...Referencing Matters...

One of the greatest things I am learning from my PhD program is that it is important to remember who we cite and reference. It is about power and centering voices of experts.

Too often Black, Indigenous, racialized and other marginalized people's work is used and not referenced properly. Furthermore, it is important to question and be critical around 'who' is seen as an expert and 'who' is question or there is a sense of hesitation.

Thinking critically about who we reference and cite expands ideas around who is an expert. For example, too often Muslim women are not seen as experts. Our ideas are question and our bodies which are so scrutinized for various reasons are not seen as spaces and places of knowledge. Thinking critically about who we cite and reference is not just important for academic spaces but in my opinion important in all spaces of one's life. It is how we can be in community with each other and work towards equitable representation and inclusion of ideas, lived experiences and voices. Respecting and honouring each other's ideas and knowledge helps us be part of a community where all are valued and important. One does not need a degree or specific credentials to be 'cited' or seen as having information or relevant ideas. It is about expanding ideas around how we even think about these things.

This is something I am continuing to learn how to do. Some prompts that I am trying to implement in my own life to expand my own ideas around who and what I cite and reference are: "I learned from...", "They showed me...", "They guided my thinking around...", "I am inspired by...", "I wonder what this could look like in my life...", "They shared this with me" etc. There are many different ways to show, cite and reference people. I am continuing to learn how this impacts inclusive community building where all voices are respected, centered and honoured.


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