About the Book

Ethics for Records and Information Management (2018:American Library Association)

American Library Association

Ethics for Records and Information Management


The original idea behind the book project was to create educational content that laid a foundation for a professional / applied ethics for the information fields. Teaching business and professional ethics, and studying allied field such a finance/accounting, medical, engineering, and communication ethics, it became clear that there was no professional ethics for the information fields.  There were excellent books written in law, philosophy, economics and other areas about societal issues such as the impact of automation and robotics on work, privacy and individual freedom, the internet and censorship, etc., but nothing that had the shape and content of a professional ethics for practitioners in the field of information and records management.

I began the project then with the goal of writing a book that would serve as a contribution to the development of a field of applied or professional ethics for practitioners who manage content and records for organizations.  The book is structured to realize this objective.  It presents a framework of ethical principles and concepts that are widely accepted and used by ethicists and legal scholars and which form the basis of laws and regulations.  It develops the framework into a complete system that can be applied to problems that arise for information professionals.  It also provides an overview of methods of ethical reasoning that can be used to support decision making and effective communication with stakeholders.

After laying down foundations in concepts and methods, the book addresses topics in the information fields. These include professional ethics, conflict of interest, confidentiality, business ethics, stakeholder management, intellectual property, whistleblowing and leaks, information privacy ethics, privacy by design, and information governance.  The book includes an appendix that that summarizes the main points in the five chapters for easy reference. The book will be published late spring / early summer by the ALA under the title Ethics for Records and Information Management.

Reading Tips

The book includes a synopsis of chapters for quick reference. Having read the text, you can easily review the main points and information of each chapter without having to re-read it. Also, if you wish to start with the topic-specific chapters, you can use the synopsis of the initial chapters to quickly get the foundations.

Teaching with the Book

The book is be used as the primary text for my five week ethics seminar at San Jose State University in their Masters of Archives and Records Administration (MARA). A link is posted to the syllabus is below.


Please feel free to use and adapt if you plan to use the book in a class at a university or for organizational training. If you have questions or would like to exchange ideas on how to teach with the book, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].

About the Author

Norman Mooradian has had a multifaceted career working as an information professional and as an educator focusing on digital ethics. He has worked in the field of enterprise content management (ECM) for twenty-plus years focusing on information governance in the public sector. He has technical and professional certifications in ECM, as well as extensive technical training in ECM and related technologies. Norman received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Philosophy from the Ohio State University and has completed graduate courses in legal studies at the University of Illinois. He has researched and published on issues in information technology ethics and business ethics. He has taught ethics, business ethics, and logic and critical thinking at colleges and universities over the last three decades. Norman also holds the CIPP/US information privacy certification.

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