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Combined Arms Research Library

INFORMATION ON HOW TO FIND BOOK REVIEWS: A Pathfinder


A review is a notice of a current book published in a periodical. It announces a work, describes its subject, discusses its method and technical qualities, and examines its merit when it is compared with other similar works. Many Book Reviews are available online through our Book Review Databases.



There are some special books in the Reference area which do nothing but index book reviews published in magazines. Before using the indexes, you need to have the following information:

  1. The full name of the author.
  2. The exact title of the book.
  3. The year the book was published. (Reviews usually appear soon after the book is published.)

Note: Look for the date of publication or the copyright date on the front or back of the title page of the book. When more than one date is given, use the earliest date. If you do not have this information ask the reference librarian to look up this information in Books in Print or you can look in the card catalog for the author, title, and year of the book's publication.

Now you are ready to look up some references to book reviews in periodicals. Depending on whether the book is very recently published, older, on a special topic, or a best seller fiction title, research in the appropriate sources listed below.


SPECIAL BOOK REVIEW INDEXES

BOOK REVIEW DIGEST. 1905-date. Locates reviews in more than 70 magazines and is kept up-to-date by monthly supplements. Entries are under author's surname. Look first in the volume for the year the book was published. If the book isn't listed, try the next or preceding annual volume. A short description of the book, references to magazines containing reviews, and excerpts from some of those reviews will be found under the citation.

BOOK REVIEW INDEX. 1965-date. An index to reviews in about 250 periodicals. Important for the number of scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences represented. Specialized scientific and technical periodicals are excluded. No quotations given. Entries are by author, editor, or title, but there is no subject approach.


PERIODICAL INDEXES WHICH INCLUDE BOOK REVIEW SECTIONS:

  1. Reviews of books in general— READER'S GUIDE TO PERIODICAL LITERATURE. Lists book reviews under name of author. New policy in 1976 issues is to group all book reviews at end of the main body of text in a separate section headed "Book Reviews."
  2. Review of books that are or about military topics— AIR UNIVERSITY INDEX TO MILITARY PERIODICALS. Lists book reviews under the subject heading "Book Reviews" then alphabetically by book title. This index is also available online.

REVIEWS OF MILITARY BOOKS:

Reviews of many military-related books are available online through Parameters (US Army War College Quarterly).


REVIEWS OF VERY NEW BOOKS:

If the book is so new that reviews have not yet been listed in any of the general book reviewing indexes, you may find it reviewed in the latest numbers of current magazines regularly printing book review sections. To search current magazines use ProQuest Direct, Ebscohost, or go directly to a subject related magazine.

INTERNET: The amazon.com database is one of the web's largest bookstore and sometimes provides a review for their titles. Also try our Book Review Databases.


ASK AT THE REFERENCE DESK(S) FOR FURTHER ASSISTANCE


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Last Reviewed: March 9, 2012

 
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