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    Beyond codes of ethics: how library and information professionals navigate ethical dilemmas in a complex and dynamic information environment

    Ferguson, Stuart and Thornley, Clare and Gibb, Forbes (2016) Beyond codes of ethics: how library and information professionals navigate ethical dilemmas in a complex and dynamic information environment. International Journal of Information Management, 36 (4). pp. 543-556.

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    This paper reports on a research project that investigated how library and information (LIS) professionals experience ethical dilemmas, with particular reference to the impact of new technologies, sources used to assist ethical decision-making, and the contribution case studies can make to ethical understanding and decision-making. Data was collected through interviews in Britain, Ireland and Australia with LIS professionals, educators, and representatives of professional bodies. The findings identify the main types of dilemma raised and discuss cases indicative of each type. They suggest that new technologies do not appear to change ethical principles but, when experienced in the workplace, substantially change the factors the professional has to evaluate. They also suggest that relevant codes of ethics are satisfactory on traditional library issues of access and confidentiality, but do not address the ethical challenges of current and potential digital environments. Professional associations appear more familiar with codes of ethics than practitioners although practitioners show high levels of ethical awareness, suggesting associations need to communicate more with their members and provide tools that are more useful in the workplace. Case studies are seen as a good way to educate and engage practitioners because of the complexity, conflicts and dynamism they can present.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the preprint version of the published article, which is avaialble at DOI: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2016.02.012
    Keywords: Information ethics; Library ethics; Codes of ethics; ICT; Digital transition; Case studies;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Innovation Value Institute, IVI
    Item ID: 7076
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Clare Thornley
    Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2016 15:10
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Information Management
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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