Is this book scholarly?

Is this Book Scholarly?

There are several clues to determine whether a book is scholarly or not:

Publisher: Who is the publisher? Do they specialize in this field? Is it published by a university press such as Oxford University Press or University of British Columbia Press? Take a look at the publisher’s website if you are unsure of what they publish. This information is often available in the "about" section of their website.

Cited Sources: Scholarly books will have cited references or a bibliography. Most books written for general audiences will not. Consider the quality of the sources. Note if the bibliographies include scholarly journal articles, primary sources, as well as other scholarly books, by experts in the field. Bias: Does the publisher have a religious or political affiliation? Consider how this affiliation might affect the scholarship or content of the book.

Authority: Who is the author? Do they have credentials that give them authority on the subject? Are they recognized by other scholars in the field?

Content: Consider accuracy, bias, audience appropriateness, graphics, charts, and illustrations. Note a book's structure or internal organization such as preface, introduction, table of contents, conclusion, and index.

Search for Book Reviews to read and evaluate the reviewers' opinions.

Here are a few databases that will allow you to search, read, and evaluate the reviewers' opinions:


    More than 2000 scholarly journals in education, humanities, mathematics, science, and social science disciplines. Most full-text access is archival; some current full text.
    Also includes a collection of over 500 Spanish-language e-books, which are student tech fee funded.

  • Gale Literature

    Covers more than 125,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers, with in-depth coverage of 2,500 of the most-studied authors.

  • Literature Resource Center

    Full-text articles from scholarly journals are combined with critical essays, biographies, and more to provide information on authors, their works, and literary movements.

  • Project Muse

    A collection of scholarly journals in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

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