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Find Book Reviews A STEP-BY-STEP OVERVIEW How-Do-I Wichita State University Libraries Reference and Research Services Left click on slide or use left/right arrow keys on your keyboard to advance from slide to slide in slide show Fundamentals (Part 1)

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Find Book ReviewsA STEP-BY-STEP OVERVIEW

How-Do-I

Wichita State University Libraries

Reference and Research Services

Left click on slide or use left/right arrow keys on your keyboard to advance from slide to slide in slide show


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Fundamentals(Part 1)

  • Here are general tips on finding book reviews:

    • Book reviews are published in popular magazines or newspapers (e.g., Newsweek), in specialist scholarly journals (e.g., American Journal of Sociology), and in special book review periodicals (e.g., New York Review of Books).

    • Find book reviews by consulting finding tools that index just book reviews or periodical indexes that serve to identify all types of articles, including book reviews. Certain periodical indexes are used to identify articles in popular magazines or newspapers. Other periodical indexes are used to identify articles in specialist scholarly journals. Indexes may be available online or in print.

    • In addition to indexes, online full-text journals are a direct source for book reviews. Such “e-journals” or searchable scanned images of print journals are, for purposes here, grouped with online periodical indexes. (Online periodical indexes often lead to full text; online full-text journals and online periodical indexes therefore share the same features.)

    • Reviews do not always appear in the same year as the book’s publication date. It is often necessary to consult index volumes for two or more years following the publication date. Remember also that the great majority of books never get reviewed at all.

    • Sometimes a new edition of a book will receive reviews, especially if there was a lengthy period between editions.


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Fundamentals(Part 2)

  • It is useful to consult several reviews of a book to obtain a more balanced evaluation.

  • But note, if you want scholarly evaluative book reviews, omit reviews in American Libraries, Booklist, Choice, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly. These do serve as good brief statements of what a book is about.

  • It is crucial to choose the appropriate index or indexes for finding reviews. For example, it probably would not be helpful to seek the review of a book on Renaissance art in an index to law journals.

  • Know a much as possible about a book before seeking reviews. For example, is it a current or historical work? Is it a popular or scholarly title? Having this knowledge will help you choose the best electronic or print tools to locate reviews …


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STEP 1: Get Basic Citation Information

  • Get together the basic information that identifies the book in question:

    • Author’s name

    • Title of the book

    • Year it was published

      To identify citation information about the book Nickel and Dimed, look at the title page, if you have the book in hand. Library catalogs will also give you the information:

      Author: Ehrenreich, Barbara

      Title: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

      Publication Date: 2001


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 1)

  • Depending on the year and subject matter of the book for which you seek reviews, there are a number of book review finding tools.

  • For older publications, it may be necessary to consult a print book review finding tool.


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 2)

  • Consider the tools listed on the main Find Book Reviews page.

How-Do-I

The next slide addresses the first indexes found on this list ...


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 3)

  • First consider the online Book Review Digest. Then consider the print version of Book Review Digest (which has coverage back to 1905). Then consider Book Review Index (which indexes many more sources). And so on, down the list ...

    ONLINE TOOLS

    • Book Review Digest (covers 1983 to date)Provides citations and abstracts for book reviews from 90 widely-circulated journals; some links to full text of review.

      PRINT TOOLS

    • Book Review Digest(covers 1905 to 2002 in WSU’s holdings)Reference Index Table 12 and older years in Reference Stacks (Z1219 .C96). Lists and selectively excerpts reviews from same sources as online tool. Entries are arranged by last name of author of book. Contains noteworthy subject index, including, under the heading “Fiction,” a detailed listing by theme.


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 4)

PRINT TOOLS (continued)

− Book Review Index (covers 1965 to date)Reference Index Table 12 (Z1035 .A1 B6). Lists citations to reviews from over 400 scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers.


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 5)

  • Note that WSU Libraries subscribes to approximately 100 general and subject-specific electronic databases.These databases can help you find all kinds of articles, including book reviews. Consider the following online general tools:

    • Expanded Academic ASAP (coverage as early as 1980 to date)Provides citations and abstracts to over 900 wide-ranging scholarly journals, popular magazines and newspapers; some links to full text of review.Enter the query: review! and “NAME OF BOOK”.


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 6)

ONLINE TOOLS (continued)

  • JSTOR (coverage as early as 1800s and ending 3-5 years ago, with “rolling wall”)Multi-discipline archive of scholarly journals. All articles are available as full-text images. Coverage goes back to the first issues of the publications included in the archive.

  • LexisNexis Academic(coverage as early as 1970s to date)Provides access to thousands of full-text news, business, and legal sources. Coverage of publications varies.Choose the “Guided News Search” interface. Under “Select a news category” select “Arts & Sports News.” Then under “Select a news source” select “Book, movie, music, & play reviews.” For “Search terms” enter the book’s title, author, and/or subject. (Note that you can search for reviews in a specific newspaper or journal by entering its name [e.g., The New York Times] in the last search box, ”Search this publication title[s].”)

  • Project Muse(coverage as early as 1993 to date)Provides access to full-text journals in humanities and social sciences.


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 7)

ONLINE TOOLS (continued)

  • Readers’ Guide Abstracts (covers 1983 to date)Indexes articles from popular general-interest magazines in the U.S. and Canada.Search for the book’s author, title, and/or subject. Under “Document Type” select “Book review.”


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 8)

PRINT TOOLS

  • New York Times Index (covers 1914 to 2001 in holdings here)Reference Stacks (AI21 .N44). Look under the index entry “book reviews.”

  • Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature (covers 1900 to 1994 in WSU’s holdings) Reference Stacks (AI3 .R48). Indexes articles from popular, general-interest periodicals, including same sources as online tool. Since 1976, separate “Book Reviews” section at end of volume.


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STEP 2: Consult the Appropriate Index (Part 9)

  • Next consider the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences indexes, depending upon the subject matter of the book for which you seek reviews.

  • The most important subject-specific book review finding tools are given on the main +o Find Book Reviews page(http://library.wichita.edu/reference/howdoi/findbookreviews.htm)

How-Do-I


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STEP 3: Locate the Periodicals Containing the Book Reviews You Identified (Part 1)

  • Unless you found direct links to the full-text of the book reviews you located, you must determine whether or not the library owns a copy of the journal, magazine or newspaper in which the review appears.

  • You should have written down (or printed out) the full citation for the book review. For example:Smith, Joan, reviewer. The Times Literary Supplement, no. 5203 (Dec. 27, 2002), p.9


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STEP 3: Locate the Periodicals Containing the Book Reviews You Identified (Part 2)

  • If you used an index such as the print Book Review Digest, use the WSU Online Catalog to look up the name of the periodical that contains the book review.In the example above, look up Times Literary Supplement, selecting “Search by:” Journal Title. (Be sure you do not include the initial article “The” in the title.)


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STEP 3: Locate the Periodicals Containing the Book Reviews You Identified (Part 3)

  • The Catalog indicates we have the periodical:


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STEP 3: Locate the Periodicals Containing the Book Reviews You Identified (Part 4)

  • Further, it indicates that we have the particular issue (no. 5203) needed:


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STEP 3: Locate the Periodicals Containing the Book Reviews You Identified (Part 5)

  • If you used online Book Review Digest, you could automatically execute the search in the WSU Online Catalog:

Click here to execute the search


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Finally …(Part 1)

  • For further assistance with using the WSU Online Catalog or any aspect of finding book reviews, ask at the Ablah Library Reference Desk.


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Finally …(Part 2)

Source Material and AttributionsThis tutorial incorporates both excerpts (without use of quotation marks) and slightly modified text drawn from the following web pages developed by other libraries:“Book Reviews,” New York University Libraries http://www.nyu.edu/research/rg35.html“Finding Book Reviews,” University of California-Berkeley Libraries http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/BookReviews.html“Finding Book Reviews,” Widener Library of the Harvard College Library http://hcl.harvard.edu/widener/services/research/bookreviews/bookreview1a.html“Finding Book Reviews, Research Tips,” Earlham Libraries http://www.earlham.edu/~libr/courses/bookreviews.htm“Find Book Reviews, How Do I …,“ Boston College Libraries http://www.bc.edu/libraries/research/howdoi/s-findbookreviews/

TO RETURN TO THE MAIN FIND BOOK REVIEWS PAGE,CLICK ON YOUR BROWSER’S BACK BUTTON

How-Do-I


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