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Critical Race & Ethnic Studies 101 (Alamri): Privilege & Bias in Scholarly Publishing

Race and the Media

Information Privilege

"Information privilege is the idea that access to information can be based on an individual’s status, affiliation, or power. Access to information can be blocked by various means including geography, access to technology, financial standing, and identity. The type of information that is obstructed is often the most skilled, researched, and credible. This creates a power dynamic where there are parts of a society who can benefit from this access and those who are marginalized because of a lack of access" ("Information Privilege", Wikipedia)

See Booth's blog post "On Information Privilege" and Saunders' article "Information Literacy and Social Justice: Why and How"

Scholarly Publishing

Typically, instructors ask that you use scholarly peer-reviewed articles since this information reports the results of experiments and other kinds of studies and is considered to be least biased.

Scholarly publishing, however, is not free of class, gender, racial/ethnic, and linguistic biases. Bias is a preference for one thing over another, say, a perspective, although we typically think of it as unfair prejudice.

All information and information systems have elements of bias because they are cultural products. It is important to acknowledge that the journal articles and the databases you are selecting them from when conducting your research are not as neutral as they might seem.

Scholarly publishing privileges:

Open Access

Increasing costs of subscriptions have made it more challenging for libraries to subscribe to journal packages. The Open Access movement is working to address the issue of costs for consumers. "Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access is the needed modern update for the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally built to do—accelerate research" ("Open Access", SPARC).