Do you believe everything you read? Knowing more about an author can
help you judge her or his credibility.
If you were writing about the relationship between human activity
and the temperature of the earth, whose work would you choose to include
in your paper? Look for clues that suggest their level of expertise and/or
Similar to judging an author's credentials, knowing more about
a publishing company can help you understand their potential biases.
Keep in mind that publishing standards vary for each publishing
house. XYZ Publishing may print anything that will bring a profit,
whereas H. University Press may screen all information they publish
to ensure the validity of the content, protecting their reputation.
There are several general categories of publishers:
- Commercial publishing houses like Macmillan, Time/Warner, or Knopf.
- University Presses, like the University of Washington Press or Michigan State University Press.
- Associations, societies, businesses, industries, and services that
publish their own periodicals, newsletters, staff training documents,
operating schedules, brochures, etc.
- Governments and intergovernmental bodies, such as the United Nations.
- Web publishers, which includes anyone with access to a computer
network and a host computer to store and deliver their publications,
including the "traditional" publishing houses
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Find out about authors and publishers
- Google is good for finding author information.
Try searching by the author's full name.
- Publishers Catalogues is good for finding information about book publishers.
Searching by publisher's name. Here's help
- Ulrich's provides publisher information
for 1000s of periodicals, including how often it's published,
who its readers are, what subject(s) it covers, whether it's refereed, and so on. Look
at the "basic description" and "reviews"
tabs. Here's help
- For help with authors published only on the Web, try these strategies.