HIST 390 Blog Post #2

Last week, we learned about the four literacies–ethics, privacy, copyright and licenses. If I were to conduct research, each of these literacies would directly affect it. For ethics, I would need to be aware of data that would not be private but would be sensitive, like doing research on medicines from indigenous cultures. I would have to respect their culture even if they allow me to study their medicines, because to some cultures, medicine is sacred. So, if I did research on that and my research did not respect that culture’s sensitivity to their sacred medicine, they might lose trust in me and I could get into serious trouble. If I don’t respect their sensitivity, this indigenous group can be harmed, which can be seen if people abuse and disrespect them for the medicines they hold high values for. This can be seen in the media when other culture’s medicines are valued but also have false information or aren’t accurate, or people appropriate them. I am surprised about ethics because I would not feel comfortable with someone doing research on indigenous people’s medicines, even if it isn’t private, so I would not be okay if someone were to do research like this on my culture.

For privacy, I would also have to be careful if I were to share embarrassing facts. I would have to avoid sharing historical facts that I know, or a first-hand account would tell me, that would not be appropriate for sharing. In order to do that, I could share other facts about a historical figure would be okay with, by going off of what I would feel comfortable with if the research were about me. I would also need to refrain from sharing opinion about someone in a false light. Even if I don’t like the person who I may be sharing my research on, it doesn’t mean I should say bad things about them. Instead, I could share objective facts based on my research so that way I can leave it to other people to reach their own conclusions about the person. I am surprised about privacy because I would think that there would be more supervision on researchers so that they would avoid invading someone’s privacy.

For copyright, I would need to respect the creation and use of something like an article, a book, or even music. For research purposes, it would be important to acknowledge this since the information I would be using isn’t my original work. Instead, it would be the author(s) of the work who wrote it. If I didn’t respect this, I could be caught with plagiarizing if I don’t cite my sources. What surprises me about copyright, is that some people still will plagiarize in their papers and other assignments, and do not consider the legal complications that come along with doing so.

For licenses, I would need to be mindful of things like definitions and authorized uses and permitted uses. If I were doing research on a culture, it would be most appropriate for me to include terms and their definitions, and for me to note which sources I could use. I would need to be aware of data mining, where authorized users could get data from copies of Purchased Content for Customer’s teaching, learning and research purposes. I also would need to be mindful of restrictions, so that I know what I can and cannot do with a library e-resource license.

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