Who is the author and what is their expertise in the subject area?
Do they have any professional affiliations?
Is their work experience or education relevant? Are any of their other publications relevant?
When was it published?
Is the information still relevant?
Has the book been updated? Is there a more recent edition?
Is the book relevant to your topic?
Does it have the depth you require?
Review the table of contents and the index to confirm the information you require is covered in the book and to what extent.
What is the author’s motivation?
Who are the intended readers? The content will vary depending on the book’s targeted audience. It could be very general and introduce the readers to a subject. Conversely, the content could be very specific, aimed at other scholars in the field.
Is there a bibliography or list of references?
Can you identify research data?
What was the editorial process?
Is this information reliable?
What perspectives are given, or ignored?
Be alert for bias. The author may represent only one side of a topic or argument.
Research provides evidence and drives the conclusions reached by the author.