Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Legal, Ethical, and Policy Issues of “Big Data 2.0” Collaborative Ventures and Roles for Information Professionals in Research Libraries

Corrall, Sheila and Currier, James David Legal, Ethical, and Policy Issues of “Big Data 2.0” Collaborative Ventures and Roles for Information Professionals in Research Libraries. In: Libraries Opening Paths to Knowledge: 45th LIBER Annual Conference, Helsinki, Finland.

PDF (PDF version of presentation files)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (9MB) | Preview
[img] Plain Text (licence)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (1kB)


The emerging Age of Big Data 2.0 promises myriad imagined and yet-to-be-imagined opportunities for the advancement of human knowledge. Around the globe, Big Data collaborative ventures are launching “moonshot” projects; among them: Oxford University’s soon-to-be-opened Big Data Institute, which will analyze, synthesize, and hypothesize medical treatments and cures from human genomic data collected from 500,000 volunteers by the UK Biobank project The Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, a transactional medicine and commercial capitalization partnership of Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Managing and leveraging these vast terabyte troves of information will test the capabilities and ingenuity of those working with and responsible for the knowledge management systems providing access to this intellectual capital. Legal, ethical, and policy issues implicated by such Big Data enterprises will present equivalent, if not greater, challenges on issues like data protection and use. But it is not just Big Data that we need to worry about. Big Data initiatives are grabbing headlines, but similar legal and ethical issues are arising with data from the smaller-scale projects that research libraries are increasingly interacting with on a daily basis. Throughout history, information professionals have applied theory and practice in gathering, organizing, providing access, and preserving data, in diverse forms for diverse functions. They have been integral in shaping, as well as safeguarding, offering guidance on, and, when deemed necessary, speaking up about laws, ethics, and policies undergirding and crosscutting individuals, societies, organizations, and nations. Many research libraries have already stepped up their efforts in scholarly communication, digital publishing, and data management, creating specialist roles requiring knowledge, skills, and abilities extending significant beyond traditional professional competency frameworks. However, the future promises a world of growing complexity and challenge where a majority of questions presented falls into the truly difficult category, and rising numbers of questions relate to the legal and ethical issues surrounding scholarly communication and research data. Copyright and intellectual property more generally has already been recognized as an area where expertise is needed across all library functions and services. However ethical issues have generally received less consideration, but are arguably set to become the wicked problem for higher education institutions in the immediate future, particularly in relation to data, and there is an urgent need for libraries to build capacity in this area. Our research uses a case study strategy to provide real-world context to the legal and ethical issues facing libraries in the Big Data world and explore these critical questions: • What are the chief legal, ethical, and policy issues triggered by Big Data (and Little Data) initiatives? • What Best Practices can be identified to address these kinds of legal, ethical and policy issues? • What are the roles that information professionals and research libraries can and will assume in contributing to considerations of the legal, ethical, and policy issues raised by such projects? • What are the competency implications in terms of the knowledge, skills, and abilities libraries need to acquire or develop for the Big Data world?


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Corrall, Sheilascorrall@pitt.eduSCORRALL
Currier, James David
Event Title: Libraries Opening Paths to Knowledge: 45th LIBER Annual Conference
Event Type: Conference
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Big, data, Information, ethics, Information, specialists, Intellectual, property, Open, movements
Official URL:
Additional Information: Winner of LIBER Innovation Award
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2017 20:12
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 04:55


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item