Ethics for Knowledge Resource Centers in the Era of Information Overload

Ethics for Knowledge Resource Centers in the Era of Information Overload

J. John Jeyasekar (Forensic Sciences Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, India), Aishwarya V. (University of Madras, India) and Usharani Munuswamy (Forensic Sciences Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1482-5.ch012

Abstract

Every professional body has a moral code for the conduct of its members. For example, physicians follow the oldest Hippocratic Oath for their professional code of ethics. Every member of the profession should adhere to their ethical code. Eventually, in the era of information overload millions of Terabyte information is found in the web. The e-formats of the information pose challenges to its user. The information service providers have a moral responsibility of providing the right information to the right user, in the right form. The knowledge workers have an added social responsibility in the democratic set-up. The ALA, CILIP, and some other professional bodies have their own ethical code. However, many developing nations do not have such code. This chapter discusses what ethics is, and its relevance to information science professionals. In addition, it gives a glimpse of the various ethical codes available and formulates a set of codes for information producers, re-packers, and seekers.
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Theory Of Ethics

The theory of ethics for a discipline is the justification for a set of principles that constitutes the ethical framework of that discipline (Appelbaum, 1997, 2008). Applying the ethics of science, the ethical principles of proper scientific practices and general acceptance of methods by a discipline are represented in the Daubert standard (Passalacque and Nicholas, 2018). The issue of avoiding scientific misconduct is represented in the ethical codes of various professional organizations.

Theories of ethics generally include the following principles

  • Follow all types of evidentiary requirements

  • Do not misrepresent someone’s findings or others’ qualifications.

  • Treat colleagues, invested parties with professional and cultural respect

  • Only perform tasks which one is competent to

  • Do not harm

  • Maintain scientific integrity in a transparent manner

  • Act in an ethical manner avoiding conflicts of interest and misconduct

  • Maintain confidentiality

  • Avoid intellectual, personal, financial and /or emotional biases

  • Maintain stewardship by managing the use and access of evidence, research facilities, collections, and data in a fair and transparent manner

Attfield (2012) proposed three fields of inquiry within the field of ethics. They are

  • Metaethics

  • Normative ethics (establishing standards and guidelines for behavior)

  • Applied ethics

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