Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Just because information has been published in a book doesn't mean that it is necessarily accurate or appropriate to use in your research. Consider asking the following questions before citing a book in your work:
Authority: Can you trust the source ?
Who is the author? What are the author's credentials or other qualifications?
Is the author affiliated with any universities, corporations, or other organizations?
Is the author a recognized authority in the relevant field of study?
Who published the book? Was it published by an academic or popular press?
Currency: Is the information up to date?
What is the publication or copyright date?
Is the information time-sensitive? Some types of information go out of date quickly (e.g. medical knowledge).
Purpose: Why was the book written?
Who is the intended audience? Is the book written for an academic or popular audience?
Does the author present a balanced view of the topic? Are opposing viewpoints acknowledged?
Content: Is the information that the book presents quality academic research?
Is the book organized in a logical and understandable manner?
Are the author's arguments well-reasoned and supported by sufficient evidence?
Does the book include a bibliography or reference list? Is it lengthy? Are the materials cited primarily scholarly sources? Are they a mix of primary and secondary sources, or only secondary sources?
Many scholarly journals publish book reviews. These reviews are written by experts, and they are a valuable tool for evaluating books on academic subjects.
See our Book Reviews guide for information on finding book reviews through the University of Lethbridge Library.