Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Comparing Information From Books Versus From Journal Articles: Home

When you research, you usually need both books and journal articles. Different kinds of information are available in the two formats, and they each present the information differently.

Comparing Information from Books Versus From Journal Articles

When you do research, you typically search for both books and journal articles. The reason you generally need both is that they present different kinds of information, at different levels of detail, and in different ways. Here is a side-by-side comparison.

Books     Journal Articles
Hundreds of pages     Generally 5-30 pages. 
Cover a bigger part of the topic     Cover a small, specialized sub-topic
Take longer to get published (1-2 years for scholarly books)     Information is more recent. Take a few months to a year to get published
Information was gathered and put together over a greater amount of time, allowing a longer-term look at the topic.     More up-to-date information, but more chance that errors have slipped through or long-term implications were unforeseen. 
A look at the wider topic. Depending on how long the book is and how the chapters are organized, it still may be a deep analysis with lots of detail.      A very deep and detailed look at a very narrow slice of a topic. Less context.
Books are published individually. They may be re-published as new editions.     Articles all relating to one subject but written by multiple authors are published together in issues of a journal.
Find books by searching WorldCat (for print books in local libraries) or the Ebook Catalog (for ebooks from the Empire State College Online Library)     Find articles by searching in the databases. Locate databases on your topic by going to Resources By Subject.

Your Librarians

Profile Photo
Sarah Morehouse

Please note: If you need to request accommodations with content linked to on this guide, on the basis of a disability, please contact Accessibility Resources and Services by emailing them at  Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the Accessibility Resources and Services website

(800) 847-3000 x2222

Normal Hours
- Sun: 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
- Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Summer Hours
(Memorial Day - Labor Day)
- Sun: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
- Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Winter Break Hours
(End of Fall 1 - beginning of Spring 1)
- Sun: Closed
- Mon-Thu: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(Christmas week 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

Search our FAQ or email us a question