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Research Guides

Tips for Finding Book Reviews

When looking for reviews you need to have the following information about the book:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Year of Publication  [this will determine which databases to use]

Things to keep in mind:

  • Most books are never reviewed so don't be surprised if you cannot locate a review.
  • There is a timelag before a review is published. This means it may be difficult to find reviews of very recent books.
  • The earliest reviews are published in newspapers and in special review magazines for libraries such as Choice Reviews Online and Booklist. These reviews tend to be more descriptive and less substantive.   
  • Reviews in scholarly journals may not be published until 2 or 3 years later.

Locating Reviews of Recent Books

Reviews of books published since roughly 1980 can be found in a number of databases.  Collections of current e-journals and newspapers such as Project Muse and Access World News can also be searched for book reviews.

Using JSTOR to Locate Book Reviews

JSTOR is a major collection of scholarly e-journals covering all fields.  Currently most journals are available from the first year of publication to approximately 5 years ago.  In other words, JSTOR is not good for finding reviews of very recent books but can be very useful for finding reviews of books published anywhere from approximately the early 20th century to 2005 or so.

For example if I were looking for reviews within JSTOR of Professor Behlmer's book, Friends of the Family: The English Home and Its Guardians, 1850-1940 (published in 1998) I would use the following strategy:

Jstor search example

H-Net Reviews

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Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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