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Finding Book Reviews

Finding Book Reviews

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Finding Book Reviews

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  1. Finding Book Reviews H. Calogeridis R. Caldwell UW Library Last Updated: March 2005

  2. What is a Book Review? • A book review is an overviewora critical assessment of a particular book • It is a special type of article published in journals, magazines and newspapers (usually following the book’s initial publication)

  3. Book reviews appear in a variety of lengths, ranging from a few lines to a few pages • Scholarly reviews are typically longer and of more use to researchers • A book review is NOT an in-depth critical evaluation of the author’s work

  4. Book reviews may include comments on: • the author’s style of writing • motifs or themes • outstanding features • reading level and anticipated audience • plot summary • the reviewer’s opinion of the book

  5. Starting Your Search To begin your book review search, you need to know: • the author’sfull name • the completetitle of the book • the year the book was published

  6. Book Review Sources The Library has print indexes that are entirely devoted to book reviews. Examples: • Book Review Digest(Abs Z1219.C96 Porter) • Book Review Index (Abs Z1035.A1B6 Porter) • Canadian Book Review Annual (Abs Z1035.A1C3x Porter)

  7. Print Indexes – Sample Review • book review information by author/title ReviewedTitle ReviewedAuthor AbbreviatedReviewSources

  8. Many general and subject specific electronic journal indexes and researchdatabases also give access to book reviews. (available at • it is important to remember that the search strategy for finding book reviews may vary depending on the database Examples: • General Science Abstracts • Humanities Full Text • LexisNexis Academic • Social Science Full Text • Web of Science

  9. Research Databases - Examples • electronic research databases can be found via the Library’s home page

  10. Sample Search in Humanities Full Text • combine the title of the book being searched with the “Book Review” option (located in the Document Type menu) e.g.God’s Man for the Gilded Age and Book Review

  11. Title of Book Document Type

  12. Full Text Option Title of Book Check Library Holdings Review Source Abstract Document Type

  13. Sample Search in Web of Science 1. from the list of search options, select Cited Reference Search 2. enter the name of the Cited Author you wish to review 3. enter the Cited Year 4. search your entry by selecting the Searchbutton which citations you would like to view from the Cited Reference Index

  14. Book Review as the document type 7. set your Language preference 8. select the Finish Search button 9. choose which record you would like to view by clicking on its respective title

  15. Cited Author Cited Work Cited Year(s) Search Button

  16. Select Citations to View Document Type Language Setting Finish Search Button

  17. Select Record Link

  18. Title of Book Review Author of Book Review Review Source Abstract Check Library Holdings Document Type

  19. Sample Search in LexisNexis Academic • select Guided News Search from the top menu • select the news category: Arts & Sports News • select the news source: Book, Movie, Music & Play Reviews • enter search terms (title, or author/title information)

  20. Guided News Search News Category News Source Search Terms Search

  21. Book Title Author of Reviewed Book Book Review

  22. There are also many online book reviews freely available on the Web. Examples: • H-Net Reviews ( • New York Review of Books ( • New York Times Book Reviews ( For a more complete listing, consult the Directory of Book Reviews at:

  23. Here is a more complete UW Library Guide to finding book reviews: