Code of Ethics
The professional Code of Ethics was developed by the Board of Certified Genealogists and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). The Accredited Genealogist® credential of the GSU was transferred in 2000 to the International Commission of the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGenSM).
The Code of Ethics is a part of ICAPGen’s Professional Ethics Agreement signed by all Accredited Genealogist professionals.
To Protect the Public
- I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven; nor will I be a party, directly or indirectly, to such action by others.
- I will identify my sources for all information and cite only those documents I have personally used.
- I will quote documents precisely, avoiding any alterations that I do not clearly identify as editorial interpretations.
- I will present the purpose, practice, scope, and possibilities of genealogical research within a realistic framework.
- I will delineate my abilities, publications, and/or fees in a true and realistic fashion.
To Protect the Consumer (Client or Colleague)
- I will keep confidential any personal or genealogical information given to me, unless I receive written consent to the contrary.
- I will reveal to the consumer any personal or financial interests that might compromise my professional obligations.
- I will undertake paid research commissions only after a clear agreement as to scope and fee.
- I will, to the best of my abilities, address my research to the issue raised by the consumer and report to that question.
- I will seek from the consumer all prior information and documentation related to the research and will not knowingly repeat the work, as billable hours, without explanation as to good cause.
- I will furnish only facts I can substantiate with adequate documentation; and I will not withhold any data necessary for the consumer’s purpose.
- If the research question involves analysis of data to determine a genealogical relationship or identity, I will report that the conclusions are based on the weight of the available evidence and that absolute proof of genealogical relationships is usually not possible.
- If I cannot resolve a research problem within the limitations of time or budget established by contract, I will explain the reasons why.
- If other feasible avenues are available, I will suggest them; but I will not misrepresent the possibilities of additional research.
- I will return any advance payment that exceeds the hours and expenses incurred.
- I will not publish or circulate research or reports to which the consumer has a proprietary right, without prior written consent of the consumer; I will observe these rights, whether my report was made directly to the consumer or to an employer or agent.
To Protect the Profession
- I will act, speak, and write in a manner I believe to be in the best interests of the profession and scholarship of genealogy.
- I will participate in exposing genealogical fraud; but I will not otherwise knowingly injure or attempt to injure, the reputation, prospects, or practice of another genealogist.
- I will not attempt to supplant another genealogist already employed by a client or agency I will substitute for another researcher only with specific written consent of and instructions provided by the client or agency.
- I will not represent as my own the work of another. This includes works that are copyrighted, in the public domain, or unpublished. This pledge includes reports, lecture materials, audio/visual tapes, compiled records, and authored essays.
- I will not reproduce for public dissemination, in an oral or written fashion, the work of another genealogist, writer, or lecturer, without that person’s written consent. In citing another’s work, I will give proper credit.
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