What is a good way to find information about the authority or qualifications of an author?


There are many ways of tackling this question.

  1. Credentials
    • Use Google or LinkedIn.com to search both the author's name and resume or vita.
      • Is there a resume or curriculum vitae for the author that is available for you to review?
      • Who is publishing the resume or vita? Can you verify that what is claimed is real? Note: sometimes credentials are "spun" in a misleading way.
      • What academic degrees and credentials does the author have? Are those credentials related to the topic at hand?
      • What professional work experience does the author have? Are those experiences related to the topic at hand?
  2. Publishing History
    • Has the author published other works on the same topic? Does the author reveal a depth of knowledge in this area or just a passing interest?
      • Search the author's name in journal article databases.
      • Search the author's name in comprehensive catalogs like WorldCat.
  3. Reception by others in the field
    • How have the author's books or articles been received by other professionals in the field?
      • Book hint: look up reviews published in professional journals (pick a database covering the field), in sources like Book Index with Reviews, or online sources like Amazon.com (be careful to look at professional/editorial reviews, not just customer reviews).
      • Article hint: use a citation index (Web of Science, Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index, Google Scholar) to determine how often other experts have cited the article. Typically, the more times an article has been cited, the better.  Warning: be sure the article is not cited as an example of poorly done or faked research! Sometimes the infamous are cited frequently.

See also: How do I know if a source is credible?

See also: Where would I look to find publisher information for a book? 

  • Last Updated Jun 04, 2021
  • Views 3033
  • Answered By Kerry Louvier

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