Stating your case: Edited volume

Note: This tutorial was originally written for Publish or Perish version 4 and all screenshots come from this version. However, the information as such is also applicable for the latest Publish or Perish version 5.

In some disciplines it is very common to publish edited volumes. In these cases the editor typically invests a significant amount of time in coaching contributors to submit their chapters in time, and often provides significant editorial input.

Edited volumes can make a major contribution to the field

Edited volumes can make a major contribution to the field as they typically provide a collection the latest research on a particular topic. Unfortunately, in promotion applications edited volumes are often not appreciated as much as authored books or journal articles.

But their citation impact might be modest

One reason for this might be that the citation impact of these volumes is often quite modest, as few academics will refer to the edited volume as a whole. It is more common for authors to refer to individual chapters within an edited volume.

Worked example

In 1995, I published an edited textbook on International Human Resource Management, with new editions in 2004, 2010/2011 (published in 2010, but copyright of 2011) and 2014. Although it was a textbook, Publish or Perish shows that it generated quite a lot of citations in academic literature. Many of these citations were to the book as a whole, with a combined number of some 350 citations for the various editions.

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Comprehensive citation count provides a case for impact

However, as the three screenshots show, there were a further 359 citations to individual chapters in the 1995 edition, 488 to chapters the 2004 edition and 104 to chapters in the 2010/2011 edition. Overall, the book therefore had nearly 1,300 citations (350+359+488+104), a number that would allow me to more easily argue the case that this edited volume has had a significant impact in the field of International Human Resource Management.

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