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KNOW and Information Literacy: Ownership of Information

This guide offers ideas, suggestions, and above all else, an invitation to Puget Sound faculty to collaborate with librarians when designing student research assignments under the KNOW (Knowledge, Power, Identity) rubric.

Information Commodification vs. Information as a Public Good

Selected readings:

Lipton, Jacqueline. 2002. "Information Wants to be Property: Legal Commodification of E-commerce Assets." International Review Of Law, Computers & Technology 16, no. 1: 53-66.

Suber, Peter.  "Knowledge as Public Good."  SPARC Open Access Newsletter, March 2, 2010.

Warren, S., & Duckett, K. 2010. "Why Does Google Scholar Sometimes Ask for Money?" Engaging Science Students in Scholarly Communication and the Economics of Information." Journal of Library Administration, 50(4), 349-372.




Who Owns Information?

Who owns information?  Competing answers come from social, legal, cultural, and economic perspectives. 

Encourage students to look at information ownership through social justice lenses.  Discussion or assignment ideas include:

  • Evaluate the goals and effectiveness of programs designed to reduce economic barriers to information in developing countries, such as the The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL) or the ARDI program.
  • Write a policy recommendation on the topic of indigenous knowledge and pharmaceutical research.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of programs that provide laptops or computers free of charge to underprivileged children.