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:
- Google ScholarWith an OSU login, the Google Scholar interface allows users to search library holdings and peer-reviewed articles.
- Academic Search PremierThis multi-disciplinary database offers full text for nearly 2,000 scholarly journals, including more than 1,500 peer-reviewed titles. Covering virtually every area of academic study, Academic Search Premier offers full text information dating as far back as 1985. This database is updated on a daily basis.
- ProQuestProQuest indexes over 4,700 journals, magazines, and newspapers many subject fields from approximately 1970 to the present, and includes full-text articles from over 3,300 journals.
Newspaper databases with book reviews (popular and some scholarly books)
- New York Times HistoricalOver 21 million full-text newspapers published by The New York Times between 1851-2018.
- Newspaper Source PlusProvides a full-text digital collection of the world's major news content. It includes millions of articles from newspapers, newswires, and news magazines. In addition, it offers television and radio transcripts and ongoing daily updates from popular news sources.
Subject databases with book reviews (mostly scholarly books):
- JSTORFull-text access for over 17 million journal articles, books, documents, and research reports in a variety of disciplines.
- Project MUSEFull text access for about scholarly journals published by Johns Hopkins University Press (43 titles). Coverage generally ranges from 1993 to present.
- ScopusScopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. Delivering a comprehensive overview of the world's research output in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities, Scopus features smart tools to track, analyze and visualize research.
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
- Book Review IndexCall Number: 016.028 B724Yearly index to book reviews in magazines and major trade publications; through 2016. Older issues from 1980 in the Library Auxiliary Building.
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.
- Book Review DigestCall Number: 015.73 B724Reprints portions of book reviews from magazine and trade publication reviewing sources.
- Combined retrospective index to book reviews in scholarly journals, 1886-1974Call Number: 028.1 C731Gives citations to reviews of academic titles to 1974. For academic books published after 1974, use the various databases listed above.