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STS 375: Science and Politics: Scholarly Books & Book Reviews

Finding Useful Book Reviews

Avoid general newspaper reviews and personal book reviews, like those on blogs or on These can't help you analyze your book like  a scholar. Two tips for finding book review:

  • Check to see when your book was published. If it was published more than twenty years ago, and you aren't finding reviews online, you'll need to look beyond online sources and check print indexes.
  • If you're having trouble finding a review, check with a librarian for help and to cover all your bases, but remember that some books are never reviewed. If that's the case, think about what that might mean about the book's scholarly importance.

Finding Book Reviews Online

To find more scholarly book reviews from the last twenty years or so, first try searching your book title in Primo Search, which can return book reviews along with information about the book itself.

Then try one of the databases below. You may find some book reviews by searching the book's title in Summit, as well, but be aware that this isn't comprehensive!

  • Academic Search Premier  
    Finds reviews for books published from about 1975-present Limit to book reviews: Before you run your search, scroll down to 'Document Type' and limit to 'Book Review.' Use the author's last name and a keyword from the book title in your search.
  • JSTOR  
    Search for books published from the 1800s up to about five years ago. To limit to reviews: click Advanced Search, then check 'review.'
  • Research Library
    Search for books published from 1986 up to the present. To limit your search to book reviews, use Advanced Search, click and expand the gray tab labeled 'More Search Options', and select Review > Book Review under 'Document Type'.
  • America: History and Life 
  • Select the "Advanced Search" option. Type (in quotation marks) the title of the book for which you seek reviews. Under the limiter options, select "book review" in the "Document Type" category.

Finding Book Reviews in Print

For older books, you will need to use print indexes to book reviews. At Collins, try the following print resources, all found in the library's Reference section.

Book Review Index Call #: Z1035.A1 B6 1965-2012 (Reference)
Book review digest Call #: Z1219 .C96 1906-2012 (Reference) 

Search Primo

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Library of Congress Subject Headings are a great way to find additional books on your topic!  To discover relevant LC subject headings, follow these steps:

  1. Start with a title of a book that seems especially pertinent.  For example, you might select a title from the bibliography of your chosen subject encyclopedia entry.
  2. Search for that title in Primo, then click to access the full record.
  3. Find the LC subject heading(s) for that book and click on one of them.  You'll retrieve a list of books (both print and e-format) in Collins and the SUMMIT system that share that same subject heading.

Requesting Books through Summit

Don't forget that you can request books from any of the 37 Summit libraries! Books take 3-5 business days to arrive, at which point you'll be notified by email and the books will be held for you at the circulation desk for one week, where you can pick them up with your ID card. You may keep Summit books for 6 weeks; there are no renewals.

You can check on the status of your SUMMIT requests via My Account.