My background is in physics where almost 100% of the scholarly work is reported in peer-reviewed publications. Within that framework, I understand how to determine who has priority regarding ideas, how influential a paper is, how prolific an author is, etc. at a glance by looking at publication dates, citations, impact factors, etc. Usually, the only books which are written are textbooks or those aimed at a popular audience.
My experience, though, is that not all fields are this heavily skewed toward peer-reviewed articles.
- In fields that rely significantly on scholarly books, how can someone quickly determine the impact, reliability, etc. of scholarly books and scholars whose work appears primarily in books?