Authority Claim in Rationale-Containing Online Comments

Lu Xiao, Xin Huo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


We examined whether the existence of authority claims signifies one’s rationales in online communication content, potentially contributing to the research on rationale identification and rationale generation. Authority claims are statements that reveal the writer’s intention to bolster the writer’s credibility. In open online communications, the anonymity and the dynamic participation make it challenging to establish the credibility of their viewpoints and reasoning. Therefore, we hypothesize these online participants will tend to use authority claims to bolster their credibility when presenting their justifications. We annotated authority claims in 271 text segments that contain online users’ rationales. These text segments are adapted from the open access corpora provided by Rutgers’ Argument Mining group. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that in our dataset the users scarcely attempted to bolster their credibility when presenting their reasoning to the others in these activities. We call for more investigations to explore the role of activity context affects participants’ use of authority claims in their reasoning traces. We further state that the effects of communication medium on individuals’ cognitive and meta-cognitive processes are important to consider in argument mining research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInformation in Contemporary Society - 14th International Conference, iConference 2019, Proceedings
EditorsBonnie Nardi, Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Michelle H. Martin, Natalie Greene Taylor
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9783030157418
StatePublished - 2019
Event14th International Conference on Information in Contemporary Society, iConference 2019 - Washington, United States
Duration: Mar 31 2019Apr 3 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11420 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference14th International Conference on Information in Contemporary Society, iConference 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Annotation
  • Authority claim
  • Computer-mediated communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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