It’s important to read lots of different scholars on a subject and to keep in mind 1) they are only as good as the sources they’re working from and 2) everyone has biases, which shape how they interpret information.
Case in point: G. M. Hirst’s The Cults of Olbia was published in 1903. She brings together a wealth of material (some of which more contemporary scholars fail to cite) but that material is limited to what was available at the time, primarily literary citations and numismatics. Serious excavation didn’t even begin at the archaeological site until 1902, with its heyday being the 1920s when they were able to return to the field post-WWI. Some of the most significant discoveries weren’t made, however, until the 1980s and as late as the 2010s when efforts were intensified due to concerns over erosion from the Black Sea and damage from pollution and climate change. None of this is reflected in Hirst’s study, obviously, so if you relied solely on that you’d have a pretty skewed perception of, say, Dionysos’ place in the Olbian pantheon (since many of those discoveries have had to do with him.)
And for point two I simply want to remind folks that biases shape how we perceive things both large and small, significant and not. It’s easy to recognize bias when the scholar is postulating out-dated or faulty theories, especially if they’ve been thoroughly debunked or it’s something we’re familiar with and happen to care about – but other errors can slip right by without us realizing.
For instance, there is much debate about whether the Olbian dolphin coins are actually dolphins – or rather sturgeons. Sturgeons don’t mean anything to me, so I’m inclined to agree with the dolphin camp. That doesn’t make them right, however. After all, while it’s unlikely that an eagle could carry off a dolphin in its claws (not impossible, just extremely unlikely) there is nothing extraordinary about it doing that to a sturgeon.
While I applaud the scholar who was first able to look past the communis opinio and see a sturgeon one reason I side with the dolphiners is that no one I’ve read has satisfactorily explained why the Olbiapolitians would mint coinage with sturgeons on them, whereas it’s self-evident why they’d do so with dolphins, considering the animals’ associations with Dionysos and Apollon. In fact, one of Olbia’s major trading partners was the polis of Taras (or Tarentum) in Magna Graecia which minted its own dolphin coins, associated originally with their eponymous hero and Poseidon, though later on Dionysiac attributes were added via Taras’ blending with Iakchos (or Kloster.)
In other words, question everything – especially the things you are certain of.