Board for Certification of Genealogists
Code of Ethics and Conduct
As a practicing genealogist, mindful of responsibilities to the
public, to the genealogical consumer, and to scholarship, I hereby pledge
To strive for the highest level of truth and accuracy in
all phases of my work;
To act honorably toward other genealogists and toward the
field as a whole;
To adhere to the Board for Certification of Genealogists'
Standards of Conduct;
(and, if engaged in research for others)
To act in my client's best interests; and
To protect my client's privacy.
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
If the research question involves analysis of data in
order to establish 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
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
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.
II 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
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