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Guide to Book, Film, Music, Television, & Theater Reviews: Finding Reviews

The following resources provide information relevant to finding reviews for books, films, music, television, and theater. Reviews are published in both popular periodicals (magazines & newspapers) and in scholarly journals.

Getting Started: What you need to know

When you are looking for reviews of books and performances it will be useful to know as much as you can about your work. In particular knowing the following items will make your job much easier: 

  • Title: Know the exact title and spelling of the work you are researching.
  • Author/Performer: Know author's name --and its spelling.
  • Date: Most reviews of books, plays, movies, music, television, etc., are published close to the time the work itself is first published/performed, so knowing the date of your work will be very helpful in locating the greatest number of reviews.  

Also, if you are looking for reviews of very old items, sometimes the print /paper indexes are better places to look than online indexes which may not go far enough back in time to cover your work.

Always check with a librarian if you are having difficulty locating reviews.

Finding Reviews in Databases

Many of the Library's online databases have a feature that will allow you to limit your searches to reviews. This might be especially true of subject-specific or more academic databases. Below are a few hints to help you get started:

Academic Search Premier -- from the Advanced Search screen scroll to the Search Options section of the page and under "Document Type" select Book Review; Film Review; Music Review; Television Review, as appropriate.

Choice Reviews Online -- Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries is the premier source for reviews of academic books and digital resources of interest to scholars and students in higher education. More than 35,000 librarians, faculty, and key decision makers rely on Choice magazine and Choice Reviews Online for collection development and scholarly research. Choice reaches almost every undergraduate college and university library in the United States.

CINAHL Plus with Full Text -- from the Advanced Search screen scroll to the Search Options section of the page and under "Publication Type" select Book Review

JSTOR -- from the Advanced Search screen scroll to: "Narrow By" and choose: Reviews.

Project MUSE -- from the Advanced Search screen scroll to the "Content Type" box on the left side of the page; select Reviews. Add any additional selections as appropriate.

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