Research Therapy: Finding Book and Film Reviews Using Library Databases

A book or film review is a valuable tool for providing a brief summary, content description, and contemporary reactions.  Usually appearing shortly after a book is published or a film is released, reviews can be found in various magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals. The library has many databases that you can use to locate book or film reviews – Here are some of my favorites along with some search strategies specific for each database!

Search Strategy: Helpful Tips to Remember!

    • To find a review you will need to know the title, author, and year of publication.
    • It is important to remember that reviews generally appear near the date of publication up to several years after. Any later and you might be looking at a literary criticism.  Check the inside of the book or the library catalog for the publication date.
    • All of the recommended databases will allow you to specifically limit your search for book or film reviews. Make sure to check “Book Review”, “Review”, or “Entertainment Review” in the refine your search option area.
    • Make sure you are using a database that covers the year the book or film was published or released.
    • If you are having difficulties finding a review remember, of the thousands of books published each year only a small percentage are actually reviewed. It is possible that the book was not reviewed or you may have to search multiple databases to find a review.

For a more complete list of databases & coverage dates, use the following guide:
Using Library Databases to Find Book and Film Reviews

Also, view our new Research Therapy video for more tips and a tutorial on how to use some of these databases!

Good Luck with your research!

~Jamie Johnson   jamie.johnson@csun.edu

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