ALISE 2022: Call for Proposals for Information Policy SIG Panel

​​Overview

In January of 2021, Aaron Ansuini, a student at Concordia University (Canada) posted the following tweet: 

“HI EXCUSE ME, I just found out the the prof for this online course I’m taking *died in 2019* and he’s technically still giving classes since he’s *literally my prof for this course* and I’m learning from lectures recorded before his passing

……….it’s a great class but WHAT”

The instructor, François-Marc Gagnon passed away in 2019 at age 83. The disclosure that Gagnon had died—but was still teaching from the grave—went viral on social media and was picked up by Slate, Reuters, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other outlets. About the situation, Ansuini later said in an interview, “It was very strange, I thought maybe it was a mistake at first.” But it was no mistake. Concordia hired a visiting professor, Marco Deyasi, to effectively administer Gagnon’s course with limited student interaction. Deyasi only found out about Gagnon’s death after Ansuini’s tweet went viral. As reported in The Chronicle, Deyasi was, understandably, surprised: “I saw that thing from the student, and I was like, ‘Really? Oh, damn.’ You know? I just thought Professor Gagnon retired.” Tamara Kneese, writing for Slate, homed in on the key issues at stake: “This case may be particularly egregious, but it intersects with larger questions about copyright and control over faculty members’ online course materials and the various ways faculty labor within higher education is degraded and devalued,” all of which have become sharper and more important given the en masse move to online education during COVID-19

Focus

There are norms, ethics, and policies at stake concerning the creation, use, and distribution of online course designs and learning objects (e.g., quizzes, lectures). A central issue is that online courses are often embedded in institutionally managed learning management systems (LMS), such as Canvas and Blackboard, and other educational technologies. All of the digital artifacts, then, are able to be duplicated, remixed, shared and reused – with or without the original instructor’s knowledge or express permission. While it is the case that face-to-face courses can and do use elements of an LMS or are supported by some educational technology, their designs are not nearly as dependent on technology as online courses are; in addition many online instructors are paid stipends to develop new online courses, thus complicating the notion of ownership. The result is that online instructors are much more susceptible to having their intellectual labor and property exploited by their institutions to serve administrative and financial interests. 

Institutional policy is often written to allow for this wide-ranging reuse of online course content without meaningful instructor consent or consultation. For instance, Indiana University claims that it may use “Online Instructional Materials” for “administrative purposes” or “other functions”; further, it forces instructors who leave the university to grant “a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, unlimited license to use the Online Instructional Materials for Online Instruction, including the right to revise such Online Instructional Materials.” Administrations have and continue to turn to online education as a way to alleviate financial pain points, regarding both low enrollment and tenured/tenure-track faculty costs. Claiming ownership of online materials further enables administrators to take advantage of—and literally profit from—the difficult labor of putting together quality online courses.

The American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) Statement on Online and Distance Education states that:

The institution should establish policies and procedures to protect its educational objectives and the interests of both those who cre­ate new material and those who adapt material from traditional courses for use in dis­tance education. The administration should publish these policies and procedures and distribute them, along with requisite information about copyright law, to all concerned persons [….] Provision should also be made for the original teacher­[/]creator, the teacher­[/]adapter, or an appropriate faculty body to exercise control over the future use and distribution of record­ed instructional material and to determine whether the material should be revised or with­drawn from use [emphasis added].

Sponsored by the Information Policy special interest group (SIG), this proposal is for a traditional speaker panel format to address the intersection of policy and ethics regarding online instructors’ intellectual property, with special emphasis on AAUP’s point that online instructors should be able to control their use of their course designs and artifacts. The panelists will address relevant case studies, institutional policies, lived experiences, and strategies for protecting one’s intellectual property and advocating on behalf of their colleagues—especially those who are professionally at risk (e.g., teaching assistants, graduate student instructors, adjunct instructors, pre-tenure professors). The panelists will be selected on the basis of their knowledge of and/or experience with the issues addressed in this call for proposals.

Call for Proposals

The SIG seeks abstracts from potential panelists that address the focus area above. Abstracts should contain the following information:

  1. A title.
  2. A brief panelist biography including: name; email; most recent position/title, department/program affiliation, and institutional affiliation; and, a one sentence description of core research interests.
  3. The proposal narrative that extends no more than 500 words, excluding any references if they are provided.

The abstracts should be attached to an email in PDF format and sent to Dr. Margaret Zimmerman, the SIG convener, at Margaret.Zimmerman@cci.fsu.edu.

Important Notes

The Information Policy SIG aims to expand the diversity and breadth of its membership and participation in SIG activities. To that end, the SIG highly encourages potential panelists whose research and scholarship, demographic background, and/or professional status does not situate them in traditionally privileged positions or that are not widely reflected in scholarly conversations. More specifically, but not exclusively, the SIG welcomes participation by doctoral students, new or potential members of ALISE, and individuals who are situated outside of the United States. The SIG convener and selected SIG members are willing to work with panelists who identify as scholars at risk in order to explore alternative presentation strategies.

Finally, the Information Policy SIG recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is still active and affecting the work and livelihood of many of ALISE’s members and non-member allies. It understands that while the 2022 ALISE annual conference is slated to be on site in Pittsburgh, PA (USA), there is still a chance that:

  1. The conference format will be moved to a hybrid or fully online mode,
  2. and some ALISE members and non-members may not be able to physically attend due to institutional and national travel restrictions.

The SIG intends to conduct the panel physically in Pittsburgh, but is ready and able to transition to an online environment if circumstances dictate such a change. The SIG is willing to accommodate panelists who are unable to participate on site by providing a synchronous, online presentation method (e.g., Zoom).

ALISE 2022: Call for Proposals for Information Ethics SIG Panel

​​Overview

On June 29, 2021 the American Library Association (ALA) Council officially approved a ninth principle to be added to the ALA Code of Ethics. The principle reads, “We affirm the inherent dignity and rights of every person. We work to recognize and dismantle systemic and individual biases; to confront inequity and oppression; to enhance diversity and inclusion; and to advance racial and social justice in our libraries, communities, profession, and associations through awareness, advocacy, education, collaboration, services, and allocation of resources and spaces.” This principle is in keeping with the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Ethical Guidelines for Library and Information Science Educators: “As LIS educators, we respect and uphold academic freedom and protect the freedom to learn and to teach. We resist censorship and actively promote access to diverse points of view.” In both instances the primary thrust is equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization, and justice.

Focus

Sponsored by the Information Ethics special interest group (SIG), this proposal is for a traditional speaker panel format to address the ALA Code of Ethics, with special attention to the ninth principle. The panelists will address the core meaning of the principle to determine what it portends for education for library and information professionals. The principle is designed to guide action though praxis. The panelists will examine the degree to which that objective is met by the principle. The panelists will be selected on the basis of their knowledge and experiences related to the content and intention of the ninth principle (along with the ALISE guideline).

The panelists will examine a set of questions related to the principle: How praxis can address systemic inequity and oppression; how diversity and inclusion manifests itself in praxis; how the advancement of racial and social justice through education can be introduced in the workplace; and how the insertion of these goals can be made into the institutions in which graduates work. The matter of the pressures in which educators work related to racial and social justice work will also be brought up. Throughout the investigation of these matters, the overarching concern of the panelists will be the insertion of the matters into the educational milieu. The panelists will bring to the fore their extensive knowledge and experience in their examination. They will not only provide analyses of the elements of the ninth principle, but will raise questions about the implementation of the principle into the education of professionals. 

The panelists will guide the audience in a discussion of the meaning of the ninth principle, but will also have the opportunity to compare it with the ALISE guideline and to offer suggestions regarding the implementation of the tenets of the principle into education (including which kinds of curricular elements are best suited to the insertion of the ALA Code of Ethics into instruction and discussion).

Call for Proposals

The SIG seeks abstracts from potential panelists that address the focus area above. Abstracts should contain the following information:

  1. A title.
  2. A brief panelist biography including: name; email; most recent position/title, department/program affiliation, and institutional affiliation; and, a one sentence description of core research interests.
  3. The proposal narrative that extends no more than 500 words, excluding any references if they are provided.

The abstracts should be attached to an email in PDF format and sent to Professor Toni Samek, the SIG convener, at toni.samek@ualberta.ca or asamek@ualberta.ca.

Important Notes

The Information Ethics SIG aims to expand the diversity and breadth of its membership and participation in SIG activities. To that end, the SIG highly encourages potential panelists whose research and scholarship, demographic background, and/or professional status does not situate them in traditionally privileged positions or that are not widely reflected in scholarly conversations. More specifically, but not exclusively, the SIG welcomes participation by doctoral students, new or potential members of ALISE, and individuals who are situated outside of the United States. The SIG convener and selected SIG members are willing to work with panelists who identify as scholars at risk in order to explore alternative presentation strategies.

Finally, the Information Ethics SIG recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is still active and affecting the work and livelihood of many of ALISE’s members and non-member allies. It understands that while the 2022 ALISE annual conference is slated to be on site in Pittsburgh, PA (USA), there is still a chance that:

  1. The conference format will be moved to a hybrid or fully online mode,
  2. and some ALISE members and non-members who may not be able to physically attend due to institutional and national travel restrictions.

The SIG intends to conduct the panel physically in Pittsburgh, but is ready and able to transition to an online environment if circumstances dictate such a change. The SIG is willing to accommodate panelists who are unable to participate on site by providing a synchronous, online presentation method (e.g., Zoom).

Informal Lunch with the PIE SIGs Meeting this Friday

This Friday, December 3rd at 2pm ET, is the next monthly meeting of the ALISE Information policy and Information Ethics (PIE) SIGs to have a collegial discussion about issues related to information policy and ethics. We invite anyone from the field to join us, regardless of your membership of our SIGs or ALISE! This time we have one reading that has been suggested, “Electronic Monitoring and Surveillance in the Workplace” by Kirstie Ball, University of St Andrews. 

If you would like to be part of this informal, collegial discussion group, please email mzimmerman@fsu.edu for the zoom link and the article. We hope to see a lot of you there!

Information Policy SIG Brings Together LIS Educators to Share Artifacts, Successes

This year the Information Policy SIG assembled five panelists to come together and discuss pedagogical practices related to information policy. Kyle Jones, Jenna Kammer, Emil Lawrence, John Burgess, and Philip Doty all took turns describing examples of actual learning experiences exploring information policy within their classrooms. They then described how these instructional methods were in agreement with their overall pedagogical missions and what the student’s responses were to them. Each presentation was on completely disparate areas of policy but incredibly engaging, and approximately a dozen people watched live and had a stimulating conversation at the end. We expect many more to watch the recorded version, also. Overall, the panel was not only engaging and fun, but gave specific tools to the audience to implement in their own classrooms. 

Invitation to Lunch with PIE, an Informal Get Together

Beginning next Friday, October 1st, at 2pm EST, the Information policy and Information Ethics SIGs will be meeting monthly to hold a research and teaching discussion group. On every first Friday afternoon, we will have a pre-determined topic to discuss followed by a period for open conversation. It is our intention to do this in order to hold onto the energy that builds from the annual conference and carry it into the rest of the academic year.

Next Friday our topic will be on how LIS faculty is addressing the pandemic in the classroom, as an issue that may affect information policy and bring to light ethical considerations- not as the pandemic has influenced course delivery. We invite all members of the field to attend, regardless of your membership of our SIGs or ALISE.

If you would like to be part of this informal, collegial discussion group, please contact us for the zoom link. We hope to see a lot of you there!

Today! The Information Ethics SIG Presents a Panel at ALISE Annual

Dear ALISE PIE community,

Today, Wednesday, September 22nd from 3:15 to 4:45 EST the Information Ethics SIG will present a participatory session on “(Re)envisioning an Information Ethics/Policy Course for the Future.”

From the abstract:

This session of the ALISE Information Ethics SIG will serve as a focal point for conversations about ethics education for resilience, with a special emphasis on collaboratively developing competency-driven goals, learning objectives, and measurable outcomes. Resilience is a cross and interdisciplinary idea, residing in psychological, educational, sociological, ecological, and economic circles. The more of these perspectives are represented in a live course planning session, the greater the potential is to create well-rounded, research-grounded, teaching modules for the information ethics curriculum that can lead to sustained efforts.

You can view more about the session at the virtual conference website.

Today! The Information Policy SIG Presents a Panel at ALISE Annual

Dear ALISE PIE community,

Today, Tuesday, September 21st from 1:00 to 2:30 EST the Information Policy SIG will deliver a panel presentation titled, “Pedagogical Practices for Information Policy Instruction.”

From the abstract:

The panelists to come together and discuss pedagogical practices related to information policy. We understand that a strong grasp of information policy is crucial to shaping the next generation of LIS leaders, and this panel will be geared toward the design and application of meaningful curricula toward that end. Specifically, our call for papers will request panelists prepared to discuss their experiences as professors or other teaching faculty in which they describe a singular learning experience, assessment, or object that they used in their class. The ultimate goal of this dynamic, interactive panel is for the attendees to be able to walk away with fresh ideas for implementing new, vetted information policy pedagogical elements in their courses.

You can view more about the session at the virtual conference website.

2021 ALISE Annual Business Meeting

Dear members and prospective members of the Information Policy and Information Ethics Special Interest Groups:

We invite you to attend their combined business meeting on Tuesday, September 14th at 10:00 EST. Current and new SIG members are all welcome. Here is the Zoom information for the business meeting:  

Join Zoom Meeting
https://fsu.zoom.us/j/92598222491?pwd=RkVPRFVXajg2aU92S2JsS2lpTndrUT09

Meeting ID: 925 9822 2491
Passcode: 2250

In addition, on Tuesday, September 21st from 1:00 to 2:30 EST the Information Policy SIG will deliver a panel presentation titled, “Pedagogical Practices for Information Policy Instruction.” On Wednesday, September 22nd from 3:15 to 4:45 EST the Information Ethics SIG will present “(Re)envisioning an Information Ethics/Policy Course for the Future.” We hope that you will join us for either or both of these engaging sessions. 

Sincerely, 

Margaret Zimmerman, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
School of Information
Florida State University

and

Kyle Jones, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Informatics and Computing
Indiana University-Indianapolis (IUPUI)

The Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy (JIFP) is Seeking Guest Editors

The Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy (JIFP) seeks individuals interested in serving as a guest editor of an upcoming 2021 or 2022 issue. Guest editors oversee the selection of manuscripts and development of an issue focused on a particular topic. We interpret intellectual freedom and privacy broadly; examples of possible topics include:

  • Ethical issues in information organizations, archives, etc.
  • Privacy implications of big data analytics and research 
  • International interpretations of intellectual freedom 
  • How information policy and intellectual freedom intersect 
  • Social media and freedom of expression 
  • Innovative approaches to advocating for intellectual freedom and privacy 

If you have a topic idea, please feel free to discuss it with the editor, Shannon Oltmann. Peer-reviewed articles include literature reviews, theoretical or critical analyses, or empirical research articles and are typically 4000-8000 words long. 

As guest editor, your responsibilities include: 

  • Crafting a call for papers on a focused topic
  • Distributing the call and generating interest 
  • Assisting in recruiting peer reviewers
  • Assisting in editorial decisions 

This is a great role for someone who wants to learn more about academic journals, publishing, and peer reviewing. It is a good opportunity for service to the profession. Length of time commitment will vary (based on time needed to recruit and review sufficient papers). We encourage international participation from both junior and senior scholars. Interested parties should contact the editor at shannon.oltmann@uky.edu and/or submit a topic proposal of 500-1000 words by April 30, 2021.

A Review of ALISE Annual Activities and a Call for Volunteers

Due to the unusual circumstances of this year, the 2020 ALISE Annual Conference was held in a virtual format. This variation meant that the meeting, usually an annual touchstone to reconnect with colleagues from around the country, explored divergent mechanisms to recreate the same camaraderie and productivity we’ve come to expect from years past. We are happy to say, of course without any bias, that the information ethics and the information policy SIGs pulled both elements off with excellence. We can happily report two outstanding panel presentations—one live and one pre-recorded with speakers on hand for Q&A—and an exceptionally fruitful business meeting. 

To Merge or Not to Merge?

First, at the business meeting, held jointly this year as it was in 2019, the main item on the table was the decision to merge the SIGs into one. The benefits and pitfalls of this decision were presented to the membership. The primary benefit would be an official recognition of the excellent working relationship that the two SIGs have created over the past years within the frequent overlap of their interest areas. The SIGs share many common members and often explore similar veins of inquiry. The merger into a new, bigger, possibly stronger PIE (policy and information ethics) SIG seemed like a good fit and likely the way that the members were going to vote. 

However, if the SIGs had merged, they determined that they may, in fact, be limiting their reach. ALISE typically allows one business meeting and one presentation slot for each SIG at the annual conference. Merging into one SIG may have seemed beneficial to member relations, but would have had the problematic side-effect of decreasing our space on the schedule. To address this, a third option was presented: to operate as two separate SIGs, but to continue our productive working relationship. After voting, this was the unanimous decision. We will still (technically) be distinct groups on paper, but operate as PIE in practice.

Seeking Volunteers

The business meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss leadership opportunities and volunteer needs. Margaret Zimmerman was elected as the Information Policy SIG Convener and Kyle Jones was re-elected as the Information Ethics SIG Convener. The membership thanks Jenna Kammer and Nicole Alemanne for their service as co-conveners for the Information Policy SIG from 2018-2020. The membership also thanks Awa Zhu, John Burgess, and Margaret Zimmerman for volunteering their time in 2019 to plan for the annual conference and develop this new website other information infrastructures in support of the ALISE PIE efforts.

The membership in attendance decided on a new leadership framework going forward for the foreseeable future. Annual conveners will now be paired with co-conveners to learn about PIE efforts and development. Co-conveners will then take over for the convener following ALISE Annual.

In addition to the need for co-conveners, the membership has a need to fill the following volunteer posts:

  • Communications: Support the ongoing development of the website alongside the convener leadership team and establish stronger connections with existing members and potential members via social media (Twitter).
  • Outreach: Develop webinars and other activities to support the membership’s teaching and research of information policy and ethics.
  • Conference planning: Develop and facilitate ALISE Annual SIG panels.
  • Resource library: Build a Zotero-based library of resources and documentation to archive PIE activities and support the PIE membership (e.g., relevant books and articles, conference proceedings pre-prints, business meeting notes)

Members of all types—doctoral students to senior faculty, adjuncts and lecturers, anyone!—are welcome and encouraged to volunteer. We would especially welcome doctoral students and junior faculty to consider volunteering.

Conference Presentations

As mentioned above, the SIGs also hosted presentations related to each of our themes. The Information Policy SIG presented a panel focusing on the intersection of information ethics and policy. The purpose of this session was to present actual strategies and resources for addressing ethics and policy in LIS courses, and to engage the audience in discussions about the implications of ethics and policy in LIS instruction and research. The presentations in our panel provided diverse perspectives on the nature of information policy and ethics, and the relationship between them- highlighting the role of ethics in policy and including real-world examples highly relevant to LIS education.

Lucy Santos Green and Melissa P. Johnston spoke about the ethical issues in academic publishing and how to educate new scholars about common pitfalls such as editorial misconduct. A.J. MIllion and Johanna Bleckman considered the possibility of a crisis in science surrounding issues of research study replication with movement toward increased data sharing being a possible solution- touching upon the impact on librarians. Leslie Farmer explored the process and ethics encountered by information professionals taking on fake news, including how to educate consumers. Michele Villagran and Suliman Hawamdeh presented their findings from a content analysis using Latent Dirichlet Allocation and data analytics of library science publications to provide a better understanding of information ethics in application to LIS and how these ethics are viewed through a multicultural lens. Finally, Dian Walster discussed using student created scenarios in her classroom to teach information policy and professional ethics. 

Two days later, the Information Ethics SIG hosted a panel conversation entitled “Where do we Stand? Working Toward an ALISE Position Statement on Learning Analytics in Higher Education.” John Burgess and Kyle Jones were joined by Toni Samek and Michelle Kazmer. Kyle began the panel with a talk on “Learning Analytics: Foundational Statements and Privacy Issues” to set the groundwork about learning analytics. John progressed the panel forward with his talk “Situating Ethical Principles in the Discussion of Learning Analytics” to raise particularized ethical approaches and issues. Michelle followed with a focused on “An institutional perspective on learning analytics,” which drew from her administrative experiences. And Toni ended the panel with “Connecting the Why and the How in a Plan for Action,” a presentation about possible pathways forward for addressing learning analytics in LIS education. The panel was followed by a structured group activity with attendees.

***This post was written by Margaret Zimmerman with some support from Kyle Jones.