HSLG Virtual Journal Club, 1 December 2022, 11:00 – 11:45am
Data tracking in research: aggregation and use or sale of usage data by academic publishers (DFG, German Research Foundation) 28 October 2021
Hosted by Caitriona Lee, Health Research Board
Questions to ponder
- What level of awareness do we individually and collectively as a profession have of the issues of data privacy described in this report?
- What level of awareness do we need to have, and how much IT knowledge do we need to understand what is in question?
- What choice can health librarians realistically have on this issue given that 1) we usually have little control over many IT-related questions, and 2) we have to supply e-journals and e-books to our readership.
- We probably trust our vendors with our data, but do we know what they do with it?
- There has been quite a lot of coverage of this topic in the literature from public and academic librarians but not much from health – are there reasons that health librarians might not write about this?
- Is there an expectation that privacy is in practice a thing of the past – that to use any online resources, a person must accept being tracked not just by the library and the vendor but by third parties who purchase the data. Is the philosophy of privacy as a right a fading idea – that as long as purchasers of user data do not leak the data or harm the user directly, they are entitled to track users around the net?
- This paper is from Germany but a lot of the work on this topic has been published by American librarians – are we less at risk in Europe with our data protection laws, or do we assume we are?
- If this is the current state of play, what data will the publishers/vendors/conglomerates look for next?