Thursday, June 1, 2006

Find Book Reviews

First, a short definition: a book review is an essay or article that gives a critical evaluation of a book. Review length can range from one paragraph to many pages, and the content can take almost any form, such as literary criticism, plot summary, personal recommendations and reflections, etc. And the qualifications of the reviewer can be just as varied, although most peer-reviewed journals try to use subject experts whenever possible.
Since different journal article databases have different designs, the ways to search for book reviews vary. The information below provides some tips for locating this kind of article.

In the EBSCO and ProQuest research databases, you can limit your search by "Document Type." In ProQuest, for example, you can find "Document Type" by clicking on the grey "More Search Options" tab at the bottom of the search screen; whereas in EBSCO, it is on the Advanced Search screen where you can limit the "Document Type." In JSTOR, click the "review" box on the Advanced Search screen.

Document Type option in EBSCOhost database:
EBSCOhost document type option showing Book Review selectionIn other databases, if a "Document Type" option is not available, book reviews can often be retrieved by keyword search using the exact phrase "book review" in combination with your other search terms, such as author name.

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