5. Make Your Results Accessible

Results of anthropological research should be disseminated in a timely fashion. It is important to bear in mind that these results may not be clear cut, and may be subject to multiple interpretations, as well as susceptible to differing and unintended uses. In some situations, limitations on dissemination may be appropriate where such restrictions will protect participants or their cultural heritage and/or tangible or intangible cultural or intellectual property. In some cases, dissemination may pose significant risks because once information is disseminated, even in a limited sphere, there is great likelihood that it will become widely available.1 Thus, preventing dissemination may sometimes be the most ethical decision. Dissemination and sharing of research data should not be at the expense of protecting confidentiality.

Anthropologists should not withhold research results from research participants, especially when those results are shared with others. However, restrictions on disclosure may be appropriate and ethical, such as where study participants have been fully informed and have freely agreed to limited dissemination, or where restrictions have been placed on dissemination to protect the safety, dignity, or privacy of research participants or to minimize risk to researchers. Proprietary, classified or other research with limited distribution raises ethical questions which must be resolved using these ethical principles.

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Supporting Resources

Association of American Universities, Association of Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, and National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. 2009. “The University’s Role in the Dissemination of Research and Scholarship.” EDUCAUSE Review 44(2):6-7.

Brettell, Caroline B, ed. 1993. When They Read What We Write. Westport, CN: Bergin & Garvey.

Hopper, Kim. 1996. “Fresh Thickets of Trouble: Unresolved Ethical Issues of Research in the Urban Public Domain.” City and Society 8(1):155-172.

Lederman, Rena. 2006. “The Perils of Working at Home: IRB “Mission Creep” as Context and Content for an Ethnography of Disciplinary Knowledges.” American Ethnologist 33(4):482-491.

Lederman, Rena, ed. 2006. AE Forum: IRBs, Bureaucratic Regulation, and Academic Freedom. American Ethnologist 33(4):477-548. (Includes an introduction by Lederman; articles by Lederman [see above], Daniel Bradburd, Jack Katz, and Richard A. Shweder; comments by Deborah Winslow, Didier Fassin, Stuart Plattner, Gustavo Lins Ribeiro, Marilyn Strathern, Nandini Sundar, Don Brenneis, George J. Annas; and a rejoinder by Lederman.)

Rappert, Brian. 2010. “Making Silence Matter: The Place of the Absences in Ethnography.” Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings 1:260-273.

Simonelli, Jeanne. 2007. “The Active Voice: Narrative in Applied and Activist Anthropology.” Anthropology and Humanism 32(2):156-170.

Relevant sections in ethics codes of other organizations:

1) Association of American Geographers

Statement on Professional Ethics (2009)

V. Relations with People, Places, and Things

Consistent with these guidelines, research should be conducted only after careful consideration of three fundamental principles: . . . (2) Equity: The sharing of research results, to the extent practical and legal, with individuals and communities affected by the research.

2) Register of Professional Archaeologists

Code of Conduct (n.d.)

I. The Archaeologist’s Responsibility to the Public
1.1 An archaeologist shall:
c. Be sensitive to, and respect the legitimate concerns of, groups whose culture histories are the subjects of archaeological investigations.

II. The Archaeologist’s Responsibility to Colleagues, Employees, and Students
2.1 An archaeologist shall:
c. Accurately, and without undue delay, prepare and properly disseminate a description of research done and its results.
2.2 An archaeologist shall not:
d. Refuse a reasonable request from a qualified colleague for research data.

III. The Archaeologist’s Responsibility to Employers and Clients
3.1 An archaeologist shall:
d. Exercise reasonable care to prevent her/his employees, colleagues, associates and others whose services are utilized by her/him from revealing or using confidential information. Confidential information means information of a non-archaeological nature gained in the course of employment which the employer or client has requested be held inviolate, or the disclosure of which would be embarrassing or would be likely to be detrimental to the employer or client. Information ceases to be confidential when the employer or client so indicates or when such information becomes publicly known.
3.2 An archaeologist shall not:
a. Reveal confidential information, unless required by law;
b. Use confidential information to the disadvantage of the client or employer;
c. Use confidential information for the advantage of herself/himself or a third person, unless the client consents after full disclosure.

3) American Sociological Association

Code of Ethics. Washington D.C.: American Sociological Association, 1999.

11. Confidentiality
Sociologists have an obligation to ensure that confidential information is protected. They do so to ensure the integrity of research and the open communication with research participants and to protect sensitive information obtained in research, teaching, practice, and service. When gathering confidential information, sociologists should take into account the long-term uses of the information, including its potential placement in public archives or the examination of the information by other researchers or practitioners.

11.01 Maintaining Confidentiality
(a) Sociologists take reasonable precautions to protect the confidentiality rights of research participants, students, employees, clients, or others.
(b) Confidential information provided by research participants, students, employees, clients, or others is treated as such by sociologists even if there is no legal protection or privilege to do so. Sociologists have an obligation to protect confidential information and not allow information gained in confidence from being used in ways that would unfairly compromise research participants, students, employees, clients, or others.
(c) Information provided under an understanding of confidentiality is treated as such even after the death of those providing that information.
(d) Sociologists maintain the integrity of confidential deliberations, activities, or roles, including, where applicable, that of professional committees, review panels, or advisory groups (e.g., the ASA Committee on Professional Ethics).
(e) Sociologists, to the extent possible, protect the confidentiality of student records, performance data, and personal information, whether verbal or written, given in the context of academic consultation, supervision, or advising.
(f) The obligation to maintain confidentiality extends to members of research or training teams and collaborating organizations who have access to the information. To ensure that access to confidential information is restricted, t is the responsibility of researchers, administrators, and principal investigators to instruct staff to take the steps necessary to protect confidentiality.
(g) When using private information about individuals collected by other persons or institutions, sociologists protect the confidentiality of individually identifiable information. Information is private when an individual can reasonably expect that the information will not be made public with personal identifiers (e.g., medical or employment records).

11.02 Limits of Confidentiality
(a) Sociologists inform themselves fully about all laws and rules which may limit or alter guarantees of confidentiality. They determine their ability to guarantee absolute confidentiality and, as appropriate, inform research participants, students, employees, clients, or others of any limitations to this guarantee at the outset, consistent with ethical standards set forth in 11.02(b).
(b) Sociologists may confront unanticipated circumstances where they become aware of information that is clearly health- or life-threatening to research participants, students, employees, clients, or others. In these cases, sociologists balance the importance of guarantees of confidentiality with other principles in this Code of Ethics, standards of conduct, and applicable law.
(c) Confidentiality is not required with respect to observations in public places, activities conducted in public, or other settings where no rules of privacy are provided by law or custom. Similarly, confidentiality is not required in the case of information available from public records.

11.03 Discussing Confidentiality and Its Limits
(a) When sociologists establish a scientific or professional relationship with persons, they discuss (1) the relevant limitations on confidentiality, and (2) the foreseeable uses of the information generated through their professional work.
(b) Unless it is not feasible or is counter-productive, the discussion of confidentiality occurs at the outset of the relationship and thereafter as new circumstances may warrant

11.04 Anticipation of Possible Uses of Information
(a) When research requires maintaining personal identifiers in databases or systems of records, sociologists delete such identifiers before the information is made publicly available.
(b) When confidential information concerning research participants, clients, or other recipients of service is entered into databases or systems of records available to persons without the prior consent of the relevant parties, sociologists protect anonymity by not including personal identifiers or by employing other techniques that mask or control disclosure of individual identities.
(c) When deletion of personal identifiers is not feasible, sociologists take reasonable steps to determine that appropriate consent of personally identifiable individuals has been obtained before they transfer such data to others or review such data collected by others.

11.05 Electronic Transmission of Confidential Information
Sociologists use extreme care in delivering or transferring any confidential data, information, or communication over public computer networks. Sociologists are attentive to the problems of maintaining confidentiality and control over sensitive material and data when use of technological innovations, such as public computer networks, may open their professional and scientific communication to unauthorized persons.

11.06 Anonymity of Sources
(a) Sociologists do not disclose in their writings, lectures, or other public media confidential, personally identifiable information concerning their research participants, students, individual or organizational clients, or other recipients of their service which is obtained during the course of their work, unless consent from individuals or their legal representatives has been obtained.
(b) When confidential information is used in scientific and professional presentations, sociologists disguise the identity of research participants, students, individual or organizational clients, or other recipients of their service.

11.07 Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy
(a) To minimize intrusions on privacy, sociologists include in written and oral reports, consultations, and public communications only information germane to the purpose for which the communication is made.
(b) Sociologists discuss confidential information or evaluative data concerning research participants, students, supervisees, employees, and individual or organizational clients only for appropriate scientific or professional purposes and only with persons clearly concerned with such matters.

11.08 Preservation of Confidential Information
(a) Sociologists take reasonable steps to ensure that records, data, or information are preserved in a confidential manner consistent with the requirements of this Code of Ethics, recognizing that ownership of records, data, or information may also be governed by law or institutional principles.
(b) Sociologists plan so that confidentiality of records, data, or information is protected in the event of the sociologist’s death, incapacity, or withdrawal from the position or practice.
(c) When sociologists transfer confidential records, data, or information to other persons or organizations, they obtain assurances that the recipients of the records, data, or information will employ measures to protect confidentiality at least equal to those originally pledged.

13. Research Planning, Implementation, and Dissemination
Sociologists have an obligation to promote the integrity of research and to ensure that they comply with the ethical tenets of science in the planning, implementation, and dissemination of research. They do so in order to advance knowledge, to minimize the possibility that results will be misleading, and to protect the rights of research participants.

13.04 Reporting on Research
(a) Sociologists disseminate their research findings except where unanticipated circumstances (e.g., the health of the researcher) or proprietary agreements with employers, contractors, or clients preclude such dissemination.
(b) Sociologists do not fabricate data or falsify results in their publications or presentations.
(c) In presenting their work, sociologists report their findings fully and do not omit relevant data. They report results whether they support or contradict the expected outcomes.
(d) Sociologists take particular care to state all relevant qualifications on the findings and interpretation of their research. Sociologists also disclose underlying assumptions, theories, methods, measures, and research designs that might bear upon findings and interpretations of their work.
(e) Consistent with the spirit of full disclosure of methods and analyses, once findings are publicly disseminated, sociologists permit their open assessment and verification by other responsible researchers with appropriate safeguards, where applicable, to protect the anonymity of research participants.
(f) If sociologists discover significant errors in their publication or presentation of data, they take reasonable steps to correct such errors in a correction, a retraction, published errata, or other public fora as appropriate.
(g) Sociologists report sources of financial support in their written papers and note any special relations to any sponsor. In special circumstances, sociologists may withhold the names of specific sponsors if they provide an adequate and full description of the nature and interest of the sponsor.
(h) Sociologists take special care to report accurately the results of others’ scholarship by using correct information and citations when presenting the work of others in publications, teaching, practice, and service settings.

13.05 Data Sharing
(a) Sociologists share data and pertinent documentation as a regular practice. Sociologists make their data available after completion of the project or its major publications, except where proprietary agreements with employers, contractors, or clients preclude such accessibility or when it is impossible to share data and protect the confidentiality of the data or the anonymity of research participants (e.g., raw field notes or detailed information from ethnographic interviews).
(b) Sociologists anticipate data sharing as an integral part of a research plan whenever data sharing is feasible.
(c) Sociologists share data in a form that is consonant with research participants’ interests and protect the confidentiality of the information they have been given. They maintain the confidentiality of data, whether legally required or not; remove personal identifiers before data are shared; and, if necessary, use other disclosure avoidance techniques.
(d) Sociologists who do not otherwise place data in public archives keep data available and retain documentation relating to the research for a reasonable period of time after publication or dissemination of results.
(e) Sociologists may ask persons who request their data for further analysis to bear the associated incremental costs, if necessary.
(f) Sociologists who use data from others for further analyses explicitly acknowledge the contribution of the initial researchers.

4) American Educational Research Association

Code of Ethics (2011)

11. Public Communications
Education researchers adhere to the highest professional standards in public communications about their professional services, credentials, expertise, work products, or publications, whether these communications are from themselves or from others on their behalf.

11.01 Researcher Communications
(a) Education researchers take steps to ensure the accuracy of all public communications. Such public communications include, but are not limited to, directory listings; personal resumes or curriculum vitae; advertising; brochures or printed matter; interviews or comments to the media; statements in legal proceedings; lectures and public oral presentations; or other published materials.
(b) Education researchers do not make public statements that are false, deceptive, misleading, or fraudulent, either 5 because of what they state, convey, or suggest or because of what they omit. Such activities include, but are not limited to, false or deceptive statements concerning their own or others’ (1) training, experience, or competence; (2) academic degrees; (3) credentials; (4) institutional or association affiliations; (5) services; (6) fees; or (7) publications or research findings. Education researchers do not make false or deceptive statements concerning the scientific or scholarly basis for any professional services they may provide.
(c) When education researchers provide professional advice, comment, or testimony to the public, the media, government, or other institutions, they take reasonable precautions to ensure that (1) the statements are based on appropriate research, literature, and practice; and (2) the statements are otherwise consistent with the Code of Ethics.
(d) In working with the press, radio, television, online media or other communications media or in advertising in the media, education researchers are cognizant of potential conflicts of interest or appearances of such conflicts (e.g., providing compensation to employees of the media), and they adhere to the highest standards of professional honesty.

11.02 Statements by Others
(a) Education researchers who engage or employ others to create or place public statements that promote their work products, professional services, or other activities retain responsibility for such statements.
(b) Education researchers make reasonable efforts to prevent others whom they do not directly engage or employ (such as employers, publishers, sponsors, organizational clients, and members of the media) from making deceptive statements concerning their professional research, teaching, or practice activities.

12. Confidentiality
Education researchers ensure that confidential information is protected. They do so to ensure the integrity of research and the open communication with research participants and to protect sensitive information obtained in research, teaching, practice, and service. When gathering confidential information, education researchers take into account the long-term uses of the information, including its potential placement in public archives or the examination of the information by other researchers or practitioners.

12.01 Maintaining Confidentiality
(a) Confidentiality agreements are made known to or established between education researchers and others at the outset of a scientific, scholarly, or professional relationship and are reviewed periodically as conditions require. See also 12.03(b).
(b) Education researchers take reasonable precautions to protect the confidentiality of information related to research participants, students, employees, clients, and others when confidentiality has been provided or there is a reasonable expectation of confidentiality. 6
(c) Confidential information provided by research participants, students, employees, clients, or others is treated as such by education researchers even if there is no legal protection or privilege requiring them to do so. Education researchers protect confidential information and do not allow information gained in confidence to be used in ways that would unfairly compromise research participants, students, employees, clients, or others.
(d) Information provided under an understanding of confidentiality is treated as such even after the death of those providing that information.
(e) Education researchers maintain the integrity of confidential deliberations, activities, or roles, including, where applicable, that of professional committees, review panels, or advisory groups.
(f) Education researchers protect the confidentiality of student records, performance data, and personal information, whether verbal or written, given in the context of academic consultation, supervision, or advising.
(g) Members of research or training teams and collaborating organizations with access to confidential information maintain confidentiality. To ensure that access to confidential information is restricted, principal investigators, other researchers, and administrators take steps necessary to protect confidentiality through appropriate data protection methods and plans.
(h) When using private information about individuals collected by other persons, organizations, or institutions, education researchers protect the confidentiality of individually identifiable information. Information is private when an individual can reasonably expect that the information will not be made public with personal identifiers (e.g., student, medical, or employment records).
(i) Education researchers inform themselves fully about and use methods, procedures, and steps that can enhance confidentiality protections, including awareness of legal provisions.

12.02 Limits of Confidentiality
(a) Education researchers inform themselves fully about all laws, rules, or circumstances that may limit guarantees of confidentiality. They determine their ability to guarantee absolute confidentiality and, as appropriate, inform research participants, students, employees, clients, or others of any limitations to this guarantee at the outset, consistent with ethical standards set forth in 12.02(b).
(b) Education researchers may confront unanticipated circumstances in which they become aware of information that is clearly health- or life-threatening to research participants, students, employees, clients, or others. In these cases, education researchers balance the importance of guarantees of confidentiality with other principles in this Code of Ethics, standards of conduct, and applicable law.
(c) Confidentiality is not required with respect to observations in public places, activities conducted in public, or other 7 settings where no rules of privacy are provided by law or custom. Similarly, confidentiality is not required in the case of information from publicly available records.

12.03 Discussing Confidentiality and Its Limits
(a) When education researchers establish a scientific, scholarly, or professional relationship with persons, they discuss (1) the relevant limitations on confidentiality, and (2) the foreseeable uses of the information generated through their professional work.
(b) Unless it is not feasible or is counterproductive, the discussion of confidentiality occurs both at the outset of the relationship and thereafter as new circumstances may warrant.

12.04 Anticipation of Possible Uses of Information
(a) When research requires maintaining personal identifiers in databases or systems of records, education researchers remove such identifiers before the information is made publicly available.
(b) When removal or masking of personal identifiers is not feasible, education researchers take reasonable steps to determine that appropriate consent of personally identifiable individuals has been obtained before they transfer such data to others or review such data collected by others. When it is not feasible to obtain consent for subsequent use, education researchers take steps to ensure that access to such data occurs only under restricted conditions where users agree to honor confidentiality agreements or protections in place.
(c) When confidential information concerning research participants, clients, or other recipients of service is entered into databases or systems of records available to persons without the prior consent of the relevant parties, education researchers protect the privacy of others by not including personal identifiers or by employing other techniques that mask or control disclosure of individual identities.

12.05 Electronic Transmission and Storage of Confidential Information
Education researchers protect confidential data, information, or communication in their storage, delivery, or transfer over computer networks or other electronic means. Education researchers are attentive to the problems of maintaining confidentiality and control over sensitive material and data when use of technology, such as computer networks, may open their professional, scientific, and scholarly communication to unauthorized persons or inadvertent disclosure.

12.06 Anonymity of Sources
(a) Education researchers do not disclose in their writings, lectures, websites, or other public media confidential, personally identifiable information concerning their research participants, students, individual or organizational clients, or other recipients of their service which is obtained during the course of their work, unless consent from individuals or their legally authorized representatives has been obtained.
(b) When confidential information is used in scientific, scholarly, and professional presentations, education researchers disguise the identity of research participants, students, individual or organizational clients, or other recipients of their service.

12.07 Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy
(a) To minimize intrusions on privacy, education researchers include in written and oral reports, consultations, and public communications only information germane to the purpose for which the communication is made.
(b) Education researchers discuss confidential information or evaluative data concerning research participants, students, supervisees, employees, and individual or organizational clients only for appropriate scientific, scholarly, or professional purposes and only with persons authorized to discuss such matters.

12.08 Preservation of Confidential Information
(a) Education researchers take reasonable steps to ensure that records, data, or information are preserved in a confidential manner consistent with the requirements of this Code of Ethics, recognizing that ownership of records, data, or information may also be governed by law or institutional principles.
(b) Education researchers plan so that confidentiality of records, data, or information is protected in the event of the education researcher’s death, incapacity, or withdrawal from the position or practice.
(c) When education researchers transfer confidential records, data, or information to other persons or organizations, they obtain assurances that the recipients of the records data, or information will employ measures to protect confidentiality at least equal to those originally pledged.
(d) Education researchers take reasonable steps to ensure that they protect the identity of research participants in disseminating their research findings to the extent provided under assurances of confidentiality.

5) American Historical Association

Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct (2011)

6. History in the Public Realm

Because interpreting the past is so vital to democratic debate and civic life in the public realm, historians regularly have the opportunity to discuss the implications of their knowledge for concerns and controversies in the present–including present controversies about past events. It is one of the privileges of our profession to share historical insights and interpretations with a wider public, wherever the locus of our employment. We should welcome the chance to do so, and the institutions that employ historians should recognize the importance of this aspect of our work. Historians should not be subject to institutional or professional penalties for their beliefs and activities, provided they do not misrepresent themselves as speaking for their institutions or their professional organizations when they are not authorized to do so.

Practicing history in the public realm presents important challenges, for when historians communicate with a wider public, they must represent not just a particular interpretation or body of facts, but the best practices of the discipline of history itself. This means they must inevitably walk a tightrope in balancing their desire to present a particular point of view with their responsibility to uphold the standards and values that underpin their professional authority as historians. This challenge can be especially complex for public historians, whose daily working lives frequently require multiple levels of accountability, and for historians working in advocacy roles.

Public discussions of complex historical questions inevitably translate and simplify many technical details associated with those questions, while at the same time suggesting at least some of the associated complexities and divergent points of view. While it is perfectly acceptable for historians to share their own perspectives with the public, they should also strive to demonstrate how the historical profession links evidence with arguments to build fair-minded, nuanced, and responsible interpretations of the past. The desire to score points as an advocate should never tempt a historian to misrepresent the historical record or the critical methods that the profession uses to interpret that record.

Historians who work in government, corporate, and nonprofit institutions, as well as those occasionally entering public arenas as political advisers, expert witnesses, public intellectuals, consultants, legislative witnesses, journalists, or commentators, may face a choice of priorities between professionalism and partisanship. They may want to prepare themselves by seeking advice from other experienced professionals. As historians, they must be sensitive to the complexities of history, the diversity of historical interpretations, and the limits as well as the strengths of their own points of view and experiences and of the discipline itself. In such situations, historians must use sources, including the work of other scholars, with great care and should always be prepared to explain the methods and assumptions in their research; the relations between evidence and interpretation; and alternative interpretations of the subjects they address.

6) American Psychological Association

Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2010)

General Principles

Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity

Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of persons or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making. Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.

Standard 4: Privacy and Confidentiality

4.01 Maintaining Confidentiality

Psychologists have a primary obligation and take reasonable precautions to protect confidential information obtained through or stored in any medium, recognizing that the extent and limits of confidentiality may be regulated by law or established by institutional rules or professional or scientific relationship. (See also Standard 2.05, Delegation of Work to Others.)

4.02 Discussing the Limits of Confidentiality

(a) Psychologists discuss with persons (including, to the extent feasible, persons who are legally incapable of giving informed consent and their legal representatives) and organizations with whom they establish a scientific or professional relationship (1) the relevant limits of confidentiality and (2) the foreseeable uses of the information generated through their psychological activities. (See also Standard 3.10, Informed Consent.)

(b) Unless it is not feasible or is contraindicated, the discussion of confidentiality occurs at the outset of the relationship and thereafter as new circumstances may warrant.

(c) Psychologists who offer services, products, or information via electronic transmission inform clients/patients of the risks to privacy and limits of confidentiality.

4.03 Recording

Before recording the voices or images of individuals to whom they provide services, psychologists obtain permission from all such persons or their legal representatives. (See also Standards 8.03, Informed Consent for Recording Voices and Images in Research; 8.05, Dispensing with Informed Consent for Research; and 8.07, Deception in Research.)

4.04 Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy

(a) Psychologists include in written and oral reports and consultations, only information germane to the purpose for which the communication is made.

(b) Psychologists discuss confidential information obtained in their work only for appropriate scientific or professional purposes and only with persons clearly concerned with such matters.

4.05 Disclosures

(a) Psychologists may disclose confidential information with the appropriate consent of the organizational client, the individual client/patient, or another legally authorized person on behalf of the client/patient unless prohibited by law.

(b) Psychologists disclose confidential information without the consent of the individual only as mandated by law, or where permitted by law for a valid purpose such as to (1) provide needed professional services; (2) obtain appropriate professional consultations; (3) protect the client/patient, psychologist, or others from harm; or (4) obtain payment for services from a client/patient, in which instance disclosure is limited to the minimum that is necessary to achieve the purpose. (See also Standard 6.04e, Fees and Financial Arrangements.)

4.06 Consultations

When consulting with colleagues, (1) psychologists do not disclose confidential information that reasonably could lead to the identification of a client/patient, research participant, or other person or organization with whom they have a confidential relationship unless they have obtained the prior consent of the person or organization or the disclosure cannot be avoided, and (2) they disclose information only to the extent necessary to achieve the purposes of the consultation. (See also Standard 4.01, Maintaining Confidentiality.)

4.07 Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes

Psychologists do not disclose in their writings, lectures, or other public media, confidential, personally identifiable information concerning their clients/patients, students, research participants, organizational clients, or other recipients of their services that they obtained during the course of their work, unless (1) they take reasonable steps to disguise the person or organization, (2) the person or organization has consented in writing, or (3) there is legal authorization for doing so.

Standard 5: Advertising and Other Public Statements

5.04 Media Presentations

When psychologists provide public advice or comment via print, Internet, or other electronic transmission, they take precautions to ensure that statements (1) are based on their professional knowledge, training, or experience in accord with appropriate psychological literature and practice; (2) are otherwise consistent with this Ethics Code; and (3) do not indicate that a professional relationship has been established with the recipient. (See also Standard 2.04, Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments.)

7) Archaeological Institute of America

Code of Professional Standards (2008)

I. Responsibilities to the Archaeological Record

5. Archaeologists should make public the results of their research in a timely fashion, making evidence available to others if publication is not accomplished within a reasonable time.

II. Responsibilities to the Public

Because the archaeological record represents the heritage of all people, it is the responsibility of professional archaeologists to communicate with the general public about the nature of archaeological research and the importance of archaeological resources. Archaeologists also have specific responsibilities to the local communities where they carry out research and field work, as well as to their home institutions and communities. Archaeologists should be sensitive to cultural mores and attitudes, and be aware of the impact research and fieldwork may have on a local population, both during and after the work. Such considerations should be taken into account in designing the project’s strategy.

1. Professional archaeologists should be actively engaged in public outreach through lecturing, popular writing, school programs, and other educational initiatives.

2. Plans for field work should consider the ecological impact of the project and its overall impact on the local communities.

3. Professional archaeologists should not participate in projects whose primary goal is private gain.

4. For field projects, archaeologists should consult with appropriate representatives of the local community during the planning stage, invite local participation in the project, and regularly inform the local community about the results of the research.

5. Archaeologists should respect the cultural norms and dignity of local inhabitants in areas where archaeological research is carried out.

6. The legitimate concerns of people who claim descent from, or some other connection with, cultures of the past must be balanced against the scholarly integrity of the discipline. A mutually acceptable accommodation should be sought.

III. Responsibilities to Colleagues

3. Professional archaeologists should maintain confidentiality of information gleaned in reviewing grant proposals and other such privileged sources.

5. Archaeologists should honor reasonable requests from colleagues for access to materials and records, preserving existing rights to publication, but sharing information useful for the research of others. Scholars seeking access to unpublished information should not expect to receive interpretive information if that is also unpublished and in progress.

6. Before studying and/or publishing any unpublished material archaeologists should secure proper permission, normally in writing, from the appropriate project director or the appointed representative of the sponsoring institution and/or the antiquities authorities in the country of origin.

8) American Political Science Association

A Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science. 2nd ed. Washington D.C.: American Political Science Association, 2008.

E. Ethics in the Publication Process

16. Appraising manuscripts and reviewing books are serious scholarly responsibilities.

16.1 Those invited to make appraisals or to write reviews should disqualify themselves if they have a reasonable doubt about whether they can exercise the responsibility with scholarly detachment. Such doubt might be raised, for example, by an invitation to appraise the manuscript or review the book of a close personal friend or of a departmental colleague.

16.2 Insofar as possible, editors and book-review editors should themselves act in conformity with the above principles. Moreover, in connection with the appraisal of manuscripts, editors should take all reasonable precautions to avoid revealing the names of the author and the reader to each other.

17. When a piece of writing is jointly authored, it is presumed to be the intellectual product of the authors collectively, not individually, and this fact should govern its further use including its use by any of the original authors.

17.1 Passages of text and major themes and ideas used in subsequent work by any of the authors should be attributed to the original source following accepted standards for quotation and citation. Exceptions to this practice should occur only if a portion of the jointly authorized work has been clearly attributed in the original work to one of the authors.

18. Authors who submit manuscripts to more than one professional journal at the same time are obligated to inform each editor of the fact.

19. Political scientists seeking to reprint the previously published work of others have an ethical obligation to make sure that consent is obtained.

19.1 The copyright holder should consent to the inclusion of previously published work only if the author consents. The copyright holder should either obtain the consent of the author or require that this be done by the party seeking permission to reprint.

19.2 In cases where the copyright holder or the publisher of previously published work has not taken steps to obtain consent, the political scientist involved, as compiler and editor of the book, should secure the consent of the author of the material. Political scientists are encouraged to include in contracts with publishers a provision that the publisher must obtain the consent of the author or authors before allowing reprinting of the work.

19.3 The copyright holder and the author are each entitled to a flat fee or a share of royalties in connection with permissions to reprint, specific terms depending on agreement with the party seeking permission. Either the copyright holder or the author may waive his or her right. Each may act on his or her own behalf, or by mutual consent one may act on behalf of both.

19.4 Permission must be renewed, and financial arrangements are subject to renegotiation, whenever a book goes into a new edition. 19.5 Any work reprinted may be changed only with the specific consent of the author. An author ordinarily is entitled to a complimentary copy of any publication in which his or her work is reprinted.

20. Responsibilities of Editors and Contributors to Edited Volumes

20.1 Prospective editors shall not use the names of any individuals as contributors to an edited volume unless and until they have received permission of the contributors for use of their names.

20.2 Once contracts are signed for an edited volume, and solicitations of manuscripts are made, editors have an obligation to include the solicited work in the publication if it conforms to the standards of scholarship previously established by the editors.

20.3 Along with any other guidelines established by the editors, contracts and instructions to contributors should include clear specification of (1) manuscript length for the individual contributor; and (2) number of days for authors to respond to editors’ alterations or suggestions for revision to the manuscript.

20.4 Editors will normally have responsibility and authority for decisions on acceptability of manuscripts, and should clearly communicate this understanding, or any departure therefrom, to the contributors.

21. When a thesis or dissertation is published in whole or in part, the following rules apply:

21.1 Authors are not ordinarily under an ethical obligation to acknowledge its origins.

21.2 Authors are free to decide what acknowledgment, if any, to give to the professor under whose supervision they worked.

21.3 Any financial support for the dissertation should be acknowledged in a manner consistent with principles for all published research.

9) National Council on Public History

Bylaws and Ethics (2007)

The Public Historians’ Responsibility to the Public

This code recognizes that the public may be defined in multiple and sometimes competing ways and that public interest is a fluid concept often formulated within the context of particular situations and subject to continuous debate. Nonetheless, ethical practice implies a responsibility to serve the public interest, as conscientiously determined in any given situation, and requires certain basic principles of professional conduct. 4. Public historians should be fully cognizant of the purpose or purposes for which their work is intended, recognizing that research-based decisions and actions may have long-term consequences.

The Public Historians’ Responsibility to Clients and Employers

Public historians have a responsibility to perform work competently, diligently, creatively, and independently in pursuit of a client’s or employer’s interest, and a corollary responsibility to assure that such performance is consistent with their service to the public interest.

8. A public historian is obligated not to disclose information gained in a professional relationship when the client or employer has requested such information to be held confidential. Exceptions to the principle of non-disclosure must be made when required by process of law. Exceptions may be made when disclosure would prevent a violation of law or prevent a substantial injustice to the public interest. In such instances, a public historian must verify the facts and issues of the circumstance and, when practicable, make every reasonable effort to obtain separate opinions from other qualified professionals employed by the client or employer and every reasonable effort to obtain reconsideration from the client or employer.

The Public Historian’s Responsibility to the Profession and to Colleagues

Public historians should contribute to the development of the historical profession by advancing knowledge and improving methods, systems, procedures, and technical applications. More broadly, public historians should respect the professional views of their colleagues and peers in all professional fields. Public historians should strive to increase the diversity of the profession to reflect more closely the demographics of society. Equally important, public historians should strive to increase public understanding of the practice of public history.

5. A public historian should share the results of experience and research that contribute to the body of public historical knowledge.

10) Oral History Association

Principles and Best Practices (2009)

Post Interview

1. Interviewers, sponsoring institutions, and institutions charged with the preservation of oral history interviews should understand that appropriate care and storage of original recordings begins immediately after their creation.

2. Interviewers should document their preparation and methods, including the circumstances of the interviews and provide that information to whatever repository will be preserving and providing access to the interview.

3. Information deemed relevant for the interpretation of the oral history by future users, such as photographs, documents, or other records should be collected, and archivists should make clear to users the availability and connection of these materials to the recorded interview.

4. The recordings of the interviews should be stored, processed, refreshed and accessed according to established archival standards designated for the media format used. Whenever possible, all efforts should be made to preserve electronic files in formats that are cross platform and nonproprietary. Finally, the obsolescence of all media formats should be assumed and planned for.

5. In order to augment the accessibility of the interview, repositories should make transcriptions, indexes, time tags, detailed descriptions or other written guides to the contents.

6. Institutions charged with the preservation and access of oral history interviews should honor the stipulations of prior agreements made with the interviewers or sponsoring institutions including restrictions on access and methods of distribution.

7. The repository should comply to the extent to which it is aware with the letter and spirit of the interviewee’s agreement with the interviewer and sponsoring institution. If written documentation such as consent and release forms does not exist then the institution should make a good faith effort to contact interviewees regarding their intent. When media become available that did not exist at the time of the interview, those working with oral history should carefully assess the applicability of the release to the new formats and proceed—or not—accordingly.

8. All those who use oral history interviews should strive for intellectual honesty and the best application of the skills of their discipline. They should avoid stereotypes, misrepresentations, and manipulations of the narrator’s words. This includes foremost striving to retain the integrity of the narrator’s perspective, recognizing the subjectivity of the interview, and interpreting and contextualizing the narrative according to the professional standards of the applicable scholarly disciplines. Finally, if a project deals with community history, the interviewer should be sensitive to the community, taking care not to reinforce thoughtless stereotypes. Interviewers should strive to make the interviews accessible to the community and where appropriate to include representatives of the community in public programs or presentations of the oral history material.

11) National Association for the Practice of Anthropology

Ethical Guidelines (1988)

1. Our primary responsibility is to respect and consider the welfare and human rights of all categories of people affected by decisions, programs or research in which we take part. However, we recognize that many research and practice settings involve conflicts between benefits accruing to different parties affected by our research. It is our ethical responsibility, to the extent feasible, to bring to bear on decision making, our own or that of others, information concerning the actual or potential impacts of such activities on all whom they might affect. It is also our responsibility to assure, to the extent possible, that the views of groups so affected are made clear and given full and serious consideration by decision makers and planners, in order to preserve options and choices for affected groups.

2. To our resource persons or research subjects we owe full and timely disclosure of the objectives, methods and sponsorship of our activities. We should recognize the rights of resource persons, whether individuals or groups, to receive recognition for their contributions or to remain anonymous if they so desire or to decline participation altogether. These persons should be informed of our commitment to the principle of confidentiality throughout the design of research or other activities involving resource persons and should thoroughly investigate and understand all of the limitations on our claims of confidentiality and disclosure.

3. To our employers we owe competent, efficient, fully professional skills and techniques, timely performance of our work and communication of our findings and recommendations in understandable, non-jargonistic language.

As practicing anthropologists, we are frequently involved with employers or clients in legally contracted arrangements. It is our responsibility to carefully review contracts prior to signing and be willing to execute the terms and conditions stipulated in the contract once it has been signed.

At the outset of a relationship or contract with an employer or client, we have an obligation to determine whether or not the work we are requested to perform is consistent with our commitment to deal fairly with the rights and welfare of persons affected by our work, recognizing that different constituencies may be affected in different ways. At this time, we should also discuss with our employer or client the intended use of the data or materials to be generated by our work and clarify the extent to which information developed during our activities can be made available to the public. Issues surrounding the protection of subject confidentiality and disclosure of information or findings should be thoroughly reviewed with the potential employer or client. We will not undertake activities which compromise our ethical responsibilities.

We will carry out our work in such a manner that the employer fully understands our ethical priorities, commitments and responsibilities. When, at any time during the course of work performance, the demands of the employer require or appear to require us to violate the ethical standards of our profession, we have the responsibility to clarify the nature of the conflict between the request and our standards and to propose alternatives that are consistent with our standards. If such a conflict cannot be resolved, we should terminate the relationship.

4. In our relations with students and trainees, we will be candid, fair, nonexploitative, nondiscriminatory and committed to the student’s or trainee’s welfare. We recognize that such mentoring does involve an exchange in which practitioners share their knowledge and experience in return for the significant effort and contribution of the students/trainees. We should be honest and thorough in our presentation of material and should strive to improve our teaching and training techniques and our methods of evaluating the effectiveness of our instruction.

As practicing anthropologists we are frequently called upon to instruct, train or teach individuals, anthropologists and others in nonacademic settings (workshop participants, in-service trainees, continuation or certification program trainees and research teams). To such persons, we owe training that is informed, timely and relevant to their needs.

Our instruction should inform both students and trainees of the ethical responsibilities involved in the collection and use of data. To our students and trainees we owe respect for and openness to nonanthropological methods and perspectives. Student and trainee contributions to our work, including publications, should be accurately and completely attributed.

5. To our colleagues, anthropologists and others, we have a responsibility to conduct our work in a manner that facilitates their activities or that does not unjustly compromise their ability to carry out professional work.

The cross-disciplinary nature of the work of practicing anthropologists requires us to be informed and respectful of the disciplinary and professional perspectives, methodologies and ethical requirements of nonanthropological colleagues with whom we work.

We will accurately report the contribution of our colleagues to our research, practice-related activities and publications.

6. To the discipline of anthropology we have a responsibility to act in a manner that presents the discipline to the public and to other professional colleagues in a favorable light. We will point out the value of anthropological contributions to the understanding of human problems and humankind. Where appropriate in the context of our work, we will encourage the use of anthropological approaches and recommend the participation of other anthropologists.

We will contribute to the growth of our discipline through communicating and publishing scientific and practical information about the work in which we are engaged, including, as appropriate, theory, processes, outcomes and professional techniques and methods.

12) American Association of Physical Anthropologists

AAPA Code of Ethics (2003)

I. Preamble

Physical anthropologists are part of the anthropology community and members of many other different communities each with its own moral rules or codes of ethics. Physical anthropologists have obligations to their scholarly discipline, the wider society, and the environment. Furthermore, field workers may develop close relationships with the people with whom they work, generating an additional level of ethical considerations. The principles and guidelines in this Code provide physical anthropologists with the tools to engage in developing and maintaining an ethical framework, as they engage in their work. This Code is based on the Code developed and approved by the American Anthropological Association (AAA).

Notes

  1. Joan Cassell, “Case 22:Forbidden Knowledge,” in Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology, ed. Joan Cassell and Sue-Ellen Jacobs, Special Publication of the American Anthropological Association 23 (Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association, 1987).  (back)

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