Dr. Jeffrey Reiss, an applications systems analyst for the Registrar’s Office, and Dr. Rosa Cintrón, an assistant professor in the College of Education, are winners of the fifth annual InfoSci-Journals Excellence in Research Award for their paper “College Students, Piracy, and Ethics: Is there a Teachable Moment?”  The paper was published in the International Journal of Technoethics.

The awards program, sponsored by IGI Global,  recognizes the most outstanding articles from the publishing company’s journal collection for 2011. Winners were selected based on their contributions to the field; quality of writing; and originality, practicality and rigor of research.

Reiss and Cintrón’s paper focuses on piracy prevention tools utilized by the information technology staffs at Florida universities. Some universities use software to monitor illegal online media sharing, but it isn’t always effective and can hinder the ability of students to freely browse the Internet.  The paper looks at alternative ways to discourage piracy in higher education.

Reiss began his research as a doctoral student in UCF’s Higher Educational Leadership program.

“The article is based on a component of my dissertation that focused on student ethics in the digital age,” he said. “I decided to pursue the topic of digital piracy in the university because of changes to the Higher Education Act that requires institutions to implement some form of monitoring in order to continue receiving funding.”

Reiss said that while there is a lot of research on students and piracy, few projects explore the subjects together from an ethical perspective.

“Besides offering a welcome change to the traditional solution to the piracy problem, I feel this research can spark further exploration in the field and help change policies for the better.”