This case study explores and compares how a librarian and an instructor evaluated the quality of bibliographies students produced for the instructor’s class. The ethnographic study attempted to unearth nuances in the respective practical approaches librarian and instructor took to assess a source’s quality as well as differences in what librarian and instructor might mean by “quality.” Themes emerged as indicators of quality that librarian and instructor applied differently in terms of frequency and weight. Findings also included that librarian and instructor looked to different aspects of citations to demonstrate common values, such as thoroughness, and to reflect the quality of a student’s research process. Additional findings included differences in librarian and instructor’s working definitions of “academic” and in their approaches to consulting the citation versus the full text of a cited source. The aim of the study was to make such implicit practices and expectations around “quality” explicit, and thus more transparent to students, and to better align librarian and instructor’s daily practices.

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Appendix A