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Critical Evaluation and Identification of Sources

Critical Scholarship

Develop your ability to 

  • Acknowledge Different Types of Authority - define different types of authority such as subject expertise (e.g., scholarship), societal position (e.g., public office or title), or special experience (e.g., participating in a historic event, personal experience);
  • Determine Credibility of Sources - Use research tools and indicators of authority to determine the credibility of sources, understanding the elements that might temper this credibility;
  • Question Authority of Established Scholars and Publications - Understand that many disciplines have acknowledged authorities in the sense of well-known scholars and publications that are widely considered “standard,” and yet, even in those situations, some scholars would challenge the authority of those sources;
  • Discover Authoritative Content in Various Source Types- Recognize that authoritative content may be packaged formally or informally and may include sources of all media types;
  • Become a Responsible Authority - Acknowledge you are developing your own authoritative voice in a particular area and recognize the responsibilities this entails, including seeking accuracy and reliability, respecting intellectual property, and participating in communities of practice;
  • Understand the increasingly social nature of the information ecosystem  - where authorities actively connect with one another and sources develop over time.

"Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education" by ACRL is licensed under  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


How would you finish the following prompts?

  1. I know the information is authoritative when...
  2. To me, someone is an authority on a subject when...
  3. I am less likely to trust information when...

Source: UC Davis Library Pages Authority Is Constructed and Contextual