book-reviews

Authorship Attribution

by Patrick Juola

Rating: ★★★

Juola presents a clear and concise summary of the field, from the literary origins of manuscript studies to modern applications in legal contexts surrounding blogs, email and other online communications. The latter end of this story is now somewhat dated, as Juola anticipated, but this text should serve well as an introduction for any student.

The treatment of the various methodologies is somewhat brief. Juola focuses on communicating the intuition behind a method rather than strict mathematical or statistical accuracy -- there is essentially no mathematical content to the text, and you would not use this book as a reference for implementation. However, Juola is remarkably good at delivering an abstract understanding of each method, making this very useful for the legal or educational professional attempting to understand the topic. His use of historical context and examples is particularly helpful.

Juola's discussion of his own work, and dataset, do intrude slightly into the text, but these components are not unwelcome, as the AAAC dataset is a valuable reference point for any researcher, and his broad advice is not particularly constrained by the state of the field as it was at publication.

There are a few glaring typographical and grammatical errors in the text, which speak to a lack of proper copy-editing.