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What's in the Library: Books: What is a Book?

What is a Book?

  Reference Works Monographs Anthologies Text Books Trade Books
Definition compendium of knowledge, either general (attempting to cover all fields) or specialized (aiming to be comprehensive in a particular field). a specialist work of writing (in contrast to reference works)  on a single subject or an aspect of a subject, often by a single author, and usually on a scholarly subject. a collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts by different authors and is usually collected into a single volume for publication. a combination of a reference work attempting to cover specialized knowledge in a particular field--usually on a scholarly subject-- and a monograph written by a single author a book published by a commercial publisher and intended for general readership.
Types encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, almanacs, guides, atlases works of non-fiction, academic research, treatises, political analysis, journalistic reportage

collected works by artists, authors, or playwrights.

compilations of primary resources or historical texts (usually arranged chronologically)

scholarly overviews of historical time periods, artistic or cultural movements, geographic regions

textbooks can function as anthologies of primary documents arranged chronologically from particular time periods

popular genres (crime fiction, sci-fi), popular historical writing and local history, biographies, plays, poetry, independent forms of textual expression
Authors

articles compiled in reference works (encyclopedias, guides, handbooks, dictionaries) are written by scholars, academics, researchers, professional practitioners

authors chosen to contribute to a reference work are usually seen as foremost experts in their field

usually authored by academic researchers, scholars, special interest groups (artists, designers, curators) publishing with academic or university presses.

essays compiled in anthologies are written by scholars, academics, researchers, professional practitioners

authors chosen to contribute to a anthology compilations are usually seen as foremost experts in their field

usually authored by academic researchers, scholars, special interest groups (artists, designers, curators) publishing with private commercial companies, academic publishers, or occasionally university presses.

authours often serve as editors compiling and vetting the writings of other researchers

can be authored by a full spectrum from independent writers from subcultural groups, to popular presses representing fiction writers, through to scholars publishing that is intended for a mass audience 
Publishers university presses, professional organizations

university presses, academic presses, professional organizations

art galleries or museums sometime in tandem with commercial companies

university presses, academic presses, professional organizations

private commercial companies or non-profit organizations

independent publishers, DIY presses, self-published works

private commercial companies,academic presses, university presses, professional organizations

private commercial companies or non-profit organizations

independent publishers, DIY presses, self-published works

Audience scholars, academics, researchers, professional practitioners  scholars, academics, researchers, professional practitioners, special interest groups (such as artists, designers, interior designers, architects, etc.) the general public, scholars, academics, researchers, professional practitioners, special interest groups (such as artists, designers, interior designers, architects, etc.) students (undergraduate or graduate), independent researchers, professional practitioners, special interest groups, the general public, professional practitioners, special interest groups (such as artists, designers, interior designers, architects, etc.)
Sources Used

peer-reviewed research, scholarly publications, technical guidelines, governmental documents, other reference resources.

Articles included often do not use citations; however, entries will usually list seminal academic publications (monographs, journal articles, anthologies) on the topic

peer-reviewed research, scholarly publications, technical guidelines, governmental documents, other reference resources.

Monographs often use citations using scholarly standards such as MLA, APA, or Chicago Style

primary documents, archival records, newspaper accounts, personal diaries and letters, governmental documents, other reference resources.

Entries in anthologies will often be referenced from primary documents

peer-reviewed research, scholarly publications, technical guidelines, governmental documents, other reference resources.

Textbook entries often do not use citations; however, entries sometimes list seminal academic publications (monographs, journal articles, anthologies) on the topic

secondary sources are often not used and rarely cited