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GEO 3775: Urban Geography (Dr. Smith)

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Finding scholarly book reviews
For your Urban Geography assignment, you will be choosing a non-fiction book published between 1980 and 2015 that has been reviewed in at least three scholarly journals. This guide will help you search library resources to locate scholarly book reviews.

Not sure what to read? Browse this list of urban geography books; all are available to check out from Booth Library!

The two databases we'll be searching, JSTOR and Academic Search Complete, are accessible from the Booth Library website.  To find the library from the EIU home page (, click on "library" at the top right, or choose Academics and Library -> Booth Library.

You can also find the library online at

To begin, choose Databases from the library home page, underneath the main search box.

Booth Library website, databases link
Searching JSTOR
When you reach the long alphabetical list of databases on the next page, scroll down to find JSTOR, or click on the letter J under "Browse Alphabetically" to get there.

Now, click on JSTOR.  JSTOR is a large archive of scholarly electronic journals.  Many geography journals are covered in JSTOR.

All of Booth Library's databases are accessible off-campus to EIU students, faculty, and staff.  If you're off campus, log in with your EIU NetID and password when prompted.  This is the same login you use for PAWS and your EIU email.

Remote login to library resources

This will bring you to the JSTOR advanced search screen.  Fill in the boxes with the book information and limiters you're looking for as follows:

1.  In the search box(es) at the very top of the screen, type in the book title for which you'd like to find reviews.  You can also type the author's last name in the second box for more precise searching.  Remember that your book should be published between 1980 and 2015.

Or.... if you don't have a specific title in mind, include subject keywords describing the topic of books you want to find (for example, "migration urban geography").   In this case, to make sure you locate a book within the right timeframe, include the years 1980 and 2015 in the boxes labeled Date Range.

2.  Under "Item Type" on the left side, check off Reviews.

As an example, the following screenshot shows a search for reviews of Peter Hall's book Cities of Tomorrow, which was published in 1996.

JSTOR advanced search for Cities of Tomorrow by Hall

Be aware that not all books will have multiple reviews written about them.  Academic Search Complete, in the next section, will be another good source for you to try when searching for scholarly book reviews.
Searching Academic Search Complete
Return to the library's home page at, and click again on Databases (underneath the main search box).

Then click on Academic Search Complete from the alphabetical list. 

Academic Search Complete is Booth Library's most comprehensive article database.  It includes articles from a wide range of academic areas, including geography and urban planning.

Academic Search Complete from database list

At the next page, click Continue to reach the search screen.  Fill in the information you want to find.  Include either a subject or the book title (capitalization and punctuation isn't necessary) in the search box. 

Also, under Limiters, make sure you have Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals checked off, and Book Review selected under "Document Type."  If you're searching by subject, don't forget to limit your search by date (1980-2015) as well.

The following screenshot shows a search for the book Tomorrow's Cities, Tomorrow's Suburbs.

Academic Search Complete - advanced search for book reviews

Click Search, and check out your results on the next screen.  In some cases, the book review will be linked as a PDF or HTML.  In other cases, click on the Find It button to locate your article. 

Academic Search Complete, search results

Booth Library subscribes to many journals but doesn't own everything.  If the Get Full Text menu offers you an Interlibrary Loan option, you can request the book review you want from a different library.  Just fill out the form provided.  This doesn't cost anything, but please allow 3-7 days for it to arrive.  You'll receive an email once the item you requested is available.
Need more help?
Please contact Booth Library's Reference Librarians if you have questions about searching for book reviews. This guide was created by Sarah Johnson and updated by Kirstin Duffin.
Contact Professor Smith ( with questions about the assignment.