Understanding your course reading list

You have received the following reading list as part of a course for a seminar paper:

Reading list

Page, Stephen J. (2019). Tourism management. 6. ed., London/New York: Routledge.

Pedersen, E.R. Gjerdrum & Bjartmarz, T. (2015). CSR Standards and Social Accounting. In: E.R. Gjerdrum Pedersen (ed.), Corporate Social Responsibility. London: Sage, pp. 103-123.

Alvesson, Mats & Sandberg, Jörgen (2011). Generating Research Questions Through Problematization. In: Academy of Management Review, vol. 36, 2, 247-271.

The World Bank Group (2023). Results and Performance of the World Bank Group 2022. URL: https://ieg.worldbankgroup.org/evaluations/results-and-performance-world-bank-group-2022 (accessed on 10/09/2023). 

The main types of scholarly literature

When you’re conducting an information search, one of the first things to think about is what kind of reading materials you need. Knowing this will help you figure out the best way to search for it. So, let’s dive into the main types of scientific literature you’ll come across during your academic journey:

  1. Books – they’re often called monographs.
  2. Book chapters – these are sections from books, and they’re sometimes referred to as contributions to collective works.
  3. Journal articles – you’ll find these in scientific journals, not in regular newspapers.
  4. Websites.

But how can you tell them apart? Here’s some information to help you out:

1. Book

Books can be identified by the presence of both a publisher and a place of publication listed in their details.

Screenshot of the first entry in the reading list (by Page, Stephen). The place of publication and the publisher are highlighted.

2. Book chapter

When you’re looking at information for a book chapter in your reading list, it always comes in three parts. First, you’ll see the authors of the chapter and the chapter title. After that, you’ll find the editors of the book and the book title. And finally, there are the page numbers of the book chapter, the publisher, and where it was published. Now, when it comes to book chapters and journal articles, keep an eye on what comes after “In:” If you see editors mentioned after that, it’s likely a book chapter. If there’s a title, you’re probably dealing with a journal article.

Screenshot of the second entry in the reading list (by Pedersen and Bjartmarz). The identifying information for book chapters mentioned above is highlighted.

3. Journal article

Details of journal articles typically include the following components: the journal’s title, the volume, the issue number of the journal, and the page numbers of the article. However, references to journal articles do not include information about the publisher, place of publication, or editors of the journal.

Screenshot of the third entry in the reading list (by Alvesson and Sandberg). The important information for journal articles mentioned above is highlighted.

4. Websites

You can identify websites by the access date and the web page address (URL). Specifying the most recent access date is crucial for web pages, as it allows for tracking any subsequent changes made to the page.

Screenshot of the fourth entry in the reading list (by The World Bank). The access date and URL are highlighted.

Now that you have learned to identify the main types of publications, let’s look at the fastest ways to find the literature you need.


Got it? Test your knowledge with this quiz on the different types of literature!