SB&F reviewers are scientists in academia and industry, teachers, librarians, and media specialists. They are experts in their fields and have a strong interest in science education. Reviewers are asked to
- Write a critical evaluation emphasizing the merits and/or demerits of the material.
- Describe and critique the content, technical quality, and instructional value.
- Assess the accuracy and clarity of scientific facts presented in the material.
- Take special note of the overall quality of the presentation of facts, theories, and processes of science and their interrelationships.
- Indicate for which audience(s) the material is most appropriate and why.
Reviewers are also asked to mention how the material could be used (classroom, general awareness, reference, etc.).
SB&F reviewers summarize their overall opinion of materials in terms of quality and level of difficulty by choosing ratings and symbols from the list below.
SB&F reviewers assign appraisal codes and levels of difficulty to the books they review. The codes for appraisal ratings and levels are outlined below.
++ Highly Recommended: The material contains no serious errors or deficiencies, and the reviewer thought the content and presentation were excellent.
+ Recommended: The material contains no serious errors or deficiencies, and the reviewer thought the content and presentation were above average.
Ac Acceptable: The material contains no serious errors or deficiencies, and the reviewer thought the content and presentation were average.
Q Questionable: The material contains errors of fact, deficiencies in development, and/or the reviewer thought the content and presentation were below average.
NR Not Recommended: The material contains serous errors of fact and/or deficiencies in development.
K Preschool or kindergarten
EP Elementary grades 1 & 2
EI Elementary grades 3 & 4
EA Middle grades 4 & 6
JH Junior High grades 7 & 8
YA Young Adult grades 9 – 12
T Teaching professionals
GA General audience
SB&F evaluations are the personal appraisals of the reviewers or of the staff and do not represent official recommendations or decisions of the reviewers’ affiliations or of AAAS.