Tatiana Batova – Regulatory authorities and health care practitioners participating in international clinical trials are often discussed in the technical writing literature. However, the most vulnerable audience—the participants—is left out of the conversation. This article examines the influence of legal and cultural contexts on participant-directed informed consent documentation. Such examination will help technical communicators make this documentation more user-centered. [Frank R. Smith Outstanding Article Award]
Heidi A. McKee and James E. Potter – This article discusses the ethical and regulatory issues that technical communicators need to consider when conducting Internet research. The issues include the diversity of legal regimes, the variability of privacy issues and cultural differences, the impact of government surveillance on research risks, and the complexity of intellectual property in a global world.
Liza Potts – This article analyzes user experience issues surrounding authorized and unauthorized media distribution. Actor Network Theory is used to look specifically at instances involving digital rights management issues in the United States and Europe. The article describes how researchers and practitioners can trace these user experiences to learn how to empower rather than criminalize social media participants.
Sherry Southard, Editor – Each issue of Technical Communication includes a Recent & Relevant section, which highlights and summarizes articles in related journals that may be of interest to technical communication professionals and scholars.
TyAnna K. Herrington – The purpose of this article is to examine pertinent issues regarding the need for a fair use structure in international intellectual property agreements. The findings are that fair use cannot be employed in international intellectual property treaty development because, to operate, fair use must retain its necessary connection to the U.S. Constitution’s goals and policy.
Avon J. Murphy, Editor – Each issue of Technical Communication includes a Book Reviews section covering the most relevant new books in the field. Twenty-nine new books are reviewed in this issue.
Nicole St. Germaine-McDaniel – The ongoing implementation of the tenets of Executive Order (EO) 13166 is helping change the focus of localization and writing for translation for technical communicators. This article discusses EO 13166; its impact on hospitals, clinics, and limited English proficient (LEP) populations; and how technical communicators involved in translation and localization help medical professionals comply with the law. [Distinguished Article Award]
Kirk St.Amant and Martine Courant Rife – This special issue is about legal issues in global contexts. Technological developments have led to a globalized world, in which international information exchange has become easier than ever. However, there appear to be many legal issues involved in globalized communication. This guest editorial discusses some of these issues, and argues that they offer challenges and opportunities for technical communicators.