Book reviews have often been difficult to locate, as a searcher would have to look in several print resources to find citation information, followed by a search for the individual periodical in which the review is located. Online databases, often containing the full text, have streamlined this process. Now, rather than consulting several bound indexes, a user can look in a subject-oriented database and find the review they need.
The complete information needed in order to find a book review is the full name of the book's author, the exact title of the book, and the year it was first published. Online databases can often locate a book review based on only part of the above information.
The following online resources that contain book reviews are available at JCKL. Each has its own subject area:
- All Topics : Academic Search Premier (EBSCO), Article 1st, Books in Print, JSTOR, Lexis Nexis Academic
- Business: Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
- Childrens: Children's Literature Comprehensive Database
- Education: Education Full Text (WilsonWeb)
- Fine Arts: Art Full Text (WilsonWeb)
- Health Sciences: CINAHL (EBSCO), Health Source Consumer Edition (EBSCO), and Heath Source Nursing/Academic (EBSCO)
- Historical: America: History and Life, Historical Abstracts, History E-books, JSTOR
- Sciences: Applied Science and Technology (WilsonWeb), Biological and Agricultural Index, Biological Sciences, GeoRef
- Social Sciences: Social Sciences Full Text (WilsonWeb)
Searching EBSCO Databases for Book Reviews:
When in an EBSCO database, click on the advanced search tab at the top of the page:
In the grey "find" field, type the title of the book:
You can use the other options to limit your search to specific years, full text reviews, publication type, or other options, but it is important to select Book Review as the document type:
Once this is done, click "search" next to the find field. You will get a list of reviews based on the information you selected.
Searching Lexis Nexis Academic:
Lexis Nexis provides a search of many of the nation's leading newspapers. When you enter Lexis Nexis, click on the "Guided News Search" tab:
It first asks you to limit your search. For the news category, select Arts & Sports News. Under "select from a news source", select Book, movie, music, & play reviews:
For the search term, enter the title of the book for which you are looking for a review:
If you want to specify a date, do so, otherwise search for "all available dates". A search for a publication usually is not necessary unless you want only reviews from the New York Times or an other specific newspaper.
Clicking "search" will generate a list of reviews for you.
Searching WilsonWeb databases:
Interactive Tutorial (.avi)
Wilson databases are set up to use the advanced search as the default. You conduct a search for a book review in much the same way as done in the EBSCO databases--by entering the title and narrowing results to reviews.
Type in the book title in the "search for" field, and search as "All - Smart Search":
The "sort by", "limit dates to", and 'limit to" fields are optional. They should be used only when you need to further limit your results.
The important field is the Document Type; select "Book Review":
After this, click the start button to see the results of your search.
JSTOR is an important resource for searching for older materials that often are not indexed in other electronic databases. For instance, if looking for a review of a book that is 50 years old, most databases do not have electronic materials going back that far, but JSTOR contains these older materials.
Within JSTOR, clicking "search" takes you to the basic search page. In the "Enter Search Terms" box, type the title of the work for whick you are looking for a review, and search in "full text":
JSTOR requires you to search specific subject areas for your review. Click on as many areas that seem applicable to the title you are searching for:
At the bottom of the page, in the "Refine Your Search" box, select reviews under "limit by type":
Clicking on "Begin Search" will generate a list of results.