ERIC Number: ED314094
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-May-26
Accessing Electronic Information: A Question of Ethics.
Ashmore, Timothy M.
This exploration of ethical conflicts created by information technology and their impacts on teachers, scholars, and students begins by discussing the issue of fairness or ethics, with emphasis on what is fair or ethical in obtaining access to electronic information. Technological barriers involved in obtaining access to desired electronic information are then discussed, including the skill of the computer user and the costs of annual membership fees for belonging to national and international computer networks. The nature and type of information currently available in electronic form in academic settings are described--e.g., curriculum descriptions, course syllabi, reading lists, texts of speeches, manuscripts for review and comment, and entire journals--and the possibility of the federal government's making available much of its information in electronic form only is noted. The significance of restricting access to electronic information is also addressed, including the impact on students who cannot afford to buy their own computers and the difficulties faced by faculty researchers. The paper concludes by addressing what can be done to alleviate some of the ethical problems involved in limited access to electronic information, and by advocating solutions coordinated at the local, state, and national levels. (13 references) (SD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the International Communication Association (San Francisco, CA, May 26, 1989).