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| by Amy Frazier


Still of the video title screen, "On Scholarly Authority (and its limitations)

The library recently created a new video tutorial, On Scholarly Authority (and its limitations.) This video was created to encourage students to think critically about the concept of scholarly authority — how they can use it as a lens through which to assess sources for their research, but also how to recognize situations in which traditional scholarly authority might not be the final word in credibility. We hope that this video can help students understand the concept of scholarly authority more comprehensively, and that it might also provide a spur to deeper conversations about authority, its mechanics, and the role that it plays in the ongoing academic conversation.

In case you’re interested in watching this video with students, here are some ideas for discussion topics:

  • How can scholarly authority benefit your work as a scholar in your field of study? Can you imagine a scenario when scholarly authority might not be able to help you establish the credibility of a source? What alternative strategies might you use instead?
  • What features of a source do you use to help you decide whether that source is authoritative and/or credible? 
  • When you perceive a gap in perspective in the scholarly literature of a field, how might you go about addressing that gap?

Watch the video at go/scholarlyauthority/. And remember that Middlebury librarians are available to help you answer questions about scholarly authority, or any other questions about your research!

On Scholarly Authority (and its limitations)