The captain of a navy ship saw a beam of light straight ahead so s/he signaled for them to “change course by 10 degrees west.” The response was “You change course 10 degrees east.” The captain then signaled. “No. We are the U.S. Navy, so change course west by 10 degrees.” Again, the response was: “You change course 10 degrees east.” Finally, the captain signaled: “We are the most authoritative ship at sea and coming straight at you.” The final response to the captain was, ”Fine. We’re a light house.”
In the science of education, references come in different types and include meta-analyses, dissertations, theses, literature reviews, theoretical journals, peer reviewed journals, research summaries, research reviews, practice journals, books, chapters, handbooks, open source, on-line papers, reports, legal documents, white papers, conferences, presentations, policy documents, memoranda, papers, reviews, articles, journals, documents, syntheses, proceedings, conferences, dissertations, theses, abstracts, newsletters
References are also published in various outlets including government outlets such as library, databases, internet searches, professional organizations, web sites, newspapers, government documents, publishers, institutional repositories, What Works Clearinghouse.
And so, it is with authority, whether in writing, legal circles, or organizational structures. Authority provides command and in writing, it confers a short cut to warrants, providing a safe landing with references. In scholarly writing, authoritative references are the bed rock of education as a science. In WRN, Google entities provide an immediate feedback loop to persons, locations, events, and dates. The screen shots of Google Entity reports in this blog reflect direct quotes from an article on over-representation of minority students in special education
Authoritative references to empirical research includes the authors, dates, study title, and source (journal or publication). In educational research, such empirical references are best located by clicking on persons. Authority is also conferred by reference to specific events (often with dates) that can be cross checked in other empirical studies. Finally, locations and groups target more information, providing credibility to the narrative. Otherwise, vague generalities are poised that are difficult to refute.
Moral of this blog: To create an authoritative approach to research, references are best distributed in their type and outlets across the main warrants used to build an argument leading to conjectures, and eventually with evidence to support claims.
Skiba, R. J., Simmons, A. B., Ritter, S., Gibb, A. C., Rausch, M. K., Cuadrado, J., & Chung, C. (2008). Achieving equity in special education: History, status, and current challenges, Exceptional Children
, 74(3), 264-288.