Academic Library Learning Analytics: Ethics and Privacy

This reading list focuses on academic articles (i.e., peer reviewed) that address ethical issues associated with academic library participation in learning analytics, including but not limited to information privacy concerns.

Focus: Academic

Related Projects:

Status: Active


  • Learning Analytics
  • Academic Librarianship
  • Professional Ethics
  • Information Ethics
  • Information Privacy

Asher, A. (2017). Risk, benefits, and user privacy: Evaluating the ethics of library data. In B. Newman & B. Tijerina (Eds.), Protecting Patron Privacy: A LITA Guide (LITA Guides) (pp. 43–56). Rowman & Littlefield.
Asher, A., Briney, K., Gardner, G. J., Hinchliffe, L. J., Nowviskie, B., Salo, D., & Shorish, Y. (2018). Ethics in research use of library patron data: Glossary and explainer. Digital Library Federation, 1–19.
Briney, K. A. (2019). Data management practices in academic library learning analytics: a critical review. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 7(1), 1–39.
Hartman-Caverly, S. (2019). Human nature is not a machine: On liberty, attention engineering, and learning analytics. Library Trends, 68(1), 24–53.
Hoel, T., Chen, W., & Gregersen, A.-B. (2018). Are Norwegian academic librarians ready to share usage data for learning analytics? Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education, 10(1), 4–17.
Jones, K. M. L. (Ed.). (2019). Learning analytics and the academic library: Critical questions about real and possible futures. Library Trends, 68(1), 1–4.
Jones, K. M. L. (2019). “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”: Practitioner perceptions of learning analytics ethics. Portal: Libraries & the Academy, 19(3), 407–428.
Jones, K. M. L., & LeClere, E. (2018). Contextual expectations and emerging informational harms: A primer on academic library participation in learning analytics initiatives. In P. Fernandez & K. Tilton (Eds.), Applying library values to emerging technology: Decision-making in the age of open access, maker spaces, and the ever-changing library (pp. 357–371). Association of College and Research Libraries.
Jones, K. M. L., & Salo, D. (2018). Learning analytics and the academic library: Professional ethics commitments at a crossroads. College & Research Libraries, 79(2), 304–323.
Jones, K. M. L., Briney, K. A., Goben, A., Salo, D., Asher, A., & Perry, M. R. (2020). A comprehensive primer to library learning analytics practices, initiatives, and privacy issues. College & Research Libraries, 81(3), 570–591.
Mannheimer, S., Young, S. W. H., Clark, J. A., & Hinchliffe, L. J. (2019). A roadmap for achieving privacy in the age of analytics: A white paper from a national forum on web privacy and web analytics. 1–14.
Mayer, J., & Dineen, R. (2019). Debating student privacy in library research projects. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association of College and Research Libraries, 183–189.
Nicholson, K. P., Pagowsky, N., & Seale, M. (2019). Just-in-time or just-in-case? Time, learning analytics, and the academic library. Library Trends, 68(1), 54–75.
Oakleaf, M. (2018). The problems and promise of learning analytics for increasing and demonstrating library value and impact. Information and Learning Sciences, 119(1/2), 16–24.
Oliphant, T., & Brundin, M. R. (2019). Conflicting values: An exploration of the tensions between learning analytics and academic librarianship. Library Trends, 68(1), 5–23.
Perry, M. R., Briney, K. A., Goben, A., Asher, A., Jones, K. M. L., Robertshaw, M. B., & Salo, D. (2018). Learning analytics, SPEC Kit 360. Association for Research Libraries.
Robertshaw, M. B., & Asher, A. (2019). Unethical numbers? A meta-analysis of library learning analytics studies. Library Trends, 68(1), 76–101.

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