Books are defined as specialist books which offer an overview, such as text books (course books) for university studies, or books where the author pursues a theory of his or her own. Often books like this include an introductory chapter, providing a good overview of the subject. You can also find useful references to earlier research and original articles. However, you should always keep in mind that it usually takes quite a long period of time to write and publish a book, so certain facts may have become outdated.
Some academic publishers specialize in volumes with chapters written by prominent researchers within the field. Contributions are selected, compiled and reviewed by an editor or sent out to be reviewed by other scholars within the same field.
Note: the above content is directly quoted from the University Library Guides offered by the University Library at Jönköping University