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Library and Information Services

Ethical Aspects to Consider when Working with Information

Copyright 

Plagiarism

Fair Use

Public Domain

Privacy and Security

Censorship & Freedom of Speech


 

 

Copyright

Copyright implies that an information source may not be copied in order to avoid buying the source. The copyright law protects authors from losing out on royalties that would be paid to each time a copy of their work is sold. Students who make photocopies of handbooks to avoid purchasing them are breaking the law. Books usually print copyright warnings on the back of the title page. Exceptions are made for "fair use", which means that one article from a journal or one chapter from a book may be photocopied by an individual for his/her personal use for educational or research purposes.

Description: Computer Mouse Tags: Computer Mouse, Computer, MouseMore information on copyright.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is using other people's ideas from books, journals or other sources without acknowledging the original author. While you are writing an assignment, you should take care not to write down information from a source and present it to your reader as your own. You can avoid plagiarism simply by quoting the author and thereby giving him/her credit.

Plagiarism also takes place when you copy your friend's assignment. This is one of the most serious offences in the academic world. You may even face expulsion from the course, college or university. To download documents from the Internet and hand this material in as your own work is also plagiarism.

You can avoid committing plagiarism by:

  • Writing down the complete bibliographical reference of each source you use
  • Using quotation marks when you repeat another author's words exactly
  • Always giving credit to original authors for their information and ideas
  • Writing down exactly which ideas you found in which source.

Description: Computer Mouse Tags: Computer Mouse, Computer, MouseMore information on plagiarism

Fair Use

What does Fair Use imply?

Fair Use (Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976) allows libraries and educational institutions to use copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

Description: Light buld Tags: Light buld, Light, buldSee what factors must be considered to determine whether using a work in any particular case is fair use.

Public Domain

In most cases, the information or material you find will be protected by copyright unless it is in the public domain. Public domain refers to materials which belong to the community at large, are unprotected by copyright or patent, and may be used by anyone. Public domain materials can be freely duplicated or used by anyone, as long as credit is given to the original creator.
Once someone's work enters the public domain, permission is granted to freely distribute, copy, use, display, or perform that work.

Note: Credit and acknowledgement to the original author must always be given even if an item is in the public domain.
If you are in doubt as to whether a work is in the public domain, you should seek permission from the original copyright owner.

Description: Light buld Tags: Light buld, Light, buldSee when a source could be considered to be in the public domain.

Privacy and Security

Privacy and security issues have become an increasingly important concern in the electronic environment. Be aware that some of your electronic "movements" can be monitored. Among other things, computer programs can track:

" which Web sites you have visited
" where you go within a particular Web site
" if you have posted messages to an online discussion list

Also, many employers now reserve the right to monitor the E-mail and Web use of their employees!

Censorship & Freedom of Speech

The issue of censorship vs. free speech has always been a hotly contested topic. With the advent of the Web and the increasing use of electronic media for the dissemination of information, new questions over first Amendment rights are being raised. Thorny issues such as what to do about Web access to pornographic materials by minors, gambling on the Internet and the posting of abusive content on newsgroups must be faced.
There are no easy answers to these challenges.

Description: Computer Mouse Tags: Computer Mouse, Computer, MouseClick here for some Web sites which deal with freedom, censorship and related issues.

Last updated: 11 February 2013 12:13