Privacy in e-Publishing

With my background in online marketing, I was pretty well aware of the privacy concerns connected to e-readers, and I was thinking about the latest Wall Street Journal report on my way to Day 2 of the Bloomsbury Conference.

So I was a bit surprised to learn there was a whole other set of privacy concerns in e-publishing, not coming from people who want to make money, but from people who just want knowledge.

With open data, Dr. Wissenburg explained, researchers can pull together anonymous data from multiple studies, and with the right skills, identify personal data about research participants. So now, open access isn’t just about the rights of the readers, it’s about the rights of the researched. I suspect it’s going to take a pretty technical solution to make sure that individuals are protected as we move forward with data sharing and collaboration.

I’m realizing this conference is targeted much more towards to the experienced scientist than to me, a social sciences/humanities interested librarian. But I’m still finding value (along with lots to look up afterwards.)

So it’s great to hear from Anne Welsh, who charmingly described the role of the subject librarian in today’s brave new world. She introduced the Future Libraries Project to help academic librarians prepare, and described how librarians can help academics today, by not just “capturing the end-role of scholarship,” but being involved throughout, and helping scholars get their ideas to the right audiences. She mentioned a number of reports, which I plan to read up on soon. You can find them here.

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