If I want to refer to all the different articles, theses, essays, books, etc. – published as well as unpublished/not yet published – that a scholar has produced, what word should I use? Can I use "academic works"? Or is there a better word here?

  • @mdewey Thank you! So if I want to tell an applicant for a position that any articles etc that they may want to invoke should be included with the application, can I say "Any academic output that you want to invoke should be included..." or is "academic works" better in this context?
    – Helen
    Feb 11, 2021 at 14:02
  • 2
    What's wrong with works? If you want the person to look good, output ain't great. Just used the word: Publications.
    – Lambie
    Feb 11, 2021 at 14:46
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    If someone has produced a piece of research software that is widely used, do you want that counted? If so, be careful not to restrict it to something that implies just publications.
    – Joel
    Feb 12, 2021 at 20:05

6 Answers 6


Scholarly Publications and Manuscripts.

Scholarly: involving or relating to serious academic study

Manuscript: an author's text that has not yet been published

It's perhaps better to distinguish between the published and non-published work. And you can't go wrong with "scholarly publications" and "manuscripts".

However, if you want to put them all in under one term, then go with —

Research Works or Scholarly Works.

Both "research works" and "scholarly works" are more common (and perhaps even better sounding) than "academic works". They are also broadly applied, meaning that they include work that hasn't been formally published yet.

Here is one definition of "scholarly work":

Scholarly work means all literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, software, sound recordings, films or communication works produced by a Staff member and includes in relation to a Staff member’s research activities, any scholarly publications including books, text books, articles in scholarly journals research reports or conference proceedings.

While many of the other suggested alternatives in this thread are correct, it is perhaps best to go with a term that is commonly used for the intended purpose. This Google Ngram plot is quite informative:

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There are a number of options

Academic works is suitably broad and academic output is perhaps even broader They should cover most of your suggestions and also patents and software.

Strictly speaking publications would include most of the completed work in the public arena including work posted on the web somewhere. They may interpret it more narrowly though.

As a piece of additional slightly off-topic advice if you are recruiting at a senior level you may want to ask for their best X outputs as otherwise you may get many pages.

  • 1
    academic output sounds like a factory. Not that it can't be said or used, but I would not use it in a formal context to describe all the work done by an academic. And outputs with an s is definitely wrong here.
    – Lambie
    Feb 11, 2021 at 14:37
  • In many places "academic outputs" is standard terminology, which would include open-source code, peer-reviewed publications, reports submitted to policy makers.
    – Joel
    Feb 12, 2021 at 20:03

Literature. The primary literature are articles written and published typically after peer review.


The formal term for this is corpus, which means,

all the writings or works of a particular kind or on a particular subject; especially : the complete works of an author

This is the Latin word for "body", and you can use the English phrase body of work to mean the same thing.

  • 1
    Corpus sounds a bit grand but body of work has a nice feel to it.
    – mdewey
    Feb 12, 2021 at 13:13
  • Hm... I've never ever seen "corpus" used in the way I'm after here though. It seems extremely odd to say "please enclose a list of your corpus", for instance. I agree that "corpus" could be used for all the works of a particular author in the sense 'text database'. To me, a corpus is simply a huge collection of texts that you can use for language research.
    – Helen
    Feb 12, 2021 at 14:20
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    @Helen as I mentioned in my comment it is quite a grand term so would best fit the body of work of a very senior researcher. Recently it has become more familiar as a body of text as you say. If you are looking for a nice semi-formal term body of work is better than anything else here including what I put in my answer.
    – mdewey
    Feb 12, 2021 at 14:51
  • @mdewey - I agree that corpus is a bit grand and would be most appropriate in an academic paper about a deceased author (e.g., "An analysis of Anton Chekhov's entire corpus reveals yadda, yadda, yadda."). If you want to be really grand, you can use the borrowed French word oeuvre. Feb 13, 2021 at 17:24

Scholarly. I often see "scholarly writings" or "scholarly output" used for the corpus (see other answer) of someone's academic work.

In this guide we have divided the criteria for evaluating periodical literature into four categories:


News and General Interest


Sensational and Tabloid

-- Cornell University Library


My yearly evaluation form (as faculty at a US University) often uses the term "products" to refer to articles, letters, books, and the like. It may also include patents.

For instance, this US National Institutes of Health page describes how to include "research products" in your biographical sketch.

On the other hand, instructions for biographical sketches submitted to the US National Science Foundation as part of proposals uses the term "products" alone, without any further qualification.

Here's a page describing "Scholarly Products" of fellows at George Mason University.

  • 1
    Thank you! Products on its own, or scholarly/academic products?
    – Helen
    Feb 12, 2021 at 19:21
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    @Helen I edited the question to give some examples. "Products" maybe used alone when the context is clear. Other usages, include "research products" and "scholarly products". Feb 12, 2021 at 19:34

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