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.

Choosing & Identifying the Best Source Types for Your Research

Learn about all the different source types and when they are appropriate and helpful to you in the research process: encyclopedias, Wikipedia, books, scholarly articles, popular articles and magazines, trade magazines, news, and websites!

Using Books

Source Types

Characteristics

Used for

Disadvantages

Books

·    Cover all topics including fact, fiction, and opinon.

·    Contain original research that may cover multiple experiments or span several years of cumulative material.

·    In-depth analysis (scholarly book) or broad examination of a topic (popular non-fiction, aimed at general readers).

·    Provide references on other related works.

·    Authors’ credentials are known.

·     Can be in print or e-books. E-books are available through online catalog and library subscription databases. 

·    Overview, historical and background information on a topic.

·    In-depth and comprehensive information (causes, effects, long-term consequences, fuller conclusions, etc.).

·    References for further reading on the subject.

 

·   It takes long to publish a book and the information is out of date shortly after it is published.  

·   Not all authors and publishers are created equal.  Anyone can publish a book these days!

o  Self-published books may have no editorial or peer review

o    May need to evaluate the publisher or author for bias or quality

See a librarian or professor if you have any questions!

 

 

 

We at Rider University Libraries collect books that are most appropriate for your needs and your studies--and we can help you discover and obtain books we don't own.

Stop by the Reference Desk or "Ask a Librarian" for help!