• Assessing the teaching value of non-English academic books: The case of Spain

      Mas Bleda, Amalia; Thelwall, Mike (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2018-12-01)
      This study examines the educational value of 15,117 Spanish-language books published by Spanish publishers in social sciences and humanities fields in the period 2002-2011, based on mentions of them extracted automatically from online course syllabi. A method was developed to collect syllabus mentions and filter out false matches. Manual checks of the 52,716 syllabus mentions found estimated an accuracy of 99.5% for filtering out false mentions and 74.7% for identifying correct mentions. A fifth of the sampled books (2,849; 19%) were mentioned at least once in online syllabi and almost all (95%) were from a third of the publishers included in the study. An in-depth analysis of the 23 books recommended most often in online syllabi showed that they are mostly single-authored humanities monographs that were originally written in Spanish. The syllabus mentions originated from 379 domains, but mostly from Spanish university websites. In conclusion, it is possible to make indicators from online syllabus mentions to assess the teaching value of Spanish-language books, although manual checks are needed if the values ​​are used for assessing individual books.