JASIST Paper on Information Fiduciaries and Learning Analytics Gets Honorable Mention

Congratulations to my co-authors, Alan Rubel and Ellen LeClere, for an honorable mention for our forthcoming paper in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.


The Association for Information Science and Technology’s (ASIS&T) Special Interest Group for Social Informatics (SIG SI) just announced its annual winners. Our paper, “A matter of trust: Higher education institutions as information fiduciaries in an age of educational data mining and learning analytics,” received one of the two honorable mentions. The paper’s abstract follows:

Higher education institutions are mining and analyzing student data to effect educational, political, and managerial outcomes. Done under the banner of “learning analytics,” this work can—and often does—surface sensitive data and information about, inter alia, a student’s demographics, academic performance, offline and online movements, physical fitness, mental wellbeing, and social network. With these data, institutions and third parties are able to describe student life, predict future behaviors, and intervene to address academic or other barriers to student success (however defined). Learning analytics, consequently, raise serious issues concerning student privacy, autonomy, and the appropriate flow of student data. We argue that issues around privacy lead to valid questions about the degree to which students should trust their institution to use learning analytics data and other artifacts (algorithms, predictive scores) with their interests in mind. We argue that higher education institutions are paradigms of information fiduciaries. As such, colleges and universities have a special responsibility to their students. In this article, we use the information fiduciary concept to analyze cases when learning analytics violate an institution’s responsibility to its students.

The paper can be accessed at the journal’s website (paywall). A preprint is also available at my SSRN account and in my OSF repository.

A hearty congratulations to the other group of authors who received an honorable mention:

Carter Østerlund and Kevin Crowston (both of Syracuse University), for their paper “Documentation and access to knowledge in online communities: Know your audience and write appropriately?”, published during 2019 in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, volume 70 issue 6, pp. 619-633. doi.org/10.1002/asi.24152

And of course, virtual applause for the wining paper:

Irene V. Pasquetto (Harvard University), Christine L. Borgman (University of California Los Angeles), and Morgan F. Wofford (University of California Los Angeles / University of Michigan), for their paper “Uses and reuses of scientific data: The data creators’ advantage,” published during 2019 in Harvard Data Science Review, volume 1 issue 2. http://doi.org/10.1162/99608f92.fc14bf2d

Thank you to the following reviewers who gave their time to read the submitted papers: Catherine Dumas, Melissa Bica, Kristin Eschenfelder, Pnina Fichman, Noriko Hara, Caroline Haythornthwaite, Kolina Koltai, Eric Meyer, Colin Rhinesmith, Ana Roeschley, Howard Rosenbaum, Kalpana Shankar, Sarika Sharma, and Rachel Simons.

Kyle M. L. Jones

Dr. Kyle M. L. Jones is an assistant professor in the Department of Library and Information Science within the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). Get in touch with Dr. Jones here.