By the Numbers: Evaluating Review Journals

By the Numbers: Evaluating Review Journals

By: Lauren Lee, Senior Librarian, Sales
and Becky Roupp, Collection Development Project Manager

More and more these days we talk to librarians who want to order as many titles before publication as possible.  That is absolutely appropriate for popular authors, fiction for all ages, and the hottest celebrity biographies.  However, if you are also trying to tie your buying to review journals, you quickly run into a Catch-22. 

Periodically we analyze the coverage of the review journals we offer through our Diamond TIPS service.  Here are some discoveries we made when we looked at their coverage in the calendar year 2015.

  • As expected, 91% of LJ Prepub Alert titles are six months prepublication

  • Kirkus comes next in the “prepub” game with the largest block of their titles being two months prepub

  • Publishers Weekly titles are fairly evenly distributed from current month to two months prepub

  • Even though there are prepub titles in both, about 40% of Booklist and LJ’s coverage is for titles that are being published that same month

You may have noticed, we haven’t even mentioned journals that exclusively cover children’s and teen titles.  The largest percentage of Horn Book, School Library Journal, and VOYA titles appear in the month of publication, while Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books peaks at one month after publication. Also, all of the journals are still reviewing some titles as long as six months after publication.

There are other factors to consider, such as the authority of the reviews and the overall number of reviews (Kirkus was in the lead for 2015 with over 9000 titles).  Speed isn’t everything, but it is one thing to consider when deciding the optimal time to make title decisions. 

Did we make your head spin with statistics yet?  There are ways to simplify and still get the most of your journals.  If you only want to see a title once it’s been reviewed, our Diamond TIPS service compiles your favorite journals and offers other parameters that are important to your library. We can also exclude any FASTips standing orders you have with us, making your selection process as efficient as possible.  

Take a look at the comparison charts.  If you want to adjust existing Diamond TIPS profiles, or would like to set up a new one, contact us at  Profiles can use any combination of authors, series, publishers, journals, Brodart programs, demand, and print run to identify titles.  TIPS offers extremely flexible profiling options that help you view the right titles at the right time.