The purpose of this paper is to present a novel mnemonic, ACTIVE, inspired by Mason's 1985 PAPA mnemonic, which will help researchers and IT professionals develop an…
The purpose of this paper is to present a novel mnemonic, ACTIVE, inspired by Mason's 1985 PAPA mnemonic, which will help researchers and IT professionals develop an understanding of the major issues in information ethics.
Theoretical foundations are developed for each element of the mnemonic by reference to philosophical definitions of the terms used and to virtue ethics, particularly MacIntyrean virtue ethics. The paper starts with a critique of the elements of the PAPA mnemonic and then proceeds to develop an understanding of each of the elements of ACTIVE ethics, via a discussion of the underpinning virtue ethics.
This paper identifies six issues, described by the mnemonic, ACTIVE. ACTIVE stands for: autonomy, the ability of the individual to manage their own information and make choice; community, the ethical effect of an information systems on the community which it supports; transparency, the extent to which the derivation of content and process in an information system is made clear; identity, the social and ethical effect of an information system on the definition and maintenance of the distinctive characteristics of a person; value, the value or moral worth placed on information associated with an individual and hence on the relationship with the individual; and empathy, the ability of the information systems professional to emotionally connect with the user and the extent to which the information system distances or connects.
The paper applies virtue ethics to developing a tool to help information professionals reflect on their ethical practice in developing and supporting information systems.
On 24th January this year the new and long‐promised legislation for public libraries in England and Wales made its bow in the shape of the Public Libraries and Museums Bill. Its first reading took place in the House of Commons on that day, and the unopposed second reading was on 5th February. As we write, future timing is uncertain, and it may be that by the time our readers are perusing these pages that the Bill will hare been passed in all its stages. The 23 clauses of the Bill occupy only 12½ pages. Briefly, the Bill will place the development of the public library service under the superintendence of the Minister of Education, and will set up two advisory councils as well as regional councils for interlibrary co‐operation. Non‐county boroughs and urban districts of less than 40,000 population which are existing library authorities will have to apply to the Minister for approval to continue as such. Clause 7 states that every library authority has a duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service, while the succeeding clause provides that, apart from certain exceptions, no charges shall be made by public library authorities. The Bill places considerable powers upon the Minister. Like most Bills, there is much in it which is open to interpretation. Does, for instance, clause 8, subsection (1) mean that those library authorities which are at present charging for the issue of gramophone records will have to cease doing so? This would seem to be the case, and we hope it is the case. On the other hand, which precise facilities are meant in subsection (4) of the same clause? Librarians will be disappointed that there is no reference to the need for library authorities to appoint separate library committees, nor is there a duty placed upon them to appoint suitably qualified persons as chief librarians. The Minister is given the power of inspection, and few library authorities or librarians will fear this. On the other hand no state financial assistance to library authorities is mentioned. In the 1930s and 19405 many wanted state aid but feared the consequential inspection. Now we have got the inspection without the money! When the Bill appeared, The Library World asked several librarians for their brief first impressions and in the following symposium will be found the views of a city librarian, a county librarian, two London librarians, a Welsh librarian, the librarian of a smaller town, and a member of the younger generation whose professional future may well be shaped by this new legislation.
THERE was a rather remarkable statement made at the Royal Institute of British Architects by Mr. Berwick Sayers last month. He affirmed that so far as the recorded issues of the reference libraries in the municipal libraries of London were concerned, only 8,880 books were consulted daily. This, as the statistical account of twenty‐nine public libraries, shows an average of a fraction over 302 books daily. To some this may seem not an inadequate issue, if all the books recorded are books which the student and the searcher for information have used. The point of the meeting at which the remark was made was that the reference libraries of London should do more in co‐operation with industry, and it was argued by the representatives of ASLIB who took part in the conference that our London reference libraries should be strengthened in the science and technology departments, even at the expense of the lending libraries. The experience of the public librarian seemed to be that few people lived in London near their work; and that they had command of the special libraries in London in a way that provincial industrialists had not, and therefore they did not make any use that mattered of London reference libraries. The Chambers of Commerce in the various boroughs of London consist of small traders as a rule whose main purpose is “to keep down the rates,” and who have very little connection with industry on the scale in the minds of the ASLIB representatives. In short, the chief function of the London public libraries is mainly that of home reading. Ultimately the solution of the reference problem may be the establishment of one or two great regional reference libraries supported by the co‐operation of the boroughs. Co‐operation, however, is in its initial stages yet, and it will probably be some time before such an ideal, if it be an ideal, is achieved.
As we approach the millennium, we find ourselves in a world that places ever greater weight and significance on the outcome of polls, surveys, and market research. The…
As we approach the millennium, we find ourselves in a world that places ever greater weight and significance on the outcome of polls, surveys, and market research. The advent of modern polling began with the use of scientific sampling in the mid‐1930s and has progressed vastly beyond the initial techniques and purposes of the early practitioners such as George Gallup, Elmo Roper, and Archibald Crossley. In today's environment, the computer is an integral part of most commercial survey work, as are the efforts by academic and nonprofit enterprises. It should be noted that the distinction between the use of the words “poll” and “survey” is somewhat arbitrary, with the mass media seeming to prefer “polling,” and with academia selecting “survey research.” However, searching online systems will yield differing results, hence this author's inclusion of both terms in the title of this article.
The progressive limits to rights mobilization have become starkly apparent in the past two decades. No new suspect classes have been forthcoming from the Supreme Court…
The progressive limits to rights mobilization have become starkly apparent in the past two decades. No new suspect classes have been forthcoming from the Supreme Court since 1977 despite continued demands for legal recognition by lesbians and gays, indigenous peoples and others interested in expanding civil rights doctrine. Public tolerance for civil rights measures has likewise dried up. Since the 1960s, referenda on civil rights have halted affirmative action programs, limited school busing and housing discrimination protections, promoted English-only laws, limited AIDS policies, and ended the judicial recognition of same-sex marriage, among other issues. Nearly 80% of these referenda have had outcomes realizing the Madisonian fear of “majority tyranny”1 and signaling the Nietzschean dread of a politics of resentment (Brown, 1995, p. 214; Connolly, 1991, p. 64).