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History 3602: Finding Reviews: Home

Guide on finding book reviews.

Quick links to resources with book reviews


What are book reviews?

Book reviews are typically short descriptions and evaluations of recently-published books. They may be found in newspapers, magazines, journals, or online, and may be written for a general public readership or for a specialized scholarly or professional audience. This guide offers tips on finding book reviews through the library's resources.

Finding Book Reviews in General and Subject-Specific Databases

Image of various sheets of paper and a magnifying glassHere are a few points to consider when searching these databases for book reviews:

  • Be sure that the database you're searching covers the subject area of the book.  If you're looking for reviews of a book of literature, for example, use a literature database or a more general or multidisciplinary database.
  • Pay attention to what fields you are searching.  Though some reviews are given a special title, most are simply given the title of the book they review, so it is often easiest to find reviews by typing in the name of the book.  Note that the author field searches the author of the review, not the book, so don't search the book's author within the author field.
  • Sort or limit your results by date (ex. oldest to newest) in order to find contemporary reviews.
  • If you're interested in only scholarly reviews, look for an option to limit your search to peer-reviewed or refereed publications.
  • Because these databases often index articles, conference proceedings, books, and other materials in addition to reviews, look for an option to limit the document type to book reviews.  If you select this option, your search results will include only book reviews.

Remember that though a database may index a review, it will not necessarily provide direct access to the full text of the review.  If the full text is not directly available, a link to find the review in other databases, in print, or through interlibrary loan is usually provided.

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