Book reviews for Operations Research Letters

ORL publishes two types of reviews, namely short ones and long ones. A short review is typically about a single, recent book and its length is about a single ORL-page (that is, about 800-1000 words). A long review is typically about a topic on which a number of recent books have appeared, or devoted to a special occasion; the length of a long review is about six to eight ORL-pages, i.e. a regular ORL paper.


  • A short review should give a balanced view of the book mentioning its strengths but also its weaknesses. Praise should be used with care (ORL-pages are not a way to promote sales!). A review should be complimentary when possible, and critical when necessary (see for instance Laporte's review in ORL 32, 394-397, 2004). Keep in mind that readers of ORL are not necessarily experts on the specific field of the review.

  • A review is not the same as a summary. A summary merely conveys what is in a book, while a review also includes the writer's opinion about, say, the relevance, the organization, or any other feature, of topics covered in the book.

  • A long review is more than a series of short reviews, that is, it should give an overview of the topic and its developments. In that sense, a long review is more like a regular ORL-paper (see for instance Gerhard Woeginger's recent review entitled: Combinatorial approximation algorithms: a comparative review).

  • Do not be afraid to write the truth. A good book should be called good, and a bad book should be called bad. Calling a bad book good is in fact a disservice to all the good books that have been written (and to the reader as well!). This is not to mean that a review should not be respectful; it should. Behind the author's name on the book, there is a person who had every intention to get it right, and this person should deserve credit for that intention in the review.

  • Finally, original, perhaps slightly provoking, reviews are the most fun to read (and write!).

  • Reviewed (long):

    Reviewed (short):