https://doi.org/10.1080/10720537.2020.1865856

    How do I accomplish that?
  • In Zotero, click on where it says "author" and switch it to Editor.
  • no, it's the *reviewed* book that has an editor and we don't have "reviewed editor" (nor are we likely to any time soon). I think I'd just work around this edge case. E.g. for APA style, if you put

    Medium: Review of the book Beyond the DSM: Toward a process-based alternative for diagnosis and mental health treatment, by S. C. Hayes & S. Hofmann, Eds.

    into the extra field, this will come out correctly.
  • edited June 25, 2023
    Yes, I was able to put the “medium” command in the extra field and also insert italics commands around the title so it was italicized. It looked like this:

    Medium: Review of the book Beyond the DSM: Toward a process-based alternative for diagnosis and mental health treatment by S. C. Hayes & S. Hofmann, Eds.
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