School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
INLS 584, Information Ethics
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Introduction to Ethical Reasoning
Session 1: August 23, Overview of the course; An exercise in ethical reasoning (Arson case)
Session 2: August 25, Cultural relativism; Subjectivism; Emotions
- Rachels, Chapter 1, What is morality? (key: sections 1.5 & 1.6)
- Rachels, Chapter 2, The challenge of cultural relativism (key: sections 2.2, 2.4, 2.8, & 2.9)
- Rachels, Chapter 3, Subjectivism in ethics (key: sections 3.1-3.4)
- Artz, J. M. (2000). The role of emotion in reason, and its implications for computer ethics. Computers and Society, 30(1), 14-16. [Available in Sakai Resources]
Session 3: August 30, Morality and religion; Egoism
- Rachels, Chapter 4, Does morality depend on religion? (key: sections 4.2 & 4.3)
- Rachels, Chapter 5, Ethical egoism (key: sections 5.2-5.4)
Session 4: September 1, Social contracts
- Rachels, Chapter 6, The idea of a social contract (key: sections 6.1, 6.3, & 6.5)
Session 5: September 6, Utilitarianism
- Rachels, Chapter 7, The utilitarian approach (key: section 7.1)
- Rachels, Chapter 8, The debate over utilitarianism (key: sections 8.1, 8.3, & 8.4)
Session 6: September 8, Absolute moral rules and Kant; Selection
of issues to consider during course
- Rachels, Chapter 9, Are there absolute moral rules? (key: sections 9.2, 9.4, & 9.5)
- Rachels, Chapter 10, Kant and respect for persons (key: section 10.1)
Session 7: September 13, Kant, continued; Alternative ethical approaches
- Rachels, Chapter 11, Feminism and the ethics of care (key: sections 11.1 & 11.2)
- Optional: Adam, A. (2008). The gender agenda in computer ethics. In Himma, K.E., & Tavani, H.T. (eds.), The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Wiley, 589-619. [UNC libraries]
Session 8: September 15, Alternative ethical approaches
- Rachels, Chapter 12, The ethics of virtue (key: sections 12.1 & 12.2)
- Rachels, Chapter 13, What would a satisfactory moral theory be like? (key: section 13.4)
Session 9: September 20, Values clarification
- Smith, M. (1977). A Practical Guide to Value Clarification. Lajolla, CA: University Associates.
Session 10: September 22, Applying moral theories as information professionals
- Smith, H. J., & Hasnas, J. (1999). Ethics and information systems: the corporate domain. MIS Quarterly, 23(1), 109-127. (Read pages 109-119 only.) [UNC libraries]
- Fallis, D. (2007). Information ethics for twenty-first century library professionals. Library Hi Tech, 25(1), 23-36. (Skim entire article; focus on two sections: The theories, and Limitations of the theories) [UNC libraries]
- Kizza, J.M. (2007). Ethics and the professions. In Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age. London: Springer, 65-96. (Read sections 4.1, 4.2, and 4.4.1.) [UNC libraries]
- Optional: Floridi, L. (2008). Foundations of information ethics. In Himma, K.E., & Tavani, H.T. (eds.), The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Wiley, 3-23. [UNC libraries]
Session 11: September 27, Professional codes of conduct (Additional codes and other resources)
- ALA Code of Ethics. (1995, June 28). American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics.cfm.
- Mathiesen, K., & Fallis, D. (2008). Information ethics and the library profession. In Himma, K.E., & Tavani, H.T. (eds.), The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Wiley, 221-244. (Focus on sections 9.1 and 9.2; read other sections as interested.) [UNC libraries]
- ACM code of ethics and professional conduct. (1992, October 16). Association for Computing Machinery. http://www.acm.org/constitution/code.html.
- Huff, C. (1996). Unintentional power in the development of computer systems. Computers & Society, 26(4), 6-9. [Available in Sakai resources]
- ASIS&T professional guidelines. Adopted 5/30/92. http://www.asis.org/AboutASIS/professional-guidelines.html.
Issues in Information Ethics
The remainder of the course will be devoted to reasoning about moral issues of relevance to information professionals. The specific issues to be considered in the course will be selected and presented by the course participants. Key issues and possible readings are listed here:
- Information/data and software as intellectual property (copyright, moral rights of authors, open source content and software, legal mechanisms for software protection)
- Information/software integrity/accuracy (professional responsibility for correct
- Privacy (government surveillance, commercial surveillance, computer-mediated communication,
- Access to information/censorship (equitable access to information, censorship,
freedom to read)
- Access to information technology (equitable access to computers and the internet,
- Effects of computerization on the work environment (job displacement, deskilling,
ergonomic issues, electronic monitoring)
- Effects of computer-mediated communication on understandings of identity and relationships
- Effects of computerization on democracy and government
Session 12: September 29, Josh, A state's right to seize archival materials previously held by the state
- Himma, K.E. (2008). The justification of intellectual property: Contemporary philosophical disputes. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 59(7), 1143-1161. (For this week, focus particular attention on the first three sections - Introduction, Two issues..., and Is IP really property? The remainder of the article will be good background for future discussions on intellectual property rights, so read it also.) [UNC libraries].
- Price, W.S., Jr. (1978). N.C. v. B. C. West, Jr. The American Archivist, 41(1), 21-24. [UNC libraries]
- Judge rules Bill of Rights belongs to North Carolina. (2004, April). Carolina Comments, 52(2), 1-6. http://www.ncpublications.com/comments/Apr04-c-revised.pdf.
- Review scenario: When is a state justified in seizing archival documents? [Sakai resources]
Session 13: October 4, Cory, Open source software as intellectual property
- U.S. Copyright Office. (2008, July). Copyright basics. http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf.
- U.S. Copyright Office. (2009). Copyright: Fair use. http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html.
- Tysver, D.A. (2010). Patent requirements. Bitlaw. http://www.bitlaw.com/patent/requirements.html.
- Tysver, D.A. (2010). Rights granted under U.S. patent law. Bitlaw. http://www.bitlaw.com/patent/rights.html.
- Smith, B. (2010). A quick guide to GPLv3. Free Software Foundation. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html.
- Boettiger, S. Burk, D. L. (2004) Open source patenting. Journal of International Biotechnology Law, 1(6), 221-231. (Focus on pages 222-227; skim the rest.) http://freedomofscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/open-source-patent-licensing.pdf.
- Optional: What is copyleft? (2010). Free Software Foundation. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/.
- Optional: Tysver, D.A. (2010). Are software and business methods still patentable after the Bilski decisions? Bitlaw. http://www.bitlaw.com/software-patent/bilski-and-software-patents.html.
- Optional: Lakhani, K.R., & Panetta, J.A. (2007). The principles of distributed innovation. Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 2(3), 97-112. (Focus on pages 107-111.) http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/itgg.2007.2.3.97.
Session 14: October 6, Susan and Michelle, Key legal cases on copyright
- Copyright term and the public domain in the United States. (2011, Jan. 1). http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm.
- Delchin, R. J. (2004). Musical copyright law: Past, present and future of online music distribution. Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, 22, 343-399. (Read Introduction and section I. Background, only.) [UNC libraries]
- Hormann, K.C. (2009). The death of the DMCA? How Viacom v. Youtube may define the future of digital content. Houston Law Review, 46, 1345-1377. (Read sections I-III only.) [UNC libraries]
- Viacom and YouTube: Old media sue as a continuation of negotiations by other means. The Economist, Mar. 14, 2007 (online). http://www.economist.com/node/8845270.
- Optional: Gibeaut, J. (2000). Facing the music. American Bar Association Journal, 86, 37-41, 104. [UNC libraries]
October 11: No Class; ASIST meeting
Session 15: October 13, Dan, Pseudonymity and anonymity
- Hinckley, K. (2011, Aug. 22). [Blog posting on pseudonymity.] Google+ blog. (Read original posting; browse the comments if you're interested.) https://plus.google.com/117903011098040166012/posts/asuDWWmaFcq.
- Singh, A. (2008). Anonymity, authorship, and blogger ethics. symploke, 16(1-2), 21-35. [UNC libraries]
- Falkenthal, G. (2011, Sep. 26). Internet trolls, anonymity, and the First Amendment. Washington Times, Communities. http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/media-migraine/2011/sep/26/internet-trolls-anonymity-and-first-amendment/.
- Poole, C. (2010, Feb.). Christopher "moot" Poole: The case for anonymity online. TED Talk. http://www.ted.com/talks/christopher_m00t_poole_the_case_for_anonymity_online.html.
- Stelter, B. (2011, June 20). Upending anonymity, these days the Web unmasks everyone. New York Times, U.S. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/us/21anonymity.html. [Also available in Sakai resources.]
- Optional: boyd, d. (2011, Aug. 4). "Real names" policies are an abuse of power. Apophenia: Making Connections Where None Previously Existed. (Read the original posting; browse the comments if you're interested.) http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2011/08/04/real-names.html.
- Optional: Scoble, R. (2011, Jul. 26). Two systems that do anonymity right. Google+ blog. (Read the original posting; browse the comments if you're interested.) https://plus.google.com/111091089527727420853/posts/Jse4oU6tzTf.
- Optional: Scoble, R. (2011, Aug. 20). [Blog posting on the real name problem.] Google+ blog. (Read the original posting; browse the comments if you're interested.) https://plus.google.com/111091089527727420853/posts/XQKT1XkPBgi.
Session 16: October 18, Ashlee, Privacy and location-based services
- Introna, L. D. (1997). Privacy and the computer: Why we need privacy in the information society. Metaphilosophy, 28(3), 259-275. [UNC libraries]
- Tang, K.P., Keyani, P., Fogarty, J., & Hong, J.I. (2006). Putting people in their place: An anonymous and privacy-sensitive approach to collecting sensed data in location-based applications. ACM SIGCHI Proceedings, 93-102. [UNC libraries]
- Madrigal, A. (2011, Apr. 25). What does your phone know about you? More than you think. The Atlantic [online]. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/04/what-does-your-phone-know-about-you-more-than-you-think/237786/.
October 20: No class; Fall Break
Session 17: October 25, Justin, Upholding FERPA in the digital classroom
- Transmission of Protected Health Information and Personal Identifying Information Policy. (2010, June 30). UNC Information Technology Services. http://its.unc.edu/ccm/groups/public/@its/documents/content/ccm1_033439.pdf.
- Policies and Procedures Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. (Revised 2010). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Read pages 1-12 only.) http://www.unc.edu/campus/policies/ferpapol%2000035564.pdf.
- McConahay, M., Hanson, K., West, A., & Woodbeck, D. (2009). The electronic FERPA: [Access in the digital age]. College and University, 85(1), 12-19. [UNC libraries, via Wilson Web]
Session 18: October 27, Nicci, Digital divide
- Ess, C. (2007). Can the local reshape the global? Ethical imperatives for humane intercultural communication online. In Capurro, R., Fruhbauer, J., & Hausmanninger, T. (eds.), Localizing the Internet: Ethical Aspects in Intercultural Perspective. Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 153-169. [Available in Sakai resources]
- Britz, J.J. (2008). Making the global information society good: A social justice perspective on the ethical dimensions of the global information society. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 59(7):1171-1183. [UNC libraries]
- IT Industry Competitive Index 2011. http://globalindex11.bsa.org/. (Select "IT Infrastructure" as the Data Indicator Category; this will give you a basic map to examine. Select a specific data indicator within that category; the map wil lnot change, but hovering over a country will give you its "score" (higher is better) on that indicator, for both 2009 and 2011. In particular, study the data on 'Broadband penetration' and 'Human capital/Enrolment in higher education'.)
Session 19: November 1, Cristina and Jaycie, The effect of generational attitudes on the digital divide
- Weaver, C.K., Zorn, T., & Richardson, M. (2010). Goods not wanted: Older people's narratives of computer use rejection. Information, Communication & Society, 13(5), 696-721. [UNC libraries]
- Epstein, D., Nisbet, E.C., & Gillespie, T. (2011). Who's responsible for the digital divide? Public perceptions and policy implications. The Information Society, 27(2), 92-104. [UNC libraries]
- Duff, A.S. (2011). The Rawls-Tawney theorem and the digital divide in postindustrial society. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 62(3), 604-612. [UNC libraries]
- Optional: Plumb, T.K. (2007). Challenges and opportunities for electronic resources (ER) librarians in facing down the digital divide. Collection Management, 32(3-4), 327-349. [UNC libraries]
- Optional: Kolodinsky, J., Cranwell, M., & Rowe, E. (2002). Bridging the generation gap across the digital divide: Teens teaching internet skills to senior citizens. Journal of Extension, 40(3), 3RIB2. http://www.joe.org/joe/2002june/rb2.php.
- Optional: Carracher, J. (2011, Apr. 6). How baby boomers are embracing digital media. Mashable Social Media. http://mashable.com/2011/04/06/baby-boomers-digital-media/.
Session 20: November 3, Jason, Limited access to particular library resources for particular groups
- Lenker, M., & Kocevar-Weidinger, E. (2010). Nonaffiliated users in academic libraries: Using W.D. Ross's ethical pluralism to make sense of the tough questions. College & Research Libraries, 71(5), 421-434. [UNC libraries]
- Courtney, N. (2001). Perspectives on... Barbarians at the gates: A half-century of unaffiliated users in academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 27(6), 473-480. [UNC libraries]
- Optional: Courtney, N. (2003). Unaffiliated users' access to academic libraries: A survey. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 29(1), 3-7. (Do review the five tables of the survey data.) [UNC libraries]
- Optional: Tuñón, R.B., Barsun, R., & Ramirez, L.L. (2004). Pests, welcomed guests, or tolerated outsiders? Journal of Library Administration, 41(3-4), 485-505. (Do skim the survey responses in the appendix.) [UNC libraries]
Session 21: November 8, Dave, Open access to scholarly materials
- Bailey, C.W., Jr. (2006). What is open access? http://digital-scholarship.org/cwb/WhatIsOA.htm.
- Digital Futures Task Force, Duke University. (2010, March). Duke Open Access Policy. Duke University Libraries. http://library.duke.edu/openaccess/duke-openaccess-policy.html.
- Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). (2011). Income Models for Supporting Open Access. (In particular, read the information about Article Processing Fees; explore other models of interest to you.) http://www.arl.org/sparc/publisher/incomemodels/.
- Suber, P. (2010). Open access overview, focusing on open access to peer-reviewed research articles and their preprints. (Skim.) http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm.
- NIH Public Access Policy Details. (Read the basic policy and peruse the rest of the website.) http://publicaccess.nih.gov/policy.htm.
- Optional: Harnad, S., Brody, T., Valliéres, F., Carr, L., Hitchcock, S., Gingras, Y., Oppenheim, C., Hajjem, C., & Hilf, E.R. (2008). The access/impact problem and the green and gold roads to open access: An update. Serials Review, 34(1), 36-40. [UNC libraries]
Session 22: November 10, Emily, Censorship in academic libraries
- Williams-Van Klooster, B. (2006). Censorship of visually challenging art monographs in American public academic libraries. Art Documentation, 25(2), 40-45. [UNC libraries]
- Bukoff, R.N. (1995). Censorship and the American college library. College & Research Libraries, 56(5), 395-407. [SILS Library; copy in Sakai resources]
- Jones, B.M. (2009). Collection development. In Protecting Intellectual Property in Your Academic Library: Scenarios from the Front Lines. Chicago: American Library Association, 63-99. [SILS - Z675.U5 J72 2009; copy in Sakai resources]
Session 23: November 15, Nic and Caitlin, Censorship of books for teens
- Allen, C. M. (2007). Are we selecting? or are we censoring? Young Adult Library Services: The Journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association, 5(3), 5. [UNC libraries]
- Rohrer, F. (2010, Sep. 27). Why are parents banning school books? BBC News Magazine. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11417672. (See the “10 most challenged of 2009” sidebar and the reasons given for challenging those books. For each of these books that you've read, make a note on how old you were when you read each of those books.)
- American Library Association. (2011). Dealing with challenges to graphic novels. http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=ifissues&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=130336. (See the sample questions and answers.)
- Coatney, S. (2000, Sep. 22). Banned books: A school librarian’s perspective. Time U.S. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,55630,00.html.
- Dickinson, G. (2007). The challenges of challenges: Understanding and being prepared: Part I. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 23(5), 26-28. [UNC libraries]
- Dickinson, G. (2007). The challenges of challenges: What to do?: Part II. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 23(6), 21-24. [UNC libraries]
- Kelly, M. (2011) Censorship and book banning in America. About.com http://712educators.about.com/cs/bannedbooks/a/bookbanning.htm.
- Optional: Kidd, K. (2009). ‘‘Not censorship but selection’’: Censorship and/as prizing. Children’s Literature in Education, 40(3), 197-216. [UNC libraries] (Interesting article about how the awarding of prizes to books might be influenced by challenges to those books.)
Session 24: November 17, Raymond, Free speech in academia: Public versus publicized
- Mueller, J.H. (2004). Research ethics: A tool for harassment in the academic workplace. In Westhues, K. (ed.), Workplace Mobbing in Academe: Reports from 20 Universities. Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press, 290-313. (Read from the beginning of the chapter through the "Post-mortem" section.) http://johnmueller.org/Westhues-Chapter.pdf.
- Post, R. (2006). The structure of academic freedom. In Doumani, B. (ed.), Academic Freedom after September 11. New York: Zone Books, 61-106. (Read pages 61-73 and 82-88.) [Copy in Sakai resources]
- Strauss, J.S. (2004). Dangerous thoughts? Academic freedom, free speech, and censorship revisited in a post-September 11th America. Washington University Journal of Law & Policy, 15, 343-367. (Skim; this will be the basis of a scenario used for discussion in class.) [Open access]
- Optional: Buschman, J. (2009). Who defends intellectual freedom for librarians? Academe, 95(5). http://aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2009/SO/Feat/busc.htm.
Session 25: November 22, Meghan, Professional ethics and the library paraprofessional
- Newton, L. (1998). The origin of professionalism: Sociological conclusions and ethical implications. In Stichler, R.N. & Hauptman, R. (Eds.) Ethics, Information, and Technology: Readings. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 261-272. [Sakai resources]
- Froehlich, Thomas J. (1998). Ethical considerations regarding library nonprofessionals: Competing perspectives and values. Library Trends, 46(3), 444-466. [UNC libraries]
- Kutzik, J. (2005). Are you the librarian? American Libraries, 36(3), 32-34. [UNC libraries]
- McKinzie, S. (2002). For ethical reference, pare the paraprofessionals. American Libraries, 33(9), 42-43. [UNC libraries]
- Review the scenario to be discussed: Personnel Reorganization at the Reynolda Public Library [Sakai resources]
November 24: No Class; Thanksgiving Break
Session 26: November 29, Heather, Online harassment
- BEFORE doing any of the readings, please take the survey; complete it at least 2-3 days before the class session, so that Heather can compile the results and present them in class. The survey is completely anonymous and Heather will not store or use the data after the class is over. You may opt out if you don't feel comfortable taking it.
- Tavani H., & Grodzinsky, F. (2002). Cyberstalking, personal privacy, and moral responsibility. Ethics and Information Technology, 4(2), 123–132. [UNC libraries]
- Barak, A. (2005). Sexual harassment on the Internet. Social Science Computer Review, 23(1), 77-92. [UNC libraries]
- Biber, J., Doverspike, D., Baznik, D., Cober, A., & Ritter, B. (2002). Sexual harassment in online communications: Effects of gender and discourse medium. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 5(1), 33-38. (Skim, for background on the survey you took.) [UNC libraries]
Session 27: December 1, Sean, How social networks have affected human identity and interaction
- Vitak, J.M. (2008). Facebook "friends": How online identities impact offline relationships. M.A. thesis, Georgetown University. (Read only the abstract, a portion of Chapter 2: Analytical framework: Introduction and Identity research (p7-14), and a portion of Chapter 5, Conclusion: Thinking bigger (p103-106). http://michiganstate.academia.edu/vitak/Papers/390880/Facebook_Friends_How_Online_Identities_Impact_Offline_Relationships. [Sakai Resources]
- Drysdale, N. (2010). Social networking and personal identity: A new source for neurosis. Essays in Philosophy & Pop Culture. http://categorymistake.com/philosophyandpopculture/node/35.
- Marchionini, G. (2010). Information Concepts: From Books to Cyberspace Identities. Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services #16. Morgan & Claypool. (Read sections 6.3, Personal and public identities (p63-67), and 6.4, Projections, reflections, and proflections of identity (p67-75).) [Sakai resources]
- Mendoza, M., Poblete, B., & Castillo, C. (2010). Twitter under crisis: Can we trust what we RT? Proceedings of the First Workshop on Social Media Analytics, 71-79. [UNC libraries]
- Disanto, T. (2011). How is social media impacting human interaction? Social Media Modus. http://www.socialmediamodus.com/social-media/how-is-social-media-impacting-human-relationships.
- Optional: Rettberg, J.W. (2009). 'Freshly generated for you, and Barack Obama': How social media represent your life. European Journal of Communication, 24(4), 451-466. [UNC libraries]
Session 28: December 6, Course wrap-up/review (Arson case reprise); Carolina Course Evaluation
- Introna, L.D. (2007). Maintaining the reversibility of foldings: Making the ethics (politics) of information technology visible. Ethics and Information Technology, 9(1), 11-25. [UNC libraries]
- Optional: Buchanan, E. (2008). On theory, practice, and responsibilities: A conversation with Robert Hauptman. Library & Information Science Research, 30(4), 250-256. [UNC libraries]
December 15, 8am: Major paper due (literature review, review of court cases, book review)
Syllabus / Schedule / Assignments / Sakai site
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This page was last modified on November 29, 2011, by Barbara M. Wildemuth.