The ACRL Framework


Authority Is Constructed and Contextual refers to the recognition that information resources are drawn from their creators’ expertise and credibility based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Experts view authority with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought.

Possible Learning Objectives for Students

  • Can recognize appropriate information resources per discipline.
  • Determine attributes of authoritative information for different needs, with the understanding that context plays a role in authority-based attributes
  • Recognize that traditional notions of granting authority might hinder diverse ideas and world views
  • Acknowledge that oneself may be seen as an authority in a particular area, and recognize the responsibilities entailed 
  • Recognize relevance of subject expertise as a kind of authority in order to gather appropriate articles for assignment
  • Distinguish between scholarly and popular sources in order to select appropriate sources for academic research.
  • Thoughtfully find published primary sources in order to include first-person perspectives in their research project.
  • Evaluate sources using a variety of criteria in order to cultivate a skeptical stance and a self-awareness of their own biases and world views.  
  • Learn to distinguish a news from an editorial article so they will understand that information is created for a purpose.
  • Distinguish between different types of sources in order to find credible sources on their topics.
  • Express a desire to find better resources IOT improve the quality of their resources.
  • Explain why the authority of a source matters, choose appropriate sources
  • Evaluate databases results and select relevant and credible sources
  • Evaluate an author's use of sources
  • Evaluate a source using specific criteria in order to determine whether it meets their information need.