Of the estimated 365,000 books published somewhere in the world each year, only a small portion are reviewed. Books are reviewed in newspapers, news magazines, review publications, scholarly, research and professional journals and popular magazines. Some book reviews are found on electronic online services.

There are several ways to determine whether or not a book has been reviewed and to find the review. In the Busse Center Library this involves both electronic and paper sources.


The Busse Library Webpages include a number of electronic indexes to periodicals. Most have full-text articles which may be printed from the computers. You can use the phrase "book review" in an EBSCOhost search request to look for articles; pair this phrase with an author or book title of interest. With e-commerce growing, an increasing number of book review sites may be found on the WWW.

An efficient way to search for a review citation is to KEYWORD search. One way is to use the author’s first and last name such as Ann Lovejoy, e.g. ann lovejoy

Another is to use the major word(s) in the title Herbs in the Garden, e.g. herbs and garden

And a third is to use the author’s last name and important word from the title, e.g. lovejoy and herbs

Most databases are not case sensitive so there is no need to capitalize. The software will not search for articles and prepositions so do not use them.

Two useful paper indexes are Book Review Digest and Book Review Index. They are near the microfilm and microfiche cabinets on the first floor.  These work well when you know the year in which the book was first published. Check the volume for the year of publication and the following year or two. There sometimes a lag between publication and review.

Book Review Digest includes citations to books reviewed in selected publications since 1905. It includes short abstracts of some of the reviews. There are several cumulative indexes to assist finding older reviews.

Book Review Index includes citations to reviews in many more publications. It does not includes abstracts. The Busse Center Library has this index back to 1965.

Reviews may also be located using the other paper periodical indexes found in the Reference Area and on the shelves for older periodical indexes overlooking the northeast corner of the Atrium.

The Reader’s Guide and Nineteenth Century Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature include book reviews. Some of the discipline specific indexes also include citations to reviews.


Publication dates can be found in several ways. If you have the book, check the publication and copyright dates on the verso side of the title page. A newly republished book may have an earlier copyright date.

Use the Busse Library Catalog. If we own the book, you will find the publication date on the record.

You may access many other library catalogs over the Internet. A large university or public library may own the book. Search their catalogs. The publication date will be in the record.

The Reference Librarian can help you check a huge bibliographic database of book records called WorldCat on the databases webpage. Ask for assistance.


Our periodical holdings are indicated on the several of the periodical index databases. You may check the Bound Periodical Stacks or the Current Periodical section, as appropriate.

If we do not have the periodical in which the review appears, you may request a copy of the review through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). You can initiate an ILL request from EBSCO or WorldCat.