Goodreads, ratings and reviews

Goodreads, ratings and reviews

Name:  Goodreads – ratings and reviews

Can apply to: Popular and scholarly books reviewed by Goodreads users.

Metric definition: Users can rate books on a scale from 1-5 and offer their personal review and commentary.

Metric calculation:  The rating for a book is an average of all ratings provided by Goodreads users.

Data sources: Goodreads book pages

Appropriate use cases: Reviews may provide qualitative evidence of impact. Ratings and reviews may be useful as evidence of perceived quality by scholars or the general public.

Limitations: Goodreads has more than 55 million users who have written 50 million reviews on the 1.5 billion books. Inclusion in Goodreads ratings and reviews is driven entirely by the users rather than the quality or significance of particular books. Most Goodreads users who provided an address are located in the United States, although there are many users across the globe.

Inappropriate use cases: User ratings and reviews should not be used as measures of scholarly impact.

Available metric sources: Goodreads book pages & PlumX Dashboards.

Transparency: Ratings and book reviews are publicly accessible.


Timeframe: Ratings and reviews are publicly accessible as soon as the user posts them.


Zuccala, A. A., Verleysen, F. T., Cornacchia, R., & Engels, T. C. (2015). Altmetrics for the humanities: Comparing Goodreads reader ratings with citations to history books. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 67(3), 320-336.


Posted on

July 24, 2017