Credibility and Cognitive Authority of Information

Authored by: Soo Young Rieh

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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This entry defines the concepts of information credibility and cognitive authority, introduces the key terms and dimensions of each, and discusses major theoretical frameworks tested and proposed in library and information science (LIS) and related fields. It also lays out the fundamental notions of credibility and cognitive authority in historical contexts to trace the evolution of the understanding and enhancement of the two concepts. This entry contends that the assessment of information credibility and cognitive authority is a ubiquitous human activity given that people constantly make decisions and selections based on values of information in a variety of information seeking and use contexts. It further contends that information credibility and cognitive authority assessment can be seen as an ongoing and iterative process rather than a discrete information evaluation event. The judgments made in assessment processes are highly subjective given their dependence on individuals’ accumulated beliefs, existing knowledge, and prior experiences. The conclusion of this entry suggests the need for more research by emphasizing the contributions that credibility and cognitive authority research can make to the field of LIS.

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