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On the November Commentary Article by Rebecca Winston on the Subject of Subject Matter Experts

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

8 November 2013 

In her paper: “Accepting the Moniker of SME: The Onus of Experience
” Becky Winston asks some good questions. However, for my part I am not impressed by people who self-style themselves as “Subject Matter Experts” any more than I am that the moniker should be applied according to some arbitrary criteria. The problem is that expertise has a variety of dimensions any one of which might serve the purpose for recognition. For example, is it breadth or depth, is it practical or academic, or is it narrow and very specific?

Personally, I think the term may be used as a compliment by those who have received advice from those who have given it and have found that advice to be sound and satisfactory in a given set of circumstances.

Hope that helps,

R. Max Wideman

FCSCE, FEIC, FICE, FPMI

Vancouver, BC, Canada