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Scholarly vs. Non-scholarly Books

Non-fiction books can be either scholarly or popular. You will want to make sure you know what type of source you are using before including it in your research. You can find both types of books in our online catalog or in the library. Here are some ways to distinguish between the two types of sources:

  Scholarly/Academic Book Non-scholarly/Popular Book
Purpose To share with other scholars the results of primary research & experiments. To entertain or inform in a broad, general sense.
Author A respected scholar or researcher in the field; an expert in the topic; names are always noted. A journalist or feature writer; names not always noted.
Publisher A university press; a professional association or known (independent) scholarly publisher. A commercial publisher.
Intended Audience Other scholars or researchers in the field, or those interested in the topic at a research level. General public.
Style Language is formal and technical; usually contains discipline-specific jargon. Language is casual. Few, if any, technical terms are used (and if they are, they are usually defined).
References References are always cited and expected; text often contains footnotes. Very uncommon. 

Adapted from The Culinary Institute of America


Chemistry Books

These are some examples of Chemistry books in our catalog. Use SouthernSearch the online CSU catalog for books at Southern and the other CSCU libraries.