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- Volume 2013, Issue 47, 2013
Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa - Volume 2013, Issue 47, 2013
Volume 2013, Issue 47, 2013
Author Stephen MutulaSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 1 –2 (2013)More Less
This second special Issue of Innovation No 47 on ethical dimension of social media in the information society has been made possible by various agencies and bodies including: African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE) at the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Department of Communications (Government of South Africa), African Network of information Ethics (ANIE) Board, International Centre for Information Ethics (Karlsruhe Germany), Fiek Capurro Foundation on Information Ethics (Karlsruhe Germany) and the editorial Board of Innovation Journal.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 3 –8 (2013)More Less
Social media is influencing the information landscape significantly with people of all persuasions irrespective of education, social status, age, profession, sex, religion, political orientation adopting and using it in both developed and developing countries. The major sectors of society including government, business, civil society and the general public are increasingly adopting social media in their operational milieu. With the proliferation and use of social media gaining momentum concerns are being raised about violations of online users' legitimate rights such as privacy, confidentiality, trust, security, safety, intellectual ownership, access and accessibility. Legitimate rights refer to legal and moral rights - valid claims by individuals on society to protect them from being denied the fundamentals of human well-being on grounds of their utility through the force of law, or by education (Mill 1969).
Distinguishing right from wrong : proposed ethical principles for the development of national information policiesSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 9 –27 (2013)More Less
Information policy formulation is not only a matter of politics and policies. In this article it is argued that national information policies are also about ethics and that the moral complexities and challenges associated with the development of national information policies should be taken into consideration. As such it is a matter of social justice. A brief overview of the scope and nature of national information policies is provided. It is also argued that ethical reasoning should not be confused with laws or customs and that sound ethical reasoning is needed to address the ethical complexities associated with the design of national information policies. A set of ethical principles is proposed that can be used as guidelines for the development of national information policies.
Teaching information ethics at second year degree level at the University of Pretoria : a case-study of integrating theoretical information ethics with practical applicationSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 28 –42 (2013)More Less
Practising ethics has been an important consideration since Aristotle, with particular reference to his Nicomachean Ethics. He based his entire philosophy on understanding the nature of ethical interaction between people. Conversely, nowadays teaching ethics is a more complicated task when basing one's considerations on Aristotelian ethics, because, according to Aristotle, ethics cannot be taught. Virtue can only be practised by means of habituation which is similar to stating that one cultivates virtues. Therefore, by means of habituation ethical character can be developed.
Reinterpretation of this in the modern day classroom or lecture hall can be challenging. This is experienced first-hand by the authors of this paper, who are involved in the teaching of an undergraduate module in information ethics. The concern encountered was not due to the lack of content, but rested on the inability of students to internalise the information ethical considerations. As a result, the students found it difficult to critically reflect on and practically apply what they have been taught. In response to this the authors endeavoured to implement a practical component to the module to provide an opportunity for the students to engage more with the information ethical issues of an Information Society. The aim of this article is to discuss the implementation of the practical component, considering the overall theoretical information ethical framework. Thereafter recommendations will be made as to the improvement of this dual structure.
The module was presented over a period of one semester and consisted of both practical and theoretical components. The themes covered during the theoretical component ranged from the foundational concepts related to information ethics; ethical issues of an information society such as privacy, access and intellectual property; intercultural information ethics; social justice and social responsibility. Through the use of a practical portfolio to support the practical component, the students were encouraged to select one topic from any of the themes, on which they had to do research for various objectives: 1) writing a conference abstract; 2) presenting the research in a conference setting; 3) compiling a first draft and final conference paper; 4) designing a conference poster, and 5) formally reviewing each other's work.
The results revealed that the students were more able to engage with the theoretical content as a result of the practical components. In turn, the practical component also enriched the students' understanding of the theoretical content, informing their class discussions and overall quality of work. The authors recommend a similar approach to any other applied ethics course.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 43 –69 (2013)More Less
Issues on information ethics have assumed an important role in higher education as different types of information and communications technologies (ICTs) permeate the learning environment. An understanding of such issues by faculty members would enhance learning strategies and processes that use ICTs. To this effect, this study was conducted to establish factors that influence faculty members when applying information ethics to the use of social media for academic work. The population was faculty members in departments that offered information-related programmes. The study was conducted at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in two phases, based on an exploratory-descriptive design. The preliminary phase sought to establish how faculty members used social media tools in academic practice and the ethical frameworks that influenced their use of the tools. Respondents were identified through convenience sampling. The ethical frameworks that emerged in the preliminary phase: the rights, the common good and virtue perspectives, were factored into a Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) in the second phase. Every faculty member in the departments that were studied was a respondent during the second phase. The main findings were that faculty members were influenced mostly by control beliefs, followed by ethical predispositions and lastly, by normative beliefs when applying information ethics in the use of social media in academic practice.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 70 –83 (2013)More Less
Information ethics is a young academic discourse in universities in Kenya and there is need to create awareness. Debates have been made on the integration of information ethics in information science curriculum in universities. However, the use of social media in information ethics awareness is still a new area. Using survey research, this paper examines how social media can be used to create awareness in information ethics in three public universities in Kenya among information science lecturers and undergraduate students. Majority of social media users in universities are aged between 20-30 years thus there is a potential to use these communication channels to propagate awareness of information ethics aspects. Social media is increasingly becoming popular especially among the youths, with Facebook and twitter being the most preferred platforms, but rarely used for academic purposes. Emergence of citizen journalism is leading to shifts in society with both positive and negative effects. Information scientists and information ethics interest groups could provide a benchmark on potential use of social media networks for teaching and learning in universities in Kenya.
Author Everlyn Mmbone AnduvareSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 84 –99 (2013)More Less
According to whatis.com (2006) Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighbourhood subdivision. Social networking may take the form of bringing together people who share interests in the real world i.e. in person. In fact, social networking is said to have gone on almost as long as societies themselves have existed (whatis.com 2006). Despite the fact that social networking has existed through personal contacts over the years, it has increasingly become more popular online. This is due to the advent of internet connections through which millions of people can get in touch with one another just by a click of a mouse and share information.
Whatis.com (2006) points out that social networking establishes interconnected Internet communities (sometimes known as personal networks) that help people make contacts that would be good for them to know, but that they would be unlikely to have met otherwise. In general, it works like this: you join one of the sites and invite people you know to join as well. Those people invite their contacts to join, who in turn invite their contact through anyone they have a connection to, to any of the people that person has a connection to, and so on. Web-based social networking has therefore quickly gained popularity because of its ease of use. All that one need is an internet connection and to know the website that will be of interest to him or her. Most web based social network sites are free of charge to access; one is only required to become a member. In this paper focus is placed on web based social networking and how it has improved communication.
The use of social media in the dissemination of information in selected public and private university libraries in KenyaAuthor Sarah KibugiSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 100 –120 (2013)More Less
Effective use of social media in university libraries is important if these libraries have to play their central role in the university and to fulfill their primary responsibility of assisting users in the process of transforming information to knowledge. Traditionally university libraries have been seen as the "heart of the university" serving the academic community of its parent institution. Today university libraries need a communication strategy which is cost effective and convenient to users. University libraries are seeking for visibility by creating awareness of their resources and services.
As libraries yearn to remain relevant with contemporary audiences, social media are viewed as important tools for enticing and retaining patrons who are already familiar with and immersed into the world of new ways of networking. This paper explores the prevalence and use of social media in the dissemination of information in university libraries in Kenya.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 121 –144 (2013)More Less
David Cameron's announcement during the 2011 riots across cities in the United Kingdom to consider shutting down social media shocked the international information community. It raised questions of how firmly entrenched intellectual freedom is in the world's established democracies, and how freedom of access to information and freedom of expression (FAIFE) organizations should respond. The social media test is used in this article to examine the standard civil liberties of 'access' and 'participation in established democracies since 2008. The method is to evaluate the use of social media in recent protests in a sample of established democracies and authoritarian regimes, and to compare differences and similarities in government responses. The article concludes with recommendations to consolidate intellectual freedom in established democracies.
Author Adewale BanjoSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 144 –160 (2013)More Less
This article sets out to review and reflect on the perspectives of several scholars who have had the opportunity to engage with the phenomenon of social media and politics and polity in North Africa. The article, by means of content analysis of published /secondary sources, and by adopting a descriptive approach, attempts in the first segment to define political engineering and social media, and highlight the debate on the political utility of social media based evidence from Philippines and United States. The article thereafter, provides an overview of the metamorphosis of the media landscape at the onset of the Arab spring as background to a more detailed debate on whether new media impacts on political change in North Africa, and if it does, to what extent?. The author then crafted three emerging schools to explain and describe the competing intellectual tradition that seems to be evolving in an attempt to place accurate value on social media-political change relations in North Africa. These are the maximalist (optimist), the minimalist (pessimist) and the multi-factor's schools. In conclusion, the article noted the fact that the huge impact of social media cannot be underestimated, but neither should it be overestimated. However, given the growing popularity of social media users, the more direct and indirect influence can only be expected in Africa in the near future.
Author Rafael CapurroSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 160 –174 (2013)More Less
The African debate about information technology in general, and OSNs in particular, is a debate on African identities arising out of processes of mutual respect or disrespect, and also from the social capabilities, natural environments, histories and cultures of African peoples. It concerns questions such as: What are the cultural and historical conditions underlying this debate in Africa? What are the bad and good practices of OSNs in Africa to date? How do mass media in conjunction with OSNs and other interactive digital media influence social and political movements in Africa? What is the impact of OSNs in other countries and cultures outside Africa on African societies? And, last but not least, what are the ethical values at stake when African people develop and use OSNs? The paper addresses some of these questions. In the first part, a brief account of OSNs in Africa is presented. The second part deals with OSNs from a phenomenological and ethical perspective. In the outlook, the role of the Africa Network for Information Ethics (ANIE) and of the newly created Africa Center of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE) at the University of Pretoria, is explained. Both are important platforms for building a teaching research community on information ethical issues in Africa.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 175 –198 (2013)More Less
Social media has rapidly proliferated in all spheres of life and has found acceptance in education, research, corporate world, government, politics and more. The spread of social media has raised concerns that people's moral and ethical rights such as privacy, confidentiality, trust, security, and data protection are being breached. This article explores ethical and moral issues of social media use in education. The paper addresses the following research questions: 1) what is the status of social media growth? 2) How is social media being used in education? 3) What are ethical and moral issues of social media in education? The focus of the discussion is on social networking sites.
A combination of Game Theory; Ethics Theories, WSIS Action Line 10; and ANIE Thematic Framework are used to underpin the subject matter of this article. Content analysis of major social network user policies and related literature were used to address the above research questions. The findings revealed that social media in general and social networking sites in particular have grown to become a global phenomenon and have opened up the classroom to become a public space where ethical and moral rights such as privacy, confidentiality, intellectual property, access/accessibility of individuals were no longer guaranteed. Social networks were being used in education to create and share content, for collaborative scholarship, education and training, creating and sharing learning materials, class announcements and discussion, etc. Recommendations and amelioration strategies proffered include education and training, legislative, regulatory and policy interventions.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 199 –212 (2013)More Less
Technology is seen as occupying more and more of student's time out of school. This paper, drawing from literature and personal experiences as parents and librarians discusses how libraries can use emerging technologies such as e-books and e-readers, iPods, smart phones, face books and other social media to support the goals of promoting reading habits among the youth.
Social media challenges in marketing of library and information services at the Balme Library, University of GhanaSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 213 –230 (2013)More Less
The study investigates the challenges in the use of social media to market library and information services in the Balme Library of the University of Ghana. The survey method was used to administer questionnaires to one hundred (100) students from the Faculty of Social Sciences while two librarians were interviewed. Findings reveal that Facebook and Twitter are the popular social media tools used by students. These tools are however, not actively being used for marketing of library services. Among the major drawbacks of using social media for effective marketing is the lack of awareness of the social media services among majority of students and the inadequate infrastructure to access IT services. The study recommends the creation of a social media policy which would provide clarity to library employees on their responsibilities in the use of social media.
Source: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 231 –244 (2013)More Less
With the rapid advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) societies and communities are changing and with them the role of libraries and how they interact with their communities are also changing. Social media is increasingly popular because it enables patrons' interaction and sharing of information not only with the library but also with each other. However, the introduction of an ICT such as social media requires ethical reflection since there are a number of ethical risks relating to privacy, accuracy, access and intellectual property. The purpose of this paper is to outline the range of ethical risks that can arise as a result of social media use by academic libraries, to consider the implications thereof and to make recommendations to help academic libraries use social media in an ethically responsible manner.
Author Olugbade OladokunSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 245 –266 (2013)More Less
The paper examines the concept of social media, as well as its features. It submits that the terrific features of social media joint forces together to make the platform irresistibly appealing to its numerous users. The involvement and consequent impact of social media in politics and government, economy, education and among the youth are articulated. Social media is perceived as having a lot of benefits as well as copious shortfalls, which are highlighted. The paper thus believes social media can be both a 'vessel unto honour' and a 'vessel unto dishonour', depending on who uses the platform. The ethical dimension of the use or misuse is brought into focus. The youth and young adults who are mostly the active users are often seen to be victims of the nefarious activities carried out with the help of social media. For reasons of the involvement of the institutions of higher learning in the training and education of youth, the paper concludes with the opinion that the ethical training of the youth on responsible use of social media is imperative.
The implementation of an innovative continuous assessment model for an Information Science undergraduate class : possible information ethical considerationsSource: Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa 2013, pp 267 –284 (2013)More Less
In order to stay relevant in the current technological environment together with the associated changing expectations and demands of students, new approaches in teaching, learning and assessment are needed. Traditional systems are increasingly seen as being too rigid, which has resulted in a growing focus on the idea of blended learning, a term that describes learning activities that combine face-to-face teaching with technology. As new information specialists prepare to enter the work force they must be taught not only the relevant information skills, but they also need to develop and refine their own individual sense of ethics, especially with regard to the ethical use of information and technology. This article discusses the development of a new blended model for a first year Information Science module comprising a variety of theory and practical activities, using various technologies, and underpinned by basic information ethical considerations. The article provides an overview of the rationale for undertaking the project, discusses the blended learning approach, and concludes by highlighting some of the positive outcomes experienced.