Learning analytics and the academic library: Professional ethics commitments at a crossroads

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APA Citation

Jones, K. M. L., & Salo, D. (forthcoming – 2018). Learning analytics and the academic library: Professional ethics commitments at a crossroads. College & Research Libraries. Available as a preprint at http://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/16603/18049


In this paper, the authors address learning analytics and the ways academic libraries are beginning to participate in wider institutional learning analytics initiatives. Since there are moral issues associated with learning analytics, the authors consider how data mining practices run counter to ethical principles in the American Library Association’s “Code of Ethics.” Specifically, the authors address how learning analytics implicates professional commitments to promote intellectual freedom; protect patron privacy and confidentiality; and balance intellectual property interests between library users, their institution, and content creators and vendors. The authors recommend that librarians should embed their ethical positions in technological designs, practices, and governance mechanisms.

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Grey Literature Citations

Fisher, Z. (2017, July 21). Can we demonstrate academic library value without violating student privacy? [Google Slides]. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1maJmk4a-LO13oCe-tk0bEzeOF299oKEMhtE5tvGG0oM/edit?usp=sharing

Hodnicki, J. (2017, May 11). Learning analytics implicates ALA’s Code of Ethics [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://llb2.com/2017/05/11/learning-analytics-implicates-alas-code-of-ethics/

Katsura, K. (2017, April 29). Information literacy RSS alert (3): “Privacy and academic libraries right now” (Maura Smale) [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://keisok.sakura.ne.jp/ilrss3.htm

Smale, M. (2017, April 28). Privacy and academic libraries right now [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://acrlog.org/2017/04/28/privacy-and-academic-libraries-right-now/

Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). (2017, April 21). Privacy news & views – April 15-21 [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://chooseprivacyweek.org/privacy-news-views-april-15-21/

Price, G. (2017, April 13). New preprint: “Learning analytics and the academic library: Professional ethics at a crossroads” [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.infodocket.com/2017/04/13/new-preprint-learning-analytics-and-the-academic-library-professional-ethics-commitments-at-a-crossroads/