Skip to Main Content
University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

TC 302: Ghost Image / Durst

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.
    • For art history, they may be working at a museum.
  • 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.

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