Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam
Department of Social Studies of Science, University of Vienna
In 2011, Thomson-Reuters introduced the Book Citation Index (BCI) as part of the Science Citation Index (SCI). The interface of the Web of Science version 5 enables users to search for both “Books” and “Book Chapters” as new categories. Books and book chapters, however, were always among the cited references, and book chapters have been included in the database since 2005. We explore the two categories with both BCI and SCI, and in the sister databases for the social sciences (SoSCI) and the arts & humanities (A&HCI). Book chapters in edited volumes can be highly cited. Books contain many citing references, but are relatively less cited. We suggest that this may find its origin in the slower circulation of books then of journal articles. It is possible to distinguish scientometrically between monographs and edited volumes among the “Books”. Monographs may be underrated in terms of citation impact or overrated using publication performance indicators because individual chapters are counted separately as contributions in terms of articles, reviews, and/or book chapters.