Skip to Main Content
University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

UGS 302: Ethics of AI: Thinking About Good Systems / Jiao

Are books scholarly?

How to evaluate books

Unfortunately, it can be tough to determine if a book is considered scholarly. This is not a checklist. You need to weigh these criteria when deciding.

To determine if a book is considered scholarly or refereed, ask the following:

  • Who is the author and what expertise do they have related to this topic?
    • In most cases, that means they teach in academia.
    • They may be involved in education policy in the government.
  • Who is the publisher?
    • Many publishers of scholarly material are affiliated with universities
    • Some publishers are not, but you can learn more about the publisher's purpose by investigating what else they are publishing
  • Who is the audience?
    • Is this written for experts in the field, or a general audience?
      • If something is written for an expert audience, it will include citations to research in academic journals, other scholarly books as well as data and statistics from authoritative sources.

Looking for a book?

Search for a Book

From the UT Libraries' homepagetype the book title you are searching for in the search box. You'll find results across many different library resources.

homepage search box

When your results load, select "Library Catalog" from the dropdown arrow to narrow your results to include books and media

Understanding your Results 

After searching, you need to look for four details:

Catalog record with details numbered

1. Is this book in print or is it electronic (an ebook that you can access online)?

2. If the book you want is a physical book, log into your account and look for the pick it up button. 

Location of the Pick it up button, under "get it" after you log in to your account.

3. Is the book AVAILABLE? If not, there will be a due date. Click the Pick it Up Button to request it and select the library location where you'd like to pick it up. Keep in mind that it will take several days for the current borrower to return it. Wait for an email telling you your books are ready before you come get them!

4. Are you ready to check out? Either get the book off the shelf yourself, or click the Pick it Up button and a library staff member will get the book and bring it to the library location you selected to pick it up. Wait for an email telling you your books are ready before you come get them! It will take 1-2 business days.


Checking out Books

Wait for an email telling you your books are ready before you come to the library location your chose to pick them up. Bring your UT ID. 

Search for ebooks

Not all of our books are available online as ebooks. Here is how to limit your search to only books available online.

These screenshots (you can open them in a new tab to enlarge) lead you from

Step 1:

Use the Books and Media link under the search bar on


Step 2:

On the next screen, enter your search terms.


Step 3:

oN the left side, you can limit to items available online


Step 4:

Under each result, there is a link Available Online. Click that.

Step 5:

every publisher link is differently named once you are in the full record

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.