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What's a "Good" Source?: Key Foundation & Frame

UCMWP Un-Conference | Information Literacy Table Discussion Resources

Discerning "Good" Sources is an Essential Skill

The following is a comparison between the AASL shared foundation Curate and the ACRL frame Authority is Constructed and Contextual.

AASL Shared Foundation: Curate

Make meaning for oneself and others by collecting, organizing, and sharing resources of personal relevance


Learners act on an information need by:

  1. Determining the need to gather information. 
  2. Identifying possible sources of information.
  3. Making critical choices about information sources to use


Learners gather information appropriate to the task by:

  1. Seeking a variety of sources. 
  2. Collecting information representing diverse perspectives.
  3. Systematically questioning and assessing the validity and accuracy of information.
  4. Organizing information by priority, topic, or other systematic scheme.


Learners exchange information resources within and beyond their learning community by:

  1. Accessing and evaluating collaboratively constructed information sites.
  2. Contributing to collaboratively constructed information sites by ethically using and reproducing others’ work.
  3. Joining with others to compare and contrast information derived from collaboratively constructed information sites.


Learners select and organize information for a variety of audiences by:

  1. Performing ongoing analysis of and reflection on the quality, usefulness, and accuracy of curated resources.
  2. Integrating and depicting in a conceptual knowledge network their understanding gained from resources.
  3. Openly communicating curation processes for others to use, interpret, and validate.

Visit the AASL Standards Framework for Learners for more

Every Standard Tells a Story: Learner Curate

American Association of School Librarians (1:03)

ACRL Frame: Authority is Constructed & Contextual

Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

Knowledge Practices

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • define different types of authority, such as subject expertise (e.g., scholarship), societal position (e.g., public office or title), or special experience (e.g., participating in a historic event);
  • use research tools and indicators of authority to determine the credibility of sources, understanding the elements that might temper this credibility;
  • understand that many disciplines have acknowledged authorities in the sense of well-known scholars and publications that are widely considered “standard,” and yet, even in those situations, some scholars would challenge the authority of those sources;
  • recognize that authoritative content may be packaged formally or informally and may include sources of all media types;
  • acknowledge they are developing their own authoritative voices in a particular area and recognize the responsibilities this entails, including seeking accuracy and reliability, respecting intellectual property, and participating in communities of practice;
  • understand the increasingly social nature of the information ecosystem where authorities actively connect with one another and sources develop over time.


Learners who are developing their information literate abilities

  • develop and maintain an open mind when encountering varied and sometimes conflicting perspectives;
  • motivate themselves to find authoritative sources, recognizing that authority may be conferred or manifested in unexpected ways;
  • develop awareness of the importance of assessing content with a skeptical stance and with a self-awareness of their own biases and worldview;
  • question traditional notions of granting authority and recognize the value of diverse ideas and worldviews;
  • are conscious that maintaining these attitudes and actions requires frequent self-evaluation.

Visit the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education for more

Authority is Constructed

Steely Library NKU (1:55)