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"Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required."
"Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education," American Library Association, February 9, 2015. (Accessed July 20, 2020.)
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(These assignments are offered as inspirational prompts to be adapted by anyone using this guide.)
- Ask students, working as a class, to come up with methods for ensuring high accuracy. Discuss each method.
- Ask students to discuss: How is journalistic authority different than scholarly authority?
- Ask students to discuss when different authority is suitable for different contexts.
- Discuss different types of authority (ex: subject expertise/scholarship, societal position/public office, special experience/participating in a historical event). Read several documents and determine the type of authority on display.
- Are accuracy and reliability necessary for authority? Can you think of examples of when people are inaccurate, or unreliable, and still considered an authority?
- Identify two authorities in the discipline for their research project.
- Find the top journals in your field using Google Scholar. (See this handout for instructions.)
- Who wrote this? Give, or ask students to locate, a scholarly article. Then, ask them to learn as much as possible about the author in 10 minutes. Discuss what they found. (Might also see what kind of results you get when searching a journalist or someone who writes policy briefs.)
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