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- Volume 2013, Issue 46, 2013
Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa - Volume 2013, Issue 46, 2013
Volume 2013, Issue 46, 2013
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 1 –4 (2013)More Less
This Special Issue of Innovation has been made possible courtesy of the editorial board of the journal, the Africa Centre of Excellence in Information Ethics at the University of Pretoria, Department of Communications (DoC), African Network on Information Ethics (ANIE) Academic Board, European based International Centre of Information Ethics and Capurro Fiek Foundation. This Issue of Innovation is dedicated on the theme 'information ethics'. It covers several subjects emanating from World Summit on Information Society and the African Network on Information Ethics (ANIE) scholarly debates. These subjects include among others: ethics, governance and democratization, privacy, censorship, public access, e-government, human rights, e-waste management, knowledge society and information ethics integration in the curriculum.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 5 –11 (2013)More Less
In Africa, the laggard technological adoption behaviour that characterized the continent and its people for many years is gradually being overcome in the wake of new technologies. New information and communication technologies have quickly gained acceptance and use in education, research, business, government, politics, professional practice, and in the general society, raising several ethical issues such as: protection of users rights, user privacy guarantees, credibility of information, roles and responsibilities of users, cybercrime, intellectual property rights, identity and more. Chuang & Chen (1999) note that the use of computers has created new problems, involving cyber crime, unlawful acquisitions of private information and hacking.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 12 –24 (2013)More Less
In 2007, a group of international academics in the fields of Information Technology, Philosophy and Politics came together to form an academic network. This network is known as the African Network on Information Ethics (ANIE). ANIE identified a gap in the academic representation of the African Continent on the global stage, specifically pertaining to Information Ethics, and therefore started organising events to stimulate research on Information Ethics in Africa. The aim of this article is to give an overview of the activities that took place from 2007 to 2012 which include international conferences, workshops and publications. The methodology includes the study of conference and workshop presentations by internationally acclaimed academics; analysis of the ANIE website, the outcomes and reports from workshops and conferences organised on the topic of Information Ethics in Africa and the minutes of meetings related to Information Ethics in Africa. The methodology secondly comprises of a chronological layout of activities related to Information Ethics in Africa since the Information Ethics Conference in 2007 up to the formal establishment of the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE) in May 2012. The result of this international collaboration has led to a partnership with the South African National Department of Communications, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) and various universities across Africa. Finally, this collaboration contributed to the establishment of ACEIE.
Introducing information ethics in the curriculum at Kenyatta University : views from lecturers and post-graduate studentsSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 25 –43 (2013)More Less
Universities the world over are grappling with academic malpractice among their students and staff. The use of plagiarism checkers have failed to stop the practice just as academic codes of conduct have not worked. Behavior change brought about by a deep understanding of information ethics and the need to embrace and encourage positive practices in regard to access and use of information within and outside universities seems to be a new starting point in preventing this problem. The aim of this study was to assess the perceptions of lecturers and students on the introduction of information ethics into the university curriculum. The findings point to an acknowledgement by both lecturers and students of cases of academic malpractice in universities in Kenya and how complex it is to solve them. Tactics used in cheating and the challenges related to introducing information ethics into the curriculum, as well as suggestions on the way forward are also presented.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 44 –61 (2013)More Less
This paper presents the findings of a study that was carried out to investigate the level of integration of information ethics (as elicited from courses with ethics and/or morality nomenclatures) within the curriculum across different disciplines at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). The study was informed by the Classical Western ethical tradition and WSIS Action Line 10, and Africa Network of Information ethics (ANIE) theoretical models. A content analysis of the curriculum across different disciplines of UKZN was undertaken by identifying courses with information ethics, ethics and/or morality nomenclatures. The results revealed that information ethics content was being taught in virtually all disciplines at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University. The results further revealed that most information ethics content was built around the Classical Western ethical traditions as opposed to WSIS Action Line 10 (that focuses on the ethical dimension of information society). The authors recommend a review of the curriculum in most disciplines at UKZN to incorporate information ethics component in line with WSIS Action Line 10 and ANIE models. The findings have implications for national and institutional policy making regarding curriculum development at UKZN.
Author Dennis OchollaSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 62 –74 (2013)More Less
Since the day of the first printing press, i.e. the famous Gutenberg Press in 1440, which lay the foundation for mass publication, publications have continued to proliferate and have surpassed the wildest dreams of Gutenberg with the internet, arguably the greatest revolution (in the infosphere) of all time, and Google taking the lead in Open Access (OA). As a result of the internet, the publishing industry is increasingly taking on a new shape where Open Access plays a crucial role for increased information access to some of the remotest parts of the world that exist in Africa, and elsewhere, that would not have had access to information - freely - as they do today. Thus, the publishing industry is swiftly moving away from print/traditional publishing to electronic publishing and from the control of large, traditional publishing firms to small, private or personal publishing initiatives and activities, introducing new, but pleasant challenges such as those originating from social media. In this paper, we examine Open Access (OA) within the context of civic literacy as a whole and, in particular, in Africa. Our work is based on personal knowledge and experiences, observations and desk research.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 75 –96 (2013)More Less
This article is based on another article published in Spanish in the magazine Humanidades Médicas, number 47, February 2010 (pp. 1-15) and also on a lecture that was published in the FORUM MEDIZIN 21"Ärztin / Arzt sein im 21, January 2009.The article analyzes the impact that digital communication and information technology can have on medicine both as a science, and as a practice. The technological changes that lead to a Medicine 2.0 occur on several levels, such as: information overload, the physician-patient relationship, the self-perception of both physician and patient, as well as the concept of the human body and what is understood as sickness and as health. With the purpose of defining a pathology of the information society, an anthropological framework is proposed based on concepts developed by Swiss physician and psychiatrist, Medard Boss, illustrating with a few examples a systematic analysis of said pathology. The article concludes by proposing guidelines for an ethical outline of a Medicine 2.0 as a reference for preventive and therapeutic care in the information society.
Author Edwin IjeomaSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 97 –116 (2013)More Less
Democratization is a modern term with a local, trans-local, international and global dimension. Although relatively new in the context of world history, it has influenced world politics by creating a certain utopia of the 21st century. Even though the notion of democracy does have credibility and its overall effect throughout both the first and third world seem to be increasingly positive-popular, it is not without fault and neither is the process of democracy a smooth transition from pre to post. The road of realism is littered with ethical issues and moral trade-offs. Its diversity holds important lessons for countries in both the pre and present stages. Some key features discussed in the article include the motivation for democracy, and the ethical issues created by it. It is incoherent to any rules applied as such. Thus, although some relationship between cause and effect is analyzed, the issues emphasized in the article might not be in vogue; perhaps completely against the reader's dogma. Its aim is not to provide a simple solution - there is none - but rather to highlight crucial points on how democratization philosophers used the concept to shape the world of today and its future generations.
When the last mile becomes the longest mile : a critical reflection on Africa's ability to transform itself to become part of the global knowledge societySource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 117 –134 (2013)More Less
In this article the question is asked to what extent Africa can become a knowledge society characterised by global connectivity and the ability to not only utilise knowledge but also to generate new knowledge in support of sustainable development, economic growth and human wellness. The question is approached from two interrelated perspectives. The first perspective focused on the importance to connect people via communication networks to the global body of knowledge. This is the last mile problem. In the second perspective the focus fell on human capacity building and the ability of people to not only fully utilise the information but also their ability to create new knowledge. This is referred to as the longest mile problem. It is concluded that most African countries have made tremendous strides in the last decade to address the last mile problem. This is evident from the increase in broadband availability as well as the rapid growth in the use of mobile technologies. It is furthermore concluded that Africa still has a long way to go with regards to human capacity development. It is argued that in many respects this still remains the longest mile for Africa in her efforts to become a prosperous knowledge society. Although some progress has been made with regards to primary and secondary education there is a lack of investment in tertiary education, and with a few exceptions the research infrastructure on the continent is still largely underdeveloped. This seriously hampers Africa's efforts to become an equal partner in the global knowledge economy.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 135 –149 (2013)More Less
Electronic waste (e-waste) is becoming one of the leading global concerns in the information age. This article establishes e-waste as an informational ethical issue impacting the environment as well as the health and well-being of citizens. Furthermore it elaborates on the consequences of the e-waste problem nationally and globally. The current solutions to the e-waste problem as implemented in other countries are considered with specific reference to the feasibility of such solutions in South Africa with mind to the suitability of such solutions in the rest of the African continent. The authors gained insight into the awareness about the e-waste issue as well as the willingness and ability of future information professionals to contribute to the recycling of e-waste in the long term, through the implementation of a survey to undergraduate students within the School of Information Technology. The School of IT (SIT) at the University of Pretoria is a unique institution for tertiary education in the field of information technology and a big contributor to future leaders in the IT industry. Through the incorporation of primary and secondary research the authors hope to contribute to the field of information ethical research on e-waste as well as to present viable and effective methods to combat the problem of e-waste in the third world through collaboration with manufacturers and end-users.
Mobile phone access and use among students at the National University of Technology (NUST) Bulawayo, Zimbabwe : implications for academic integritySource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 150 –165 (2013)More Less
This article is based on a study that investigated the extent of mobile phone access and use in support of information sharing among students at the National University of Science and Technology and implications for academic integrity. Through a survey questionnaire the study collected data from 495 undergraduate and postgraduate students who were randomly sampled in the Faculty of Communication and Information Science. Data were analysed using SPSS version 18. The results indicate that mobile phone access and use among students are increasing for the purpose of sharing information to support their studies. However, the lack of policy on the use of mobile phones to support academic work has not helped to leverage mobiles for education purposes in the University. Besides, mobile phones are sometimes used for academic dishonesty such as cheating in examinations. This study has implications for learning, bridging the digital divide and ethical misconduct among students not only in Zimbabwean universities but within the South African region.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 166 –191 (2013)More Less
Censorship is no longer limited to printed media and videos. Its impact is felt much more strongly with Internet related resources of information and communication such as access to websites, email and social networking tools which is further enhanced by ubiquitous access through mobile phones and tablets. Some countries are marked by severe restrictions and enforcement, a variety of initiatives in enforcing censorship (pervasive as well as implied), and initiatives to counter censorship. This article reflects on trends in Internet censorship in selected countries, namely Australia, Chile, China, Finland, Libya, Myanmar, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Kingdom (UK). Negative and positive trends are noted. Negative trends include those involving issues of Internet related privacy; ubiquitous society and control; trends in Internet related media being censored; trends in filtering and blocking Internet content and blocking software; trends in technologies to monitor and identify citizens using the Internet to express their opinion and applying 'freedom of speech'; criminalization of legitimate expression on the Internet; trends in acts, regulations and legislation regarding the use of the Internet and trends in government models regarding Internet censorship; trends in new forms of Internet censorship; trends in support of Internet censorship; trends in enforcing regulations and Internet censorship; trends in Internet related communication surveillance. Positive trends include trends in reactions to Internet censorship; attempts and means to side-step Internet censorship; trends in cyber actions against Internet censorship; trends in innovative ways of showing opposition to Internet censorship.
Intelligent Transport Systems : privacy, security and societal considerations within the Gauteng case studySource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 192 –206 (2013)More Less
Intelligent Transport System (ITS) is an umbrella term that describes the integration of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and applications used in effective road network management. These applications include CCTV surveillance and automated tolling through the use of radio communication infrastructure such as e-tags highway gantries. These technologies may assist in the improvement of road networks, ultimately resulting in the development of the economy and prosperity of the country. As the capture of personal information is essential in an ITS, information ethical concerns surrounding privacy and security of personal information belonging to motorists have been raised. Technologies utilised by ITS place motorists under constant surveillance and monitor transit behaviour in real time. However, the big question is whether or not such technological sophistication and economic gains are the primary success factor to any ITS. While these technologies may assist in the improvement of the physical infrastructure of a country, ignoring social impact issues, in the current economic climate, may be catastrophic to the success of a system. An investigation into international examples of such systems and the ITS currently in the implementation phase in Gauteng, South Africa, offers some insight into the ethical considerations and concerns around the management of Gauteng motorists' information as they begin to register for the new system.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 207 –227 (2013)More Less
Although appropriate human rights information policies and strategies have been put in place in Kenya, rural women still manifest ignorance on their human rights provisions which should have positively affected their lifestyles and response to human rights' infringements. Rigid customary beliefs, a low level of education and poor communication channels have been cited as causes that make women fail to be aware their rights. This paper reports on the findings of a study which investigated the provision and access to human rights information by rural women in Nandi South District in Kenya. The study further sought to establish the challenges and suggest recommendations to improve the provision of human rights information to women in the district. The objectives of the study were: to find out the extent of awareness of human rights information by rural women; to establish factors that hinder their provision and suggest a framework for improving provision and access to human rights information. The study was informed by the integration of three models namely, Information and communication model, Sense-making model and Feminists theory. The study employed mainly a qualitative method, however quantitative techniques were used where appropriate.
The major findings indicated that the majority of rural women are not aware of their human rights as a tool that guarantees their socio-economic, political and cultural rights. The majority of women are semi-illiterate which makes it difficult to fully make use of instruments containing human rights information which is mainly written in English. Furthermore, lack of electricity in some areas makes it difficult to access information through electronic media. The study recommends that women should be sensitized to create awareness of available human rights information. It is further recommended that centres of gender empowerment should be set up in the rural areas. The study proposes a model which is an integration of Information and communication; Sensemaking and Feminist theories for improving the provision of human rights information to rural women in Nandi County.
Public access to information and communication technologies in indigenous communities : a comparative studySource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 228 –248 (2013)More Less
This paper presents findings from a study which examined the ethical challenges encountered by community telecentres that offer public access to computers and other information and communication technologies in indigenous communities. The paper presents an in-depth analysis of these venues that serve disadvantaged communities in an attempt to, bridge "digital divides," and further social and economic development objectives. With examples and experiences from three case studies in sub-Saharan Africa, this paper sheds light on an understudied facet of the telecentre enterprise on the continent at a time when effective digital inclusion strategies are needed more than ever.