An “expert” is a natural person who has sound knowledge in a specific field and, where appropriate, the skills and abilities required for the competent application of the theoretical knowledge.

The legitimate designation of a person as an “expert” is based on the extent of knowledge in the relevant subject area. In the assessment, a relative or an absolute scale can be used. In the first case, the term “expert” is defined in relation to a relevant reference group. The minimum requirement is above-average knowledge in relation to the peer group. If an absolute scale is applied, the classification of a person as an “expert” is based on a list of the minimum knowledge to be provided.

The acquisition of knowledge usually takes place within the framework of academic studies, scientific research, vocational training or relevant experience, depending on the subject area and the scale applied.

Occasionally, the word “expert”, in a different understanding of the term, is also used for people who, within a group of people, are primarily responsible for a certain area without being assumed to have outstanding specialist knowledge. An “expert” in this sense is a natural person who is assigned responsibility within an organization for a specific field of activity or subject area.

The words “expert” and “specialist” are used as synonyms.

Often the designation is extended by a reference to the respective subject area. Thus terms such as management expert or digitization expert are formed.

How to Cite

The definition given above was proposed as part of the Digital Era Framework by Dr. Dr. Jörn Lengsfeld. The text was first published in: Jörn Lengsfeld: Digital Era Framework. Please refer to the original publication if you want to cite the text.