Information professionals need to be familiar with information policy concepts and issues including the processes through which information policy and legislation are created in Pakistan, individual policies which influence information creation, access and use and the role of information professionals in information policy development. This course is designed as a policy primer to develop a basic understanding of information policy related concepts, issues and procedures relevant to a variety of situations.

After completing this course, students who meaningfully engage with course material, actively participate and successfully complete their required course work should be able to:

  1. Evince an awareness of the government policies that shape the information lifecycle
  2. Discuss the role of national information policy and its relationship to international as well as organizational information policies.
  3. Outline the processes through which national information policy and legislation are developed in Pakistan.
  4. Evaluate individual policies in Pakistan which influence information creation, access and use.
  5. Explain the role of information professionals in information policy development at the national, international and organizational levels.

 B.  Course Description

Introduction to information policy; History and scope of information policy; International and national information policies; Organizational information policy; Theories of the information society; Trends and issues in information policy; Telecommunications policy; Cybersecurity and cybercrime; Internet access (Internet governance, filtering, the digital divide), identity in cyberspace (big data and mining, digital presentation, personal information management), Intellectual freedom and censorship (free expression vs blasphemy and hate speech, misinformation and disinformation (trust and the role of the professional in helping to define the quality (e.g. cognitive authority) of information content); Privacy (social media, comparison of US vs European and Asian practices); Security and secrecy (government spying and surveillance, freedom of information, denial of service attacks, acceptable use policies); e-government (e-commerce and regulations, citizen access to services through the Internet); Intellectual property (copyright, ownership and licensing); Right and access to information; Public records and open government; Open government and open data; The role of information professionals in information policy development; impact of such policies on libraries and other information intensive workplaces.

C.  Teaching Methodology

The course will be conducted as a combination of lecture, discussion, and presentation methods.  Students will be expected to do extensive reading for each topic and engage in meaningful class discussion. They will be required to evaluate published research.

D.  Course Requirements and Evaluation

Performance of students will be evaluated on the following basis:

a)  Presentations and assignments            20 marks

Each student will select a topic related to information policy with the approval of the lecturer, prepare an assignment and present it in the class room following the guidelines provided in class.

               b)  Mid Term examination                              30 marks

               c)  Final examination                                      50 marks

E.  Readings

  1. Sandra Braman (2011). Defining information policy. Journal of Information Policy, 1, 1-5.
  2. Braman, S. (2006). An introduction to information policy. In Change of state: Information, policy, and power, pp. 1-8. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  3. Ian Rowlands (1996). Understanding information policy: concepts, frameworks and research tools. Journal of Information Science, 22(1), 13-25.
  4. Browne, M. (1997). The Field of Information Policy: 1. Fundamental Concepts, Journal of Information Science, 23(4), 261-275.
  5. Browne, M. (1997). The field of information policy: 2. Redefining the boundaries and methodologies. Journal of Information Science, 23(5), 339-351.
  6. Hill, M. W. (1995). Information policies: Premonitions and prospects. Journal of Information Science, 21(4), 273-282.
  7. Elizabeth Orna (2008). Information policies: Yesterday, today, tomorrow, Journal of Information Science, 34(4), 547-565.
  8. Philip Ayoo and Japhet Otike, (2002). Factors hampering the formulation of National Information Policy in Kenya. Library Review, 51(7), 350-357.
  9. Barbara Buckley Owen, Louise Cooke and Graham Matthews (2012). Information policymaking in the United Kingdom: The role of the information professional, Journal of Information Policy, 2, 51-78.
  10. Sarah Holsen and Martial Pasquier. (2012). Insight on oversight: The role of information commissioners in the implementation of access to information policies, Journal of Information Policy, 2, 214-241.
  11. Paul T. Jaeger, Ursula Gorham, Natalie Greene Taylor, John C. Bertot (2015). Teaching information policy in the digital age: Issues, strategies, and innovation, Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 56(3), 175 -189.
  12. Steven W. Witt. (2016). Researching the impacts of information policy an imperative for the global library community (Editorial). IFLA Journal, 42(3) 159–161
  13. Mél Hogan and Tamara Shepherd (2015). Information ownership and materiality in an age of big data surveillance. Journal of Information Policy, 5, 6-31
  14. Toni G.L.A. van der Meer, Dave Gelders and Sabine Rotthier (2014). e-Democracy: Exploring the current stage of e-government. Journal of Information Policy, 4, 489-506
  15. Cornelius, I. (2010). Information policies and strategies. London: Facet Publishing.
  16. Cowhey. P. F. (1990). The international telecommunications regime: The political roots of regimes for high technology. International Organization, 45(2), 169-199.
  17. Nissenbaum, Helen. (2010). Privacy in context: Technology, policy, and the integrity of social life. Stanford Law Books.
  18. Richet, J. L. (Ed.). (2015). Cybersecurity Policies and Strategies for Cyberwarfare Prevention. IGI Global.

Course Material