Learning Analytics and the Academic Library: Professional Ethics Commitments at a Crossroads

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APA Citation

Jones, K. M. L., & Salo, D. (2018). Learning analytics and the academic library: Professional ethics commitments at a crossroads. College & Research Libraries, 79(3), 304–323. doi: 10.5860/crl.79.3.304


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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Scholarly Citations

Lang, C., Macfadyen, L. P., Slade, S., Prinsloo, P., & Sclater, N. (2018). The complexities of developing a personal code of ethics for learning analytics practitioners: Implications for institutions and the field. Proceeding from LAK ’18: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (pp. 436–440). doi: 10.1145/3170358.3170396

Sant-Geronikolou, S. (2017). Challenges affecting in-library use data integration in learning analytics initiatives: The Greek and Spanish university community perspective. e-LIS Repository: e-prints in library and information science. Preprint retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10760/31959

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