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How To...Identify Scholarly Information

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The publisher can be:

Most scholarly - a university, professional, or academic press; for example: Oxford University Press, American Psychological Association, Elsevier

Mid-level - reputable book publisher, magazine, or newspaper

Least scholarly - self-published/vanity press

Learn about publishers by visiting their websites and looking in the "About" section.

Publisher Scale

For a source you're considering: Where does the publisher fall on a scale of 0 to 10?

 0 to 10 scale

Identify the Publisher: Books

To find out who the publisher is, look either on the page near the front of the book that gives the title, or look on the page that has the copyright information.

Image of a book's title page        Image of a book's copyright page

Identify the Publisher: Magazines, Journals and Newspapers

You can learn basic information about a magazine, journal or newspaper by visiting that periodical's website.  Look for an "About Us" section.

You can also learn more from Ulrich's Global Serials Directory (link is below). It usually provides a description, intended audience, and sometimes reviews.

Identify the Publisher: Websites

Look for:

  • The organization's background or credentials in the website's "About Us" section. 
  • News reports or other websites that report on or cite the organization.  Google them or check an article database such as Proquest.
  • The domain (e.g., .com, .edu, .org, .gov) can help identify the category the publisher falls into.