INFORMATION LITERACY AND MULTICULTURAL INCLUSION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE: ETHICAL AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVES
1 University of Technology Sydney (AUSTRALIA)
2 University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
3 Guglielmo Marconi University (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Introduction: As an intellectual framework for recognising the need for, understanding, finding, evaluating and using information, Information Literacy must be underpinned by ethical and legal principles. Such principles would encompass adherence to moral rights, copyright and rights to privacy and confidentiality. These rights and associated principles are the subject of various international conventions and agreements including bilateral and multilateral instruments. The Australian Library and Information Association’s 2001 Statement on information literacy for all Australians, acknowledged that ‘Information literacy is a prerequisite for participative citizenship, social inclusion, the creation of new knowledge, personal, vocational, corporate and organisational empowerment [and] learning for life’. Focussing on the elements of participative citizenship and social inclusion, the role of traditional knowledge in achieving these goals is apposite. How such multicultural inclusion of traditional knowledge can be achieved as part of information literacy requires an understanding of the international discourse recognising, protecting and accessing such knowledge. A starting point is the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 (UNDRIP) which recognises the rights of Indigenous Peoples over their traditional knowledge and culture and how access is to be governed. This is further reinforced in The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, 2010 (Nagoya Protocol). That international agreement implements the access and benefit-sharing obligations of the Convention on Biological Diversity and includes access to and benefit sharing in relation to traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources. But traditional knowledge and culture can go beyond the UN concept of Indigenous peoples and encompass ‘local communities’ and their traditions, culture and knowledge of place. This is particularly important in the university context where more and more research is engaging with traditional knowledge and culture.
The paper considers the conception and core activities of the project of University of Library Studies and Information Technologies "A Conceptual Educational Model for Enhancing Information Literacy in an University Information Environment” (2019-2021), led by Prof. DSc Stoyan Denchev. As traditional knowledge and culture are investigated, documented and stored on databases, university researchers need to be aware of the protocols, or even develop protocols where they do not already exist, under which that information is collected, stored and investigated. This is particularly important in the ethics approval processes for research which engages with the holders of traditional knowledge. The databases incorporating traditional knowledge and culture created by university-based researchers through action or participatory research methodologies pose particular ethical and legal problems including questions of copyright ownership of the databases and moral rights over information stored on those databases.
The paper concludes that a framework of ethical and legal principles for dealing with traditional knowledge and culture is necessary to ensure compliance with international conventions and agreements regarding the handling of such knowledge in order to uphold Information Literacy standards and achieve multicultural inclusion.
Keywords: Information literacy, multicultural inclusion, traditional knowledge, ethical perspective, legal perspective, intellectual property.