Dissertation Information for Martha Montague Smith
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Information ethics: An hermeneutical analysis of an emerging area in applied ethics
Abstract: Between 1988 and 1992, the term information ethics is used ten times. Eight of the uses are in the field of library and information science. Using an hermeneutical conceptual framework, the author as interpreter seeks understanding about the emergence of information ethics from the eight texts and from the larger context in the field of applied ethics in library and information science. This study uses content analysis to examine one hundred eighty four texts. The content analysis employs content descriptors, from the natural language of the title, subtitle, or other aspects of the texts or from generalizations from library and information science, to build vocabularies illustrating the major themes of information ethics and in its context. The results of the analysis suggest that information ethics is most closely associated with the themes of traditional librarianship supporting service and privacy and opposing censorship and with the dilemmas posed by new technologies including open access and system security. The vocabularies, built from content descriptors, provide a richly elaborated portrait of ethics in library and information science from 1988-1992 and a foundation for additional research on the emergence of information ethics.
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