Tips for Finding Book Reviews

1. Searching for book reviews in EbscoSearch (covers approximately 1975 – present, very limited coverage in earlier years)

  1. Go to EbscoSearch.
  2. In the Find box, type 2-4 keywords from the title of the book and the author’s last name and then add the words book* review*
  3. The asterisks on the end of book* and review* are wildcards so that the words book and books, review and reviews will be searched.
  4. Look in the results list for potential reviews. Click on the title of an item and look at the abstract and “document type” fields to see if this is actually a review about the correct book.
  5. To get to the full review, click on “full text” link if available.
  6. If there is no full text link, click on “Find more information” and follow links to determine whether we have another online version available or if we have the publication containing the review in a print version on 2nd floor.
  7. For New York Times reviews, follow the link to search Lexis Nexis Academic Universe or see Lexis Nexis instructions below.

2. Searching in Book Review Index (covers 1965 – present)

  1. Go to Book Review Index
  2. Type in the last name, then first name of the author of the book in the “Author guide” box.
  3. Click on “view” under what appears to be the closest choice (with the most articles) to your author’s name.
  4. Look through the list for a relevant review of your book.
  5. Click on “Locate article” for help finding the full text of the review online or in print.
  6. If author searching doesn’t yield a review, try using the “title guide” search, searching words in the book title.

3. Searching Lexis Nexis Academic Universe for book reviews
Use for popular books; contains few scholarly book reviews

  1. Go to “Lexis Nexis
  2. Click on the tab “Guided News Search
  3. Select the news category “General news”, then a news source “Major papers.”
  4. In the search terms boxes, type key terms from the book title and the word “review” in one of the boxes. You may want to add the author’s last name if you get too many irrelevant items.
  5. Choose a date range of "all available dates".
  6. Scan the results for possible reviews and then click on the title to see the full text.

4. If none of these online searches work (especially if your book is fairly old), try this source:

Book Review Digest, covers years 1906 – present, call number Index PN80.B6, located on the 1st floor of the UI Library

For more information, ask at the Reference Desk (610-785-6274) about using printed indexes for searching for book reviews.

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Modules: 1 Information | 2 Topics | 3 Searching | 4 Locating | 5 Evaluating | 6 Sharing | 7 RML Catalog

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