Controlling the Use of Campus Data

November 20, 2019

Academic institutions, individually and collectively, should take a range of actions to ensure that the research and learning data they produce and collect are used thoughtfully and in ways that protect the institutions and their students and employees, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, or SPARC, says in a new report.

The report is a follow-up to an analysis the group published last spring, which focused on the potential risks to institutions and students as publishing and other companies "capture" individual and campus data through their technology platforms. That shift gives the companies a chance to "influence, and perhaps exert control over, key university decisions, ranging from student assessment to research integrity to financial planning," the April report argued.

The group's report lays out a set of "risk-mitigation" strategies and "strategic choices" that individual institutions should consider and a handful of "community actions" (including creating "academic community-controlled infrastructure" instead of depending on corporate platforms) for academic institutions to weigh collectively.



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