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January 15, 2005

News & Opinion: More Transparency Needed in Book Reviews

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 2:30 AM – Filed under: Publishing Industry, The Company

"The case against anonymity is a relatively simple one. There are many occasions on which a reader is entitled to ask on what authority a judgment or opinion is being advanced. There are even occasions when the whole import of a review depends on knowing the identity of the reviewer. Above all, critics should be prepared to be held directly responsible for what they write....I feel that the principle of accountability comes first."

-John Gross, editor of the Times Literary Supplement of London, 1974

Since we started the blogs, we have had the same feelings. You won't find anonymous reviews here. You will find the reviewer's name and a link to their online presence (if they have one).

I pulled this quote from today's WSJ. In an editorial entitled "Oh Yeah? Says Who?" [sub. needed], James Bowman takes on the common practice of anonymous reviews in both Kirkus Review and Publishers Weekly.