Skip to main content

Set Up Choice Reviews Online

This guide is to help faculty members keep up with newly published academic books in their field -- and share what they find with Lindell Library.


Once you have created a Choice account, you can set up criteria for a custom search, and let Custom Alerts do the rest. This means Choice will regularly search for resources matching your criteria that the American Library Association has recently reviewed. Once your search is set up and saved, you will receive regular emails from Choice with your selected reviews.

Set up the Search

First, perform a keyword search for your subject area. You can do this by entering terms right in the menu bar:

Choice simple search

Hit Enter to get search results. This pulls up all the reviews in the Choice database that contain your keywords.

An Advanced Search option is available from the down arrow next to the search box. This is recommended if you are looking for reviews of a particular title, or by a particular author. It is less useful for general keyword searches, however.

Some pointers:

  • Putting quotation marks around phrases is important — for example, “mid-century modern”
    This is because Choice puts an invisible "OR" between search terms.
  • By default, you see these reviews in brief. You can expand them by hitting Show More next to individual reviews, or by checking the Expand All box at the top.
  • The default sort order is Most Recent Reviews. You can change this sort order with the drop-down Sort Results box toward the top of the page — for example, to Most Relevant or Author.
  • The left-hand column of your search results holds what Choice calls “facets” for modifying and refining your search. For example, you can filter by Subject Area (e.g. Humanities, Science & Technology, Social & Behavioral Sciences), Readership Level (to capture items appropriate for Augsburg's collection), Choice's Recommendation Level (you will probably want to restrict only to “recommended” and higher levels), and the Review Date.
    recommend-level box
  • Although Choice Online is officially a monthly publication, it publishes reviews continuously throughout the month. Use the Last 7 Days and Last 1 Month facets to get the most recent reviews.
  • When you apply a facet, the filter is shown in a box at the top of the page. To clear the facet, click the X on the facet name, or click Clear Results.

Search Results

Once you've got your search results, you can use Choice's tools to create a list to share with others, export to Excel, and so forth. See Choice Online's own Quick Step guide for nifty things to do with searches.


For the purposes of this guide, we are focusing on saving your search to create an Alert. This way, you can get regular e-mails of newly reviewed items that match your search terms.


  • Don't worry if you got loads of results in your search.  Your monthly alerts will only include new items that match your search. So even though your initial search may have resulted in 1,000 hits, there will probably be fewer than 10 new hits per month.
  • Remember, you can choose to set up as many alerts as you want. If you want one for Mathematics and one for Women's Studies, you can set alerts for both.

Set up an Alert

Save-search icon

After you've run a search and adjusted it to include the types of items that you want, , click the Save Search Results icon at the top of the search results list. You will be asked to name and describe your search; try to do so in a way that jogs your memory later, then hit Save.

Saved-search box

Your saved lists are accessible from the menu bar: Lists > My Lists > My Saved Searches & Alerts

dropdown list

On your My Saved Searches page, you can use the Set Alert dropdown box to set how often you want to be e-mailed with new reviews that meet your criteria — weekly, or monthly.


An email will then be sent to you when new items appear in your search results.