Saliba has been at Columbia University since 1979. He received a master of science degree in Semitic languages and a doctorate in Islamic sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. He has won the History of Science Prize given by the Third World Academy of Science in 1993, and the History of Astronomy Prize in 1996 from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science. In 2005 he was named as a Senior Distinguished Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center.
Saliba was one of the professors named in the 2004 Columbia Unbecoming controversy as allegedly being intimidating or unfair to students with pro-Israel views. A student of his, Lindsay Shrier, claimed that he told her that those with green eyes (like herself) are not racial "Semites", and have no valid national claim to Middle Eastern lands. Saliba claims that this is a fabrication. Saliba rejected the accusation and published a rebuttal in Columbia Spectator on 3 November 2004 to that effect.
- Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance, MIT Press (April 1, 2007) ISBN 0-262-19557-7 (hardcover, and in paperback as of 2011. The book has since been translated into Turkish, Arabic and Bahasa (Indonesian)
- A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam, New York, University Press; (1994) ISBN 0-8147-7962-X (hardcover); (reissue edition: November 1995) ISBN 0-8147-8023-7 (paperback)
- (With Linda Komaroff, Catherine Hess) The Arts of Fire : Islamic Influences on Glass and Ceramics of the Italian Renaissance, Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum (June 10, 2004), ISBN 0-89236-757-1 (hardcover)
- "The Crisis of the Abbasid Caliphate" (Tabari, Ta'rikh Al-Rusul Wa'l-Muluk; annotated translation), State University of New York Press (November 1985) ISBN 0-87395-883-7 (Hardcover), ISBN 0-7914-0627-X (paperback)
- "The Astronomical Work of Mu’ayyad al-Din al-’Urdi (died 1266): A Thirteenth Century Reform of Ptolemaic Astronomy", Markaz dirasat al-Wahda al-'Arabiya, Beirut, 1990, 1995
- (With Sharon Gibbs) Planispheric astrolabes from the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution Press, (1984) ISBN 0-608-11955-5 (paperback)
- "The Pebble That Became A Fist-Full Rock: On the Continued Importance of Edward Said's Orientalism". Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- "The Ash'arites and the Science of the Stars" in Richard G. Hovannisian and George Sabagh (eds.), Religion and Culture in Medieval Islam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 79-92.
- Diane Greenberg. "George Saliba to Give a Talk at Brookhaven Lab on Science in Renaissance Europe, August 19". Brookhaven National Laboratory. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
- Helen Dalrymple. "George Saliba Named Senior Distinguished Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
- "The `Silent Jews' speak out" by Shoshana Kordova Haaretz, February 8, 2005
- Rebutting a "Misguided Political Project" by George Saliba Columbia Spectator (November 3, 2004)