Evaluating Information Sources: Books

Provides guidance on evaluating the credibility of information sources, including books, journals, the open Internet, and primary sources.

Academic Publishers

As a general rule, use books when you need an in-depth, comprehensive treatment of a subject, historical event, or person. OneSearch is the primary tool for identifying and locating books.

The majority of non-fiction books owned by the library are scholarly, academic works, but there are exceptions. When considering authority, the identity of the publisher often indicates whether a book is likely to be scholarly in nature. You may want to look for:

  • university presses (Oxford University Press, Princeton University Press, etc.)
  • commercial publishers that specialize in academic titles such as SAGE, Routledge, Elsevier, Springer, or Wiley Blackwell (more examples from Colorado State Univ. Libraries)
  • professional organizations such as American Psychological Association or National Council of Teachers of English

If you have questions about a specific publisher, please contact us.

Find Information about an Author

Look in a book's introductory and end pages for information about an author. Additional information sometimes can be found in the following:

A Related Classic

Additional Resources

Get Information about a Book from OneSearch

From the records in OneSearch, you can find details about a book that typically include:

  • Hyperlinked creator/author's name, which allows you to check whether the UHCL, UHD, and UH libraries own other books by that author. To search beyond the UH libraries for other works an author may have written, perform an author search in WorldCat database.
  • Table of contents notes
  • Name of the publisher
  • Creation or publication date

Shows location in sample book record details for the types of information described 

Find Book Reviews

To look for book reviews:

  • Search Everything in OneSearch for a distinctive phrase from the book title (add an author's last name if needed)
  • When you have results, select and apply the resource type Reviews and then look for content that's available online

Shows reviews available in OneSearch for The Assumptions Economists Make (book by Jonathan Schlefer)


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