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Book Reviews: Home

A guide to finding book reviews using databases and print resources at the OSU Library

General Information About Book Reviews

Book reviews are an important means of evaluating book sources. They are brief articles in periodicals (newspapers, magazines, or journals), often written by experts, that give the writers' opinions about the overall strengths and weaknesses of a book. There are reviews for popular books (fiction, bestsellers, etc.) and for scholarly books, though you have to pick the right database or print index to find reviews of a specific book. To locate reviews, you use library databases, general search tools such as BOSS or Google Scholar, or even  print indexes.

Databases to Find Reviews

General databases with book reviews:

  • Library Search search box.  Go to Advanced Search and enter book author's name and title along with review as a keyword anywhere:

Example of Library Search Advanced Search Options

  • Google Scholar (enter author name, title, and review in the search box). Off campus, go to the Library homepage database list and click on Google Scholar so you log in with O-Key and are identified as an OSU affiliated patron (that will allow you to access full-text articles from online journals we can access).
  • Academic Search Premier has book reviews from journals and magazines in most major fields of study.  Type “Book Review” in the Document Type  menu in Advanced Search. It is updated daily and includes full-text coverage from 1990-present and indexing and abstracts from 1984-present.
  • ProQuest also updates daily with coverage from 1970 forward and covers magazines and journals in all subjects. In Advanced Search, type in “Book Review” and select Document Type from the drop-down menu, then in the other search boxes enter the title or the author’s name.

Newspaper databases with book reviews (popular and some scholarly books):

  • New York Times (1995-present) or New York Times Historical (1851-2005) both contain book reviews from the newspaper's book review section. You can search for book reviews the same way you do in Proquest.
  • Time Literary Supplement (London) Digital Archive has full-text book reviews and review articles from 1902-1990. Use the "Author" or the "Book Title" search boxes, and select "book review" from the "Item description" pulldown menu.
  • Newspaper Source Plus from ESCO has the full text of 700 newspapers and includes transcripts of television and radio news.  Use "Book Review" under the Document Type drop-down menu and search by book title or author's name.

Subject databases with book reviews (mostly scholarly books):

  • JSTOR is a full-text database of back issues of journals in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, music, ecology and botany, business, and other fields. To search for book reviews, go to Advanced Search, enter keywords from the title of the book or the author's name, and check the box for "review" under "Item Type."
  • Project Muse has the full text of over 200 journals in literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and others. For book reviews, go to Advanced Search and use the pulldown menu under Limit Search and By Type to select Review.
  • Scopus contains multiple databases of scholarly journals. Open the "Limit" menu on the search home page, find the drop-down menu for "Document Type" and select, "Review."

You can also find book reviews in various subject databases. Find the appropriate subject guide in the Guides/Subject Lists page and look for databases or article databases; many of them will include book reviews.

When you find an article that you want to read, make sure that you print out or write down all the information that you'll need to locate it. Include: article author, article title, journal title, journal volume, journal issue number, article pages, journal date, and index name. You can use Article Linker ("Get Article" button) to see if OSU has a full-text subscription to a journal or a paper subscription, or to request a PDF copy of the article from Interlibrary Services.

Print Sources to Locate Book Reviews

These print sources can be used to locate book reviews in periodicals (magazines and journals). Find out the year in which the book was published, and start with the volume of the index for that year. Contact a reference librarian for help using these sources.