Toward an Ethos of Attribution

(photo filter by Dreamscope)

Recently while driving home, I was listening to an academic podcast and was struck by a verbal pattern of the hosts.  They were referring to others’ ideas, research, and writing without clearly or explicitly identifying these others.  Although the episode’s web page includes links to some of these materials as “additional resources,” in nearly 20 minutes, the hosts drew heavily on a few sources without once mentioning a single name or title.

Instead, they referred to the institution where one of the studies took place:  “There were some folks at X University who did some research specifically on….”  They went on to use language like “The main thing that came out of the research was that…” and “What some people call….

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