Scholarly Publishers: Books

Publishers to look for when researching a topic

What makes a book scholarly?

Scholarly books usually have some form of editorial refereeing in place to ensure the texts meet publication standards within a discipline. When researching, it is also helpful to look at the author's credentials, as well as the publisher of the book.

University Presses

University presses specialize in academic books and scholarly journals, and are usually nonprofit agencies. The content of these books and journals is usually written by scholars and researchers in specific disciplines. University presses in the United States tend to develop specialized areas of expertise.

Examples of university presses include:

Cambridge University Press

Harvard University Press

Oxford University Press

University of Chicago Press

Other Scholarly Presses

Corporate and independent publishing companies also produce scholarly books. Many of these publishing companies also produce peer-reviewed journals.

Some names to look for include:

McFarland & Company

Palgrave Macmillan

Peter Lang


Rowman & Littlefield

Taylor & Francis (owns CRC Press, Garland Science, and Routledge)


Identifying books when researching

Books listed in bibliographies or reference lists

When looking at the article's bibliography, you may see entire books being cited, or book chapters. When listed in a bibliography, book chapters look very similar to journal articles. To tell the difference, in the citations, look for a publisher and a city.

Another good indicator is the presence of an editor or editors (Ed. or Eds.).

Example citation:

Sue, Derald Wing. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2015.

Questions? Let me know!

Elizabeth Nicholson

Instructional Services Librarian

Office hours: Mondays, 9:15-11:15am and Thursdays, 2:00-3:00pm