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A review ( Latin recensio "sample, quantitative test, inventory", from recensere "tell, enumerate, compile ") or a meeting (sometimes also anglicised to review in the German-speaking area ) is usually one that is recorded in print or digital media, but sometimes also orally published on radio , film or television , a form of criticism that introduces and evaluates a certain, newly published object of a delimited subject area. The content of scientific knowledge, cultural creations and consumer goods are analyzed and, as a rule, evaluated on the basis of appropriate and professional standards.

Reviews are often kept short with up to three pages, but in the journalistic form of the essay they can also take up far more pages up to the size of a stand-alone book. As part of a scientific discourse , reviews provide an immediate answer e.g. B. on a thesis or theory published in a specialist journal .

As part of the feature section , reviews appear promptly shortly before or after the publication of their subject matter. However, while preliminary reviews are common for a film review , for example , book publishers usually try to specify a point in time for literary reviews or book reviews with or after the publication of a book.

As a rule, several reviewers review the subject they are considering independently of one another. Their seldom unanimous assessment can range from unqualified praise to total pissed off , so that the reviews often represent completely opposing views and assessments.


Literary genre

In general linguistic usage, the review is a generic sub-form of criticism or secondary literature , which has been involved in detailed articles and treatises ( discourses ) since the 17th century, either in journal form, in loose leaf collections or even in book form on the respective subject of consideration.


On the other hand, mere summaries of the content of a publication are to be distinguished from reviews , which do not require any evaluation and are referred to as abstracts or presentations . Scientific reports ( peer reviews ), on the other hand, examine whether a work should even be published as a book or in a specialist journal . Last but not least, they rate the quality of statements made in it for an academic subject based on the internal conclusiveness of any innovations.

See also: Abstract , presentation (documentation)

Forms of Review

In journalism

Reviews are often part of the feature pages and for the general public in the journalistic media such as newspapers , magazines and magazines, in radio and television and in the Internet published. For specific topics, however, can also be found on each oriented specialists and topics journals that their meetings a single object such. B. dedicate to books, films, board or computer games. Both reviews in the features section and those in special publications serve primarily to provide orientation and classification in view of the immense abundance of publications and to enable sensible purchase decisions . Libraries , for example, are also targeted at such reviews .

See also under literary criticism the detailed section: " Literature reviews in the features section "

In science

Feedback from scientific works

In scientific reviews (that is, reviews of scientific works, as they usually appear in specialist journals ), achievements or formal and content-related errors are named in detail according to academic practices, so that such critical reviews represent important feedback in the scientific community . There are special bibliographies for them that open up this genre, for example the International Bibliography of Reviews of Scientific Literature (IBR), which has been published since 1971 and is available in many libraries. Most scientific journals have their own section for reviews, but there are also some journals that contain only reviews.

In addition to possible criticism of a scientific work, a review can also have a more advanced scientific content, for example if the reviewer draws attention to overlooked sources or names possible further research approaches. Here the transition to an independent academic essay is fluid, sometimes the term review essay is used for this . Sometimes collective reviews are published that deal with and compare several works on a particular topic.

In rare cases there is also a reply or a statement with which a reviewed author responds to the review of his work. However, this is not generally customary and is usually only permitted by the editors of a magazine in exceptional cases if particularly serious and / or unjustified allegations were made in the previous review. On the other hand, one of the tasks of the editorial team is to reject reviews that are unjustified or contain personal attacks or to request that they be revised.

Literary and textual criticism

In literary and textual criticism , the term review refers to the comparison of as many text variants of a historical text as possible in the manuscripts and text editions in order to determine the textual and literary dependency of the individual versions and thus assign them to specific text traditions in a family tree ( stemma ).

See also: literary criticism , textual criticism

Customer reviews on the internet

Many internet retailers invite their visitors to present their opinion on a product anonymously under a nickname , but also by mentioning their own name as a “customer review”. The use of the term “review” is no longer limited to cultural goods such as books, films, etc., but expanded to include consumer goods and goods of all kinds. The scope of the text of such product reviews is not prescribed, but is usually supplemented by a rating scale on which the customers, depending on their assessment, e.g. B. have to assign one to five stars. Although (or precisely because) these expressions of opinion can be placed unedited and are only checked for legally prohibited expressions, their reception is evidently assessed by the internet traders as boosting sales.

See also under literary criticism the separate sections: " Current development of literary reviews " and " Literature reviews on the Internet "

Fictional review in literature

In literature there is the fictitious review, i.e. the book review of a non-existent book . This can be a book that the author of the review did not want to write or a book that is impossible to write. Well-known authors who have written such reviews are Jorge Luis Borges and Stanisław Lem .

See also


  • Frank Bardelle: Forms of critical discussion or: How to judge new scientific publications . In: Journal of Sociology . Vol. 18, Issue 1, February 1989, pp. 54-64. ( Article in the archive of the Zeitschrift für Soziologie )
  • Nicolai Hannig / Hiram Kümper: Reviews: find - understand - write, Schwalbach / Ts. 2012. ISBN 978-3-89974648-8
  • Jost Hermand : On the practical value of the review. In: J. H .: Fifty Years of German Studies. Articles, statements, polemics 1959–2009 (=  German Life and Civilization 51), Lang, Oxford a. a. 2009, pp. 79-96.
  • Edmund Schalkowski: Review and Criticism . UVK-Verlagsgesellschaft, Konstanz 2005. ISBN 3-89669-341-7
  • Gilles Roques: Defense et illustration du compte rendu scientifique. In: David Trotter (ed.): Manuel de la philologie de l'édition , de Gruyter, Berlin, 2015, pp. 438–463.
  • Ulrike Enke: Reviews, medical. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , pp. 1244-1246.

Web links

Wiktionary: Review  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Ulrike Enke: Reviews, medical. 2005, p. 1244 f.
  2. to Review