From Beth Samuelson on September 15th, 2018
Scholars integrate the voices and ideas of distinguished and prominent academics into their research in a variety of ways. The most common way is, in an act of humility, to acknowledge the lineage of ideas on a particular topic within the established information ecosystem. In the information ecosystem, this is often called the literature review. It may remind you of a family tree… through a narrative, we chart the generations of ideas and the scholars who continue and build upon the lineage of ideas. The literature review also serves a functional purpose, as it then acts as a centralized place for any other scholar interested in doing a deep dive into the same topic.
Even if the scholar disagrees with the academic(s) they are citing, there are formal ways to acknowledge that all ideas build on what already exists in the ecosystem. Acknowledgement can include: (1) attributing, (2) representing others’ claims and viewpoints as accurately as possible, and (3) referencing the information in the discipline’s expected format.
These acts build our reputation as scholars by recognizing that: (1) our ideas are informed by others and don’t exist in a vacuum; and (2) others who enter the ecosystem can refer to our references and learn more about the beginning point as well as the development of a concept, idea, theory, or thinking.
Take a look at something you’ve recently written. How did you build your reputation as a scholar based on your actions (if at all)?
In the video on Challenging Authorities, we’ll discuss ways that scholars critique, challenge, and modify the ideas of others.
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