MARA 284-10 (1 Unit)
Seminar in Archives & Records Management
Topic: Ethics for Archivists and Records and Information Management Professionals
Summer 2022 Syllabus

Dr. Norman Mooradian
Office Location: Claremont, California
Office Hours: By appointment

Syllabus Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1, 2022, at 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

This course will be available beginning July 5, 2022, at 6 am PT. This course is worth 1 unit and runs from July 5, 2022, through August 5, 2022.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Note that the required text, Ethics for Records and Information Management, Mooradian, ALA 2018, is available in a digital version in the SJSU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library)

Course Description

This course covers the basic tenets of ethical and professional conduct and their relation to the principles of ethics.  It explains the importance of the ethical management of information to society and to the information professions.

The course will build upon widely accepted ethical principles used in diverse professional fields such as accounting, healthcare, law, and corporate governance, applying them to the issues and context of records and information management.  These ethical foundations will be presented as a framework within which ethical and legal rules are formulated to address new developments in information technologies and practices.  Using taxonomic concepts familiar to information professionals, ethical knowledge will be present as a continuum of high-level value dimensions and principles, generally accepted moral rules, and domain-specific ethical rules and policies.

The course will explore ethical issues such as professional responsibility, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, intellectual property, management ethics, whistle-blowing and leaking, and information privacy. The ethical implications of managing digital content and electronic records will be addressed. Current technological platforms such as enterprise content management will be discussed, as will emerging technologies, such as big data.

Course Requirements


Discussion Posts

  • Each week, a discussion prompt will be posted.
  • Each student will write a response to the post.
  • The response should be approximately two (2) full paragraphs.
  • It will be evaluated based clarity of writing and relevance to the question.


  • Each week, students will have an opportunity to earn two (1) participation points by replying to other students’ post. The replies can be in the form of a clarification, question, critical observation, expansion, etc. It should be thoughtful and constructive. Again, the student will reply to two other students.

Writing Pieces

  • A writing piece will be required for the middle three modules / weeks.
  • It should be four (4) pages, double spaced, 12 pt. font, following APA style.
  • It will consist in an explanation, analysis, or argument in response to a prompt.
  • The writing piece will be submitted to the instructor and returned to the student with comments.
  • It will be evaluated based on clarity of writing, logical organization, relevance to the question, and effectiveness in explaining or supporting its central ideas

Course Calendar 

Note: Supplementary readings will be posted on Canvas.







Discussion Posts










Writing pieces





Course Schedule

Module 1: Tuesday 7/5 to Sunday 7/10


Introduction to RIM Ethics

Due Dates


Ethics for Records and Information Management: Introduction; Chapter 1 on Ethical Principles;

Menlo Report or similar guidance document (Posted on Canvas)



Discussion Post: Write Personal introduction; describe your vision of how knowledge in information ethics will be integrated into your career plans/path.

Friday, 7/8


Participation: Replies to posts

Sunday, 7/10

Module 2: Monday 7/11 to Sunday 7/17


Professional Ethics, Conflicts of Interest, Confidentiality



Ethics for Records and Information Management:

Chapter 3 on Professional Ethics

Codes of Ethics and Professional Practice (ARMA; ICRM; SAA, ALA)

Case study:  Archives and Memory (Danielson)



Discussion Post

Friday, 7/15


Writing Piece

Saturday, 7/16


Participation: Replies to posts

Sunday, 7/17

Module 3: Monday 7/18 to Sunday 7/24


Information Privacy



Ethics for Records and Information Management: Chapter 6 on Information Privacy;

Legal Materials; e.g. OECD Principles, GAPP framework; Privacy Act; HIPAA; CCPA

Closing the Gap (article on ECM and Privacy by Design)



Discussion Post

Friday, 7/22


Writing Piece

Saturday, 7/23


Participation: Replies to posts

Sunday, 7/24

Module 4: Monday 7/25 to Sunday 7/31


Intellectual Property (copyright & trade secrets)



Ethics for Records and Information Management: Chapter 4 on Management Ethics;

Legal Materials: Federal Statutes; e.g., Copyright Act; Uniform Trade Secrets Act



Discussion Post

Friday, 7/29


Writing Piece

Saturday, 7/30


Participation: Replies to posts

Sunday, 7/31

Module 5: Monday 8/1 to Friday 8/6


Whistleblowing & Information Leaks



RIM Ethics: Chapter 5 on Whistleblowing and Information Leaks;

Selected Case Study



Discussion Post:

Thursday, 8/4


Participation: Replies to posts

Saturday, 8/6

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

MARA 284 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the ethical dimensions of their profession and systematically connect the ethical concepts, principles, codes of ethics, issues and methods of reasoning that form the basis of professional ethics for information professionals.
  2. Competently articulate, explain, and organize the reasons for their ethical decision-making and policy positions within an institutional context.
  3. Identify ethical and legal foundations of compliance frameworks and policies.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. A Articulate the ethics and values of archivists, records managers, and/or information professionals and discuss their role in social memory and organizational accountability.
  2. G Describe the legal requirements and ethical principles involved in managing physical and digital information assets and the information professional#s role in institutional compliance and risk management.


Required Textbooks:

  • Mooradian, N. (2018). Ethics for records and information management. ALA. Available as Free eBook through King Libraryarrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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