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Scholarly Monographs, how to find them

A guide on how to identify a scholarly monograph in the Booth Library stacks.

What is a scholarly monograph?

Scholarly monographs are single-volume works (books) providing in-depth research into a specialized area of knowledge.  They contribute to the ongoing scholarship in a particular discipline by offering original insight into their subjects.  Unlike popular or trade books, which are geared toward general readers, they are written by faculty or other scholars in a field for an academic audience.

Although scholarly monographs are self-contained (they can stand on their own), they may be part of a series of books covering a wider subject area. Scholarly monographs are typically purchased by academic and research libraries for use by scholars, including students.  You won't usually find them on bookstore shelves. 

How do you find scholarly monographs?

Scholarly monographs can be found scattered throughout the stacks of Booth Library.  Start by browsing the stacks in the subject area you're interested in.  Books in the stacks are shelved according to their Library of Congress call number.

Pictured:  Murray, R. L., and Heumann, J. K. (2009).  Ecology and popular film: Cinema on the edge. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Most monographs will have a single author, but some will list co-authors, if the authors collaborated on the work.



Here are some things to look for when examining books to see if they fit the description of a scholarly monograph:

-  Does the author have an advanced degree (for example, a Ph.D. or Ed.D.), and/or are they associated with an
  academic institution?
-  Is the book published by a university press, scholarly society, or other scholarly organization?
-  Does the book include a bibliography at the end citing all of the sources (other books, journal articles, original documents, etc.) that the author used in their research?

                           Author biography from scholarly monograph

In the examples above: Perry, R. K. (2014).  Black mayors, white majorities: The balancing act of racial politics. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

screenshot of a bibliography page

This example comes from:  Patterson, L. E. (2010).  Kinship myth in ancient Greece. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Please ask a librarian if you'd like more help finding and identifying scholarly monographs.

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