By considering authorship we can ensure that the research we carry out and the sources we use are reliable and credible. This provides an authority to our writing and analysis. During a session with a member of the library team at LCC we explored the critical process of discovering reliable formats for research.

Research avenues have no boundaries, every creative piece has an author. The librarian suggested that “We are all authors” and I feel this is an interesting analogy.  What is an author? Does it go beyond the writer of a piece of text? The official definition of authorship is ‘the state or fact of actually being an author/creator/producer of a work’. From this statement it could be suggested that a musician or an artist is an author, they are the producer of a creative form, an original piece of work. We explored this further by discussing a variety of sources surrounding the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot. Many formats offered a collection of opinions on the band meaning the publication had no single author but rather a compilation of works pulled together by a publisher. Is a publisher an author? Their selection of material or types of works they produce reflect their voice. This is noticeable in formats such as newspapers and magazines where the content fits a certain audience or a political point of view.

The type of sources we use will depend upon the question we are exploring and the context of the subject. If you were researching factually into a topic then books or acadmeic journal articles will perhaps be the better choice, but if we were seeking light on how a subject was percieved in the public eye then magazine articles, blog posts and even tweets may be worth while looking into.

Research is all about asking the right questions of the source: Who is the author? Are they alive or dead? What is their occupation? What is their perspective, their influences and their voice? And finally who is the audience? These questions will allow you to extract the appropriate information from each source and ensure that you consider how the author of the piece can affect its tone.

By knowing what you can gain from a type of format or source will allow you to expand your research, save time by only researching using reliable sources and easily provide evidence that is authoritative.