2019 (Fall) Policy and Ethics in Digital Curation

Policy and Ethics in Digital Curation

Course Overview: Digital curation policy and ethics issues are now often front page news. As digital platforms become more and more central to our lives issues around what data is collected, how it is managed and secured, who can and can’t access it, and how it is used become increasingly critical. In this context, data managers, archivists, librarians, and others involved in data curation need to have a firm grasp of ethical, policy, and legal issues in digital curation. Bridging law, social science, computer science, library and information science, archival theory, and professional practice, this course provides an overview of policy and ethics issues in digital curation. The course also provides an opportunity to refine and develop skills for articulating thoughtful and nuanced contributions to research and analysis in these areas. In particular, the course focuses on copyright and intellectual property, privacy and surveillance, security and trust, accessibility, and labor and sustainability. In each of these areas, the course provides an opportunity to reflect and refine our understanding of the connections between the espoused professional values of librarianship and archival practice and ethical issues anchored in, neoliberalism, colonialism, and patriarchy. 

Catalog Description: Discussion of strategies to address intellectual property, privacy, security and other policy concerns raised by the curation of digital records and data. 

 Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course students will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of major information policy issues in the curation of digital records and data. 
  2. Describe why intellectual property, privacy, security, and access requirements exist, including how expectations and policies differ between cultures and contexts. 
  3. Evaluate policy opportunities and risks for curating digital records and data in professional and institutional settings. 
  4. Propose policy and technical approaches to digital curation challenges in areas such as intellectual property, privacy, security, and access. 
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the technical and human resource dimensions of implementing and enforcing policy requirements for digital curation.

Day/Time: Online Location: Online, 8/26-12/6 – Course & Section: INST641 – ML01

1 Foundations for Ethics and Policy 

  • 8/26: Getting started & class introductions
    • Assignment: by 8/28 sign up for weeks to co-lead discussion
  • 9/2:  Exploring Policy and Ethics in Digital Curation 
  • 9/9: Applying Ethical Thinking in Digital Curation 
  • 9/16: Levels and Layers in the Conceptualizing Digital Policy

2 Intellectual Property 

  • 9/23: Understanding Copyright 
    • Assignment Due: Paper Proposal
  • 9/30: Intellectual Property Strategies for Libraries and Archives
  • 10/7: Working to Decolonize Intellectual Property

3 Privacy and Surveillance 

  • 10/14: Privacy Fundamentals
  • 10/2: Developments in Privacy and Security
    • Assignment Due: annotated bibliography:  
  • 10/28: Modes of Surveillance 

4 Accessibility 

  • 11/4: Accessibility & Universal Design
  • 11/11 Ability, Disability and Empathy
    • Assignment Due full paper outline
  • 11/18: Power and Control in Metadata, Search & Discovery 

5 Work, Labor and the Environment

  • 11/25: Click workers, emotional labor, and precarity in information professions
  • 12/2:  Digital Curation, eWaste and Climate Change 
    • Assignment Due: Full paper