What makes an online source, or any source), reliable?
The credibility, or reliability of a source is indicated by a lack of bias and presence of facts. Look for scientific methods, complete disclosure, and transparency. Show the proof, cite the source. Avoid generalizations, unsupported claims., and truthiness.
Merriam-Webster. (April 2020) 'Truthiness': Can Something "Seem," Without Being, True? When you just know. Dictionary. Words at Play. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/truthiness-meaning-word-origin
Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
- view authority with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought
- know how to seek authoritative voices but also recognize that unlikely voices can be authoritative, depending on need
Key Questions to Ask and Aspects to Consider
What is the context?
The given context and audience define the characteristics of authoritative evidence.
Use the right tool/source for the job!
How a source is used determines its authority. The practitioner must always consider the contextual evaluation of sources.
Whose voices are being left out of this conversation?
Recognize that traditional notions of granting authority might hinder the diversity of ideas and worldviews that get heard and shared.
What are you bringing to this conversation?
Evaluate sources using a variety of criteria in order to cultivate a skeptical stance and self-awareness of your own biases and world views.
It’s not all relative!
It can be challenging not to fall into subjectivity. No matter what the context, there are going to be better and less good sources.