This guide describes the methods and resources for locating book reviews. Both print and online resources are included.
Searching the Library Catalog
The most effective way to locate book reviews through the WSU Stewart Library is to use the Subject Alphabetical search option. The following LC subject heading should be entered into the blank search box: Books--Reviews--Periodicals . This search lists those periodicals specially designed to publish book reviews. Each periodical record gives such availability and locating information as: volumes, years, format (paper print, microform), call number, and a link to the electronic source.
Searching Article Databases
Once you have selected an article database, look for a check box labeled "Reviews" or a pull-down menu labeled "Document Type" or "Article Type" to see if "Reviews" or "Book Reviews" happens to be an option. If such a limiter choice is provided, then in the search box enter the title of the book or the name of the author of the book for which you wish to locate the review.
An alternative method is to enter the following search statement into the blank search box: book AND review AND (this third term can be one of three items: 1) the author's full name placed in quotes, 2) the exact book title placed in quotes, or 3) a word or phrase that describes the subject of the book). It is difficult to know exactly which article databases contain journals that offer book reviews, so if any of the above search options fails to produce the desired result, it is safe to conclude that no book reviews are available on that particular book in that particular database or that the database itself does not include book review articles.
Searching the Web
A Web search using a search engine such as Google is the best way to discover reviews on the full range of publication types and formats, including books, and the title of each reviewing source. The power of Web searching lies in the ability to go from link to link almost as far as one wishes to go. The beginning search statement to enter can be as simple as: book review sources.
Reference Print Sources (including library call number)
Book Review Digest Ref Z 1219.C962
New York Review of Books AP 2.N535 (microfiche)
New York Times Book Review AP 2.N65
Times Literary Supplement AP 4.T45 (microfilm)
Academic Search Premier
LexisNexis Academic - News
Literature Resource Center
MAS FullTEXT Ultra
Professional Development Collection
Book Review Index (fee-based)
New York Review of Books (fee-based)
- As previously discussed, library catalogs, article databases, and Web search engines are the resources for finding book reviews
- Once the publications have been identified that contain the book reviews, search boxes will be provided for entering search terms
- Search terms can be single words or phrases
- Phrases such as exact book title or author's name should be enclosed within quotation marks
- Most resources offer the Boolean search feature where single words and phrases may be connected with the Boolean operators AND, OR
- Book reviews can be searched by the book's primary subject, book title, book author, or reviewer
- If the complete book title is not known, a title keyword search can be done using those words (or phrases) from the title that are known
- The full name of authors/reviewers should be searched as phrases and enclosed in quotes
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