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How Do I Find Book Reviews?

Book Review Sources in the Humanities & Social Sciences

Book Review Sources in the Humanities & Social Sciences


To find a book review you need to know the author, title, and date the book was published. You can find this information:
spacer • in the book
spacer • in the Library Catalogue

If you cannot find the title, ask at a Research Help Desk for further assistance.When you have the necessary information about the book, use the selected sources below to find reviews. Begin your search using the general indexes. If your search is unsuccessful, proceed to the subject indexes. When using a print source, begin with the year in which the book was originally published and check for several years beyond that date.Once you have found a book review citation, record the name of the journal as well as the volume, page and date. Do a journal title search on the Library Catalogue to see if McMaster subscribes to the journal. Copy down the call number and proceed to the appropriate location.

General Sources

Book Review Digest (1906 to 1982)

Book Review Index (1948 to present)
A comprehensive online guide to book reviews with over five million review citations from thousands of scholarly journals, popular magazines and newspapers in many disciplines.

Humanities Abstracts (1984 to present)

Internationale Bibliographie de Rezensionen Wissenschaftlecher literatur - International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature (1971-1992)
Comprehensive, international source of scholarly book reviews. In German, with cross-references from English and French subject words.

Lexis-Nexis Academic (dates vary by publication title)
This database indexes reviews from numerous magazines and newspapers. Select the "News" category and then the "All News" source. In the search box,  type in the author's name and words form the title of the book. In the "Limit To:" section, select "Book Reviews"

Social Sciences Abstracts (1983 to present)

Web of Science (1976 to present)
Click on the Full Search button and select the database required. Click on the Cited Ref Search button. Enter the Cited Author (author of book) e.g. Alan Walker is entered as walker a*. Enter the name of the Cited Work (book title). This is limited to 20 characters, so abbreviate the title (e.g. Franz Liszt, v.3 could re entered as franz*) Click on the Lookup button, then check the boxes for the citations you want. Select Book Review from the Set Search Limits box, and click on the Search button. From the results list, click on the title to see the record.

General Sources: Retrospective

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals, 1886-1974
A source for retrospective book reviews in history, political science and sociology, citing over a million reviews. There are twelve author volumes and three title volumes. Author volumes are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name. The title index volumes are arranged alphabetically by the first significant word in the title, and refer the user back to the main author index for the complete citation.

Index to Book Reviews in England, 1749-1774; 1775-1800
Contains reviews of poetry, drama and fiction found in 27 periodicals

Sources: Canadian

CBCA (Canadian Business and Current Affairs) (1982 to present)

CPI.Q (Canadian Periodical Index Online)(1988 to present)
Book review citations appear under the subject heading "Book Reviews." Citations may also be found throughout the index by author of book.

Art & Archaeology

Abstracts in Anthropology (1999 to present)

Covers a broad spectrum of significant, current anthropological topics from a number of periodicals. When viewing Search Results select "book review" from Article Tpe on the right hand side.

Art Abstracts (1984 to present)

Bibliography of the History of Art (1973 to 2007)

Citations and abstracts covering European and American art from late antiquity to the present.  In Refine My Results limit Resource Types to "reviews."

Film & Theatre

Film & Television Literature Index (1990 to present)

Covers industry papers, news journalism, and scholarly academic journals on topics for film and television. Under Search Options select "book review" as document type.


H-Net Reviews (1993 to the present)

This internet site provides online reviews of current books in History. The archives can be searched by author, title, and keyword or browsed by year of publication.

Historical Abstracts (1954 to present)
A database indexing history periodicals covering European and world history. Using the Advanced Search screen, type "review article" in the keyword box and the title of the book in the Title/Translation box.


Music Index (1952 to present)

A database indexing music periodicals and literature of articles about music, musicians and the music industry. Under Search Options select "book review" as document type.


Philosopher's Index (1985 to present)

Covers ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysic logic, philosophy of law, religion, science, history, education, and language. Includes citations to book reviews from 1985 to the present. Under Advanced Search select "book review" as document type.

Political Science

International Political Science Abstracts

PAIS International (1972 to present)

An index to the literature of public affairs, covering topical public and social issues and the making and evaluating of public policy. Under Advanced Search select "review" as document type.


PsycINFO (1806 to present)

Provides over 2.5 million citations and abstracts to journal articles in the professional and academic literature in psychology and related disciplines. Under Advanced Search select "review-book"  from Record Type.


Religious & Theological Abstracts (1958 to present)

Abstracts (summaries) of articles from over 400 scholarly journals in the fields of religion and theology, Christianity, Judaism, and other world religions. Input "book review" as part of your search tem.


Sociological Abstracts (1952 to present)

The premiere database for locating articles in the field of sociology, Sociological Abstracts indexes some 1,800 international serial publications. Also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, book reviews, dissertations, and conference papers.

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