Principles of Professional Responsibility

Anthropology—that most humanistic of sciences and scientific of humanities—is an irreducibly social enterprise. Among our goals are the dissemination of anthropological knowledge and its use to solve human problems. Anthropologists work in the widest variety of contexts studying all aspects of the human experience, and face myriad ethical quandaries inflected in different ways by the contexts in which they work and the kinds of issues they address. What is presented here is intended to reflect core principles shared across subfields and contexts of practice.

These core principles are expressed as concise statements which can be easily remembered for use by anthropologists in their everyday professional lives. Each principle is accompanied by brief discussions placing that principle in a broader context, with more detailed examinations of how each affects or may be helpful to anthropologists in different subfields or work contexts. These examinations are accompanied by resources to assist anthropologists in tackling difficult ethical issues or the new situations that inevitably arise in the production of knowledge.

As a social enterprise, research and practice always involve others— colleagues, students, research participants, employers, clients, funders (whether institutional, community-based or individual) as well as non-human primates and other animals, among others (all usually referred to as ‘research participants’ in this document). Anthropologists must be sensitive to the power differentials, constraints, interests and expectations characteristic of all relationships. In a field  of such complex rights, responsibilities, and involvements, it is inevitable that misunderstandings, conflicts, and the need to make difficult choices will arise. Anthropologists are responsible for grappling with such difficulties and struggling to resolve them in ways compatible with the principles stated here. These principles provide anthropologists with tools to engage in developing and maintaining an ethical framework for all stages of anthropological practice – when making decisions prior to beginning projects, when in the field, and when communicating findings and preserving records.

These principles address general circumstances, priorities and relationships, and also provide helpful specific examples, that should be considered in anthropological work and ethical decision-making. The individual anthropologist must be willing to make carefully considered ethical choices and be prepared to make clear the assumptions, facts and considerations on which those choices are based.

Ethics and morals differ in important ways. The complex issues that anthropologists confront rarely admit to the simple wrongs and rights of moral dicta, and one of the prime ethical obligations of anthropologists is to carefully and deliberately weigh the consequences and ethical dimensions of the choices they make — by action or inaction. Similarly, ethical principles and political positions should not be conflated; their foci of concern are quite distinct. Finally, ethics and law differ in important ways, and care must always be taken in making these distinctions. Different processes are involved in making ethical versus legal decisions, and they are subject to different regulations. While moral, political, legal and regulatory issues are often important to anthropological practice and the discipline, they are not specifically considered here. These principles address ethical concerns.1

Although these principles are primarily intended for Association members, they also provide a structure for communicating ethical precepts in anthropology to students, other colleagues, and outside audiences, including sponsors, funders, and Institutional Review Boards or other review committees.

The American Anthropological Association does not adjudicate assertions of unethical behavior,2 and these principles are intended to foster discussion, guide anthropologists in making responsible decisions, and educate.

Next Page: Do No Harm

Notes

  1. Murray L. Wax, “Some Issues and Sources on Ethics in Anthropology,” 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)
  2. Commission to Review the AAA Statements on Ethics, Final Report of the Commission to Review the AAA Statements on Ethics (1995); Janet E. Levy, “Life is Full of Hard Choices: A Grievance Procedure for the AAA?Anthropology News 50, no. 6 (2009):7–8; Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, “Guiding Principles over Enforceable Standards.” Anthropology News 50, no. 6 (2009):8–9.  (back)

1. Do No Harm

A primary ethical obligation shared by anthropologists is to do no harm. It is imperative that, before any anthropological work be undertaken — in communities, with non-human primates or other animals, at archaeological and paleoanthropological sites — each researcher think through the possible ways that the research might cause harm. Among the most serious harms that anthropologists should seek to avoid are harm to dignity, and to bodily and material well-being, especially when research is conducted among vulnerable populations. Anthropologists should not only avoid causing direct and immediate harm but also should weigh carefully the potential consequences and inadvertent impacts of their work.  When it conflicts with other responsibilities, this primary obligation can supersede the goal of seeking new knowledge and can lead to decisions to not undertake or to discontinue a project. In addition, given the irreplaceable nature of the archaeological record, the conservation, protection and stewardship of that record is the principal ethical obligation of archaeologists. Determining harms and their avoidance in any given situation is ongoing and must be sustained throughout the course of any project.

Anthropologists may choose to link their research to the promotion of well-being, social critique or advocacy. As with all anthropological work, determinations regarding what is in the best interests of others or what kinds of efforts are appropriate to increase well-being are value- laden and should reflect sustained discussion with others concerned. Anthropological work must similarly reflect deliberate and thoughtful consideration of potential unintended consequences and long-term impacts on individuals, communities, identities, tangible intangible heritage and environments.

Previous Page: Preamble | Next Page: Be Open and Honest Regarding Your Work

Supporting

AAA Ethics Committee. 2014. “Institutional Review Boards and Anthropology.”

Chenhall, Richard, Kate Senior, and Suzanne Belton. 2011. “Negotiating Human Research Ethics: Case Notes from Anthropologists in the Field.” Anthropology Today 27(5):13-17.

Dobrin, Lise, and Rena Lederman. 2011. Comments on Proposed Changes to the Common Rule (76 FR 44512). (A report from the AAA Ethics Committee submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services by the President of the AAA.)

Jacobs, Sue-Ellen. 1987. “Case 3: Witness to Murder.” In Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology. Joan Cassell and Sue-Ellen Jacobs, eds. Special Publication of the American Anthropological Association 23. Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association.

Jacobs, Sue-Ellen. 1987. “Case 4: Hiding a Suspect.” In Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology. Joan Cassell and Sue-Ellen Jacobs, eds. Special Publication of the American Anthropological Association 23. Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association.

University of Alabama Office for Research Compliance. 2007. “Brief History.” (“A brief history of the events that contributed to the development of research regulations and ethics rules.”)

2. Be Open and Honest Regarding Your Work

Anthropologists should be clear and open regarding the purpose, methods, outcomes, and sponsors of their work. Anthropologists must also be prepared to acknowledge and disclose to participants and collaborators all tangible and intangible interests that have, or may reasonably be perceived to have, an impact on their work. Transparency, like informed consent, is a process that involves both making principled decisions prior to beginning the research and encouraging participation, engagement, and open debate throughout its course.

Researchers who mislead participants about the nature of the research and/or its sponsors; who omit significant information that might bear on a participant’s decision to engage in the research; or who otherwise engage in clandestine or secretive research that manipulates or deceives research participants1 about the sponsorship, purpose, goals or implications of the research, do not satisfy ethical requirements for openness, honesty, transparency and fully informed consent.2 Compartmented research3 by design will not allow the anthropologist to know the full scope or purpose of a project; it is therefore ethically problematic, since by definition the anthropologist cannot communicate transparently with participants, nor ensure fully informed consent.

Anthropologists have an ethical obligation to consider the potential impact of both their research and the communication or dissemination of the results of their research. Anthropologists must consider this issue prior to beginning research as well as throughout the research process. Explicit negotiation with research partners and participants about data ownership and access and about dissemination of results, may be necessary before deciding whether to begin research.

In their capacity as researchers, anthropologists are subject to the ethical principles guiding all scientific and scholarly conduct. They must not plagiarize, nor fabricate or falsify evidence,4 or knowingly misrepresent information or its source. However, there are situations in which evidence or information may be minimally modified (such as by the use of pseudonyms) or generalized, in order to avoid identification of the source and to protect confidentiality and limit exposure of people to risks.

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Supporting

AAA Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities. 2007. Final Report. (“The Commission’s authorization by the Executive Board of the AAA in November 2005 was prompted in part by the question of whether or not the AAA should publish announcements of job positions, grants and fellowships offered by US security and intelligence organizations in Anthropology News.”)

AAA Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities (CEAUSSIC). 2009. Final Report on the Army’s Human Terrain System Proof of Concept Program.  (“In December of 2008, the Executive Board of the AAA asked CEAUSSIC to thoroughly review the Human Terrain System program, so that the AAA might then formulate an official position on members’ participation in HTS activities.”)

Adams, Richard N. 1971. “Responsibilities of the Foreign Scholar to the Local Scholarly Community.” Current Anthropology 12(3):335-339. (Adams’s article was presented with Joseph G. Jorgensen, “On Ethics and Anthropology” [pp. 321-334 of the same issue]; the articles are followed by comments from G. N. Appell, Harold Barclay, J. A. Barnes, Glynn Cochrane, Robert W. Ehrich, R. S. Khare, David Landy, Otto von Mering, Joe E. Pierce, and Richard B. Woodbury, an addendum by Delmos J. Jones [see below], and replies from both authors [pp. 340-356 of the same issue].)

Beals, Ralph. 1969. Politics of Social Research. Chicago: Aldine.

Beeman, William O. 1992. “Proprietary Research and Anthropological Ethics.” Anthropology News 33(9):21-22.

Condominas, George. 1973. “AAA Distinguished Lecture 1972: Ethics and Comfort: An Ethnographer’s View of His Profession.” AAA Annual Report 1972:1-17.

Cooper, Matthew. 2008. “Sharing Data and Results With Study Participants: Report on A survey of Cultural Anthropologists.” Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics 3(4):19-34.

Downing, Theodore E., and Jerry Moles. 2001. “The World Bank Denies Indigenous Peoples their Right to Prior Informed Consent.” Cultural Survival Quarterly 25(4):68-69.

Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn. 1991. “Ethics and Professionalism in Anthropology: Tensions Between its Academic and Applied Branches.” Business and Professional Ethics 10(4):1-10.

Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn. 2003. “Informed Consent in Anthropological Research: We Are Not Exempt.” In Ethics and the Profession of Anthropology. 2nd ed. Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, ed. Pp. 159-177. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.

Johnston, Barbara Rose and Terrence Turner. 1998. “Censorship, Denial of Informed Participation, and Human Rights Abuses Associated with Dam Development in Chile.” Professional Ethics Report 11(2).

Jones, Delmos. 1971. “Social Responsibility and the Belief in Basic Research: An Example from Thailand.” Current Anthropology 12(3):347-350. (Scroll down to pp. 347-350 in linked document.)

Price, David. 1989. Before the Bulldozer: The Nambiquara Indians and the World Bank. Cabin John, MD: Seven Locks Press.

Price, David H. 2007. “Buying a Piece of Anthropology, Part One: Human Ecology and Unwitting Anthropological Research for the CIA.” Anthropology Today 23(3):8-13.

Price, David H. 2007. “Buying a Piece of Anthropology, Part Two: The CIA and Our Tortured Past.” Anthropology Today 23(5):17-22.

Sieber, Joan E., ed. 1982. The Ethics of Social Research: Fieldwork, Regulation and Publication. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Notes

  1. Charlotte Allen, “Spies Like Us: When Sociologists Deceive Their Subjects,” Lingua Franca 7, no. 9 (1997).  (back)
  2. David Calvey, “The Art and Politics of Covert Research: Doing ‘Situated Ethics’ in the Field,” Sociology 42, no. 5(2008):905-918.  (back)

  3. In this document, when we use the term “compartmented,” we are referring generally to any research project in which the principal investigator is part of a research project, conducted on behalf of a third party, in which researcher has neither control nor knowledge about the overall goals, structure, purpose, sponsors, funding, and/or other critical elements of a project. Such projects may have government or private funding and may or may not entail classified information.

    Any research project that limits the anthropologist’s access to decisions, information and/or documentation that enables her/him to understand and responsibly explain the structure, goals, risks, and benefits of the research to potential subjects is problematic. This is because the researcher’s limited understanding and control makes it impossible to present potential participants with a clear and honest statement of risks, benefits, and outcomes.  (back)

  4. Department of Health and Human Services, “42 CFR Parts 50 and 93: Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct,” Federal Register 70, no. 94(2005):28370-28400.  (back)

3. Obtain Informed Consent and Necessary Permissions

Anthropological researchers working with living human communities must obtain the voluntary and informed consent of research participants. Ordinarily such consent is given prior to the research, but it may also be obtained retroactively if so warranted by the research context, process, and relations. The consent process should be a part of project design and continue through implementation as an ongoing dialogue and negotiation with research participants. Normally, the observation of activities and events in fully public spaces is not subject to prior consent.

Minimally, informed consent includes sharing with potential participants the research goals, methods, funding sources or sponsors, expected outcomes, anticipated impacts of the research, and the rights and responsibilities of research participants. It must also include establishing expectations regarding anonymity1 and credit2. Researchers must present to research participants the possible impacts of participation, and make clear that despite their best efforts, confidentiality may be compromised or outcomes may differ from those anticipated. These expectations apply to all field data, regardless of medium. Visual media in particular, because of their nature, must be carefully used, referenced, and contextualized.

Anthropologists have an obligation to ensure that research participants have freely granted consent, and must avoid conducting research in circumstances in which consent may not be truly voluntary or informed. In the event that the research changes in ways that will directly affect the participants, anthropologists must revisit and renegotiate consent. The informed consent process is necessarily dynamic, continuous and reflexive. Informed consent does not necessarily imply or require a particular written or signed form. It is the quality of the consent, not its format, which is relevant.

Anthropologists working with biological communities or cultural resources have an obligation to ensure that they have secured appropriate permissions or permits prior to the conduct of research. Consultation with groups or communities affected by this or any other type of research should be an important element of the design of such projects and should continue as work progresses or circumstances change. It is explicitly understood that defining what constitutes an affected community is a dynamic and necessary process.

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Supporting

AAA. 2004. AAA Statement on Ethnography and Institutional Review Boards.

AAA Committee on Ethics. 2000. Briefing Paper on Informed Consent.

Archaeology Data Service. N.d. “Guidance on the Deposition of Sensitive Digital Data.”

Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences. 2002. International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Geneva: CIOMS.

Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn. 2003. “Informed Consent in Anthropological Research: We Are Not Exempt.” In Ethics and the Profession of Anthropology. 2nd ed. Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, ed. Pp. 159-177. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.

Freedman, Benjamin. 1975. “A moral theory of informed consent.” Hastings Center Report 5(4): 32–39.

Golub, Alex. 2007. “Using Informed Consent Forms in Fieldwork.” Savage Minds.

Marshall, Anne, and Suzanne Batten. 2004. “Researching Across Cultures: Issues of Ethics and Power.” Forum: Qualitative Social Research 5(3):39.

Marshall, Patricia A. 2003. “Human Subjects Protections, Institutional Review Boards, and Cultural Anthropological Research.” Anthropological Quarterly 76(2):269-285.

Marshall, Patricia A. 2007. Ethical Challenges in Study Design and Informed Consent for Health Research in Resource-Poor Settings. Special Topics in Social, Economic, and Behavioural Research 5. Geneva: World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.

Meskell, Lynn, and Peter Pels, eds. 2005. Embedding Ethics. Oxford: Berg. (Based on the 2002 Wenner-Gren symposium “Beyond Ethics: Anthropological Moralities on the Boundaries of the Public and Professional.”)

Molyneux, C. S., D. R. Wassenaar, N. Peshu, and K. Marsh. 2005. “‘Even if they ask you to stand by a tree all day, you will have to do it (laughter)…!’: Community voices on the notion and practice of informed consent for biomedical research in developing countries.” Social Science and Medicine 61(2):443-54.

National Institutes of Health. N.d. “Regulations, Policies, and Guidance: Ethical Guidelines and Regulations.”

Parker, Michael. 2007. “Ethnography/Ethics.” Social Science and Medicine 65(11): 2248-59.

Scarre, Christopher, and Geoffrey Scarre. 2006. The Ethics of Archaeology: Philosophical Perspectives on Archaeological Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Schrag, Brian, ed. 2001. “Crossing Cultural Barriers-Informed Consent in Developing Countries.” In Graduate Research Ethics: Cases and Commentaries. Vol. 5. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Engineering, Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science. (See also commentary on this case by participants at the 2001 workshop on Graduate Research Ethics Education at Indiana University, Bloomington, and by Karen Muskavitch.)

Social Science Research Ethics. N.d. “Informed Consent and Anonymity and Confidentiality.” Lancaster University.

Society for Medical Anthropology. 2009. “Past Policy Statements: Clinical Drug Trials.”

Strathern, Marilyn. 2000. “Afterword: Accountability…and Ethnography.” In Audit Cultures: Anthropological Studies in Accountability, Ethics and the Academy. Marilyn Strathern, ed. Pp. 279-304. London: Routledge.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. N.d. “Informed Consent.” (General HHS information on informed consent.)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. N.d. “Informed Consent – FAQs.” (HHS frequently asked questions about informed consent; includes references to relevant sections of CFR 45.46.)

Watkins, Joe. 2000. Indigenous Archaeology: American Indian Values and Scientific Practice. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.

Zhai, Xiaomei. 2009. “Informed Consent in the Non-Western Cultural Context and the Implementation of Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights.” Asian Bioethics Review 1(1):5-16.

Notes

  1. Sue-Ellen Jacobs, “Case 6: Anonymity Revisited,” 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)
  2. Sue-Ellen Jacobs, “Case 5: Anonymity Declined,” 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)

4. Weigh Competing Ethical Obligations Due Collaborators and Affected Parties

Anthropologists must weigh competing ethical obligations1 to research participants, students, professional colleagues, employers and funders, among others, while recognizing that obligations to research participants are usually primary.2In doing so, obligations to vulnerable populations are particularly important. These varying relationships may create conflicting, competing or crosscutting ethical obligations, reflecting both the relative vulnerabilities of different individuals, communities or populations, asymmetries of power implicit in a range of relationships, and the differing ethical frameworks of collaborators representing other disciplines or areas of practice.

Anthropologists have an obligation to distinguish the different kinds of interdependencies and collaborations their work involves, and to consider the real and potential ethical dimensions of these diverse and sometimes contradictory relationships, which may be different in character and may change over time. When conflicts between ethical standards or expectations arise, anthropologists need to make explicit their ethical obligations, and develop an ethical approach in consultation with those concerned.

Anthropologists must often make difficult decisions among competing ethical obligations while recognizing their obligation to do no harm. Anthropologists must not agree to conditions which inappropriately change the purpose, focus, or intended outcomes of their research. Anthropologists remain individually responsible for making ethical decisions.

Collaborations may be defined and understood quite differently by the various participants. The scope of collaboration, rights and responsibilities of the various parties, and issues of data access and representation, credit, acknowledgment and should be openly and fairly established at the outset.3

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Supporting

American Psychological Association. 2010. “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.” (3.05 Multiple Relations; 3.06 Conflict of Interest; 3.08 Exploitative Relationships.)

Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences. 2002. International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects. Geneva: CIOMS.

International Society of Ethnobiology. 2008. “International Society of Ethnobiology Code of Ethics.”

National Association of Social Workers. 2008. “Code of Ethics.” (1.01 Commitment to Clients; 1.02 Self Determination; 1.06 Conflicts of Interest; 3.09 Commitments to Employers.)

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology. 1988. “Ethical Guidelines.”

National Institutes of Health. N.d. “Regulations, Policies, and Guidance: Ethical Guidelines and Regulations.”

Society for Applied Anthropology. N.d. “Ethical and Professional Responsibilities.”

Notes

  1. Joan Cassell, “Case 17: The Case of the Damaged Baby,” 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)
  2. Joan Cassell, “Case 20: Power to the People,” 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)

  3. Concerns Before You Start

    When you begin considering an employment opportunity, there are a few documents to carefully review before agreeing to become an employee. First, most organizations will have an employment contract, personnel manual or some type of document that governs the relationship between the employee and the organization. Read this document(s) carefully. It usually spells out the conditions of employment, the employer’s responsibilities and the employee’s responsibilities. In these documents you should also find rights and responsibilities about data and publications. This is where you need to be clear about ownership of data, what is considered data, who has the right to review publications and final clearance on documents for distribution. If you believe that the terms are inappropriate, you should speak directly to the employer about your concerns. Be aware however, that the employer does not have to change their position; these documents have been carefully developed and reviewed by a variety of professional resources. In some situations, you may find these documents can be modified and it is an opportunity to help to educate the employer about your concerns and the issues raised by this code of ethics. You may be able to negotiate terms that you find appropriate based on this code of ethics. In any case, it will be up to you to work with the employer to modify the terms of employment. If you review these documents carefully before becoming an employee, you will be fully informed and can then make a considered decision about whether to accept an offer of employment.

    If you are applying for a grant or contract there will be language in the application forms that spells out the rights and responsibilities of the funder and the grantee/contractor. These documents should be carefully reviewed so that you are clear about the conditions of award that you will agree to if your proposal is successful and you accept the grant or contract. If there are conditions which are contrary to the principles in this code, you can bring it to the attention of the funder and attempt to negotiate appropriate language in the grant or contract. However, the funder has in most cases carefully considered their requirements, has obtained professional reviews and believes that the terms and conditions best serve their needs. You may find that many funders, particularly foundations are eager to have their work disseminated and you find willing partners. At the same time you may find that some funders place restrictions on how you may use the data collected and who controls review of reports or articles submitted for publication. It is your responsibility to carefully review the terms and conditions of the grant or contract award before you sign the document.

    As examples, the full citation for FAR: 52.227-14 Rights in Data—General is provided in order to give the reader a clear understanding of the completeness and detail that becomes incorporated into an federal RFP or contract concerning “Rights in Data.” A second document provides examples of contract and grant language regarding Rights in Data from a Non-profit organization and a foundation. These last two examples represent actual contract/grant language.  (back)

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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Next Page: Protect and Preserve Your Records

Supporting

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)

6. Protect and Preserve Your Records

Anthropologists have an ethical responsibility1 for ensuring the integrity, preservation, and protection of their work. This obligation applies both to individual and collaborative or team research. An anthropologist’s ability to protect and use the materials collected may be contingent upon complex issues of ownership and stewardship.2 In situations of disagreement, contestation, or conflict over ownership, the primary assumption that the researcher owns her or his work product applies, unless otherwise established. Other factors (source of funding, employment agreements, negotiated agreements with collaborators, legal claims, among others) may impact ownership of records.3 Anthropologists should determine record ownership relating to each project and make appropriate arrangements accordingly as a standard part of ethical practice. This may include establishing by whom and how records will be stored, preserved, or disposed of in the long term.

Further, priority must be given to the protection of research participants, as well as the preservation and protection of research records. Researchers have an ethical responsibility to take precautions that raw data and collected materials will not be used for unauthorized ends.  To the extent possible at the time of data collection, the researcher is responsible for  considering and communicating likely or foreseeable uses of collected data and materials as part of the process of informed consent or obtaining permission. Researchers are also responsible for consulting with research participants regarding their views of generation, use and preservation  of research records. This includes informing research participants whether data and materials might be transferred to or accessed by other parties; how they might be transformed or used to identify participants; and how they will be stored and how long they will be preserved.4

Researchers have a responsibility to use appropriate methods to ensure the confidentiality and security of field notes, recordings, samples or other primary data and the identities of participants. The use of digitalization and of digital media for data storage and preservation5 is of particular concern given the relative ease of duplication and circulation. Ethical decisions regarding the preservation of research materials must balance obligations to maintain data integrity with responsibilities to protect research participants and their communities against future harmful impacts. Given that anthropological research has multiple constituencies and new uses such as by heritage communities, the interests of preservation ordinarily outweigh the potential benefits of destroying materials for the preservation of confidentiality. 6 Researchers generating object collections have a responsibility to ensure the preservation and accessibility of the resulting materials and/or results of analyzed samples, including associated documentation.

Previous Page: Make Your Results Accessible | Next Page: Maintain Respectful and Ethical Professional Relationships

Supporting

“Data management” in the social sciences, including all fields of anthropology, entails just about everything related to doing research: ethics, law, intellectual property, publication, research ethics, institutional review boards. The Internet affords to researchers a tremendous amount of information about the development and management of datasets. As such, the following list should be treated as a starting point for research on data management issues in the social sciences.

It’s also worth noting that most professional associations, as well as universities, federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDC), funding agencies, private companies, and other research organizations have developed institutional policies and regulations regarding data collection, management, safeguarding, and retention. Before you begin collecting data, it’s probably wise to familiarize yourself with relevant resources, policies, procedures and helpful administrators at your institution; and to make sure that your research plans address any data management concerns raised by your funding agency.

General Resources

The Council on Government Relations, which represents over 150 research universities in the United States, is an excellent clearinghouse for information about federal funding of university research, including state, federal, and academic policies related to data management and retention. Specific to data management is the CGR’s free 40-page discussion of issues related to management and retention of data, including case studies and scenarios: COGR, Access to and Retention of Research Data Rights and Responsibilities (2006).

The Office of Research Integrity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides general guidance on issues related to data ownership and custody: Nicholas H. Steneck, ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research (2004).

Data Management in the Social Sciences

Anthropologists have published a number of handbooks dealing with research methods and ethics, many of which provide guidance on the responsible management and stewardship of research data. Examples include:

Bernard, H. Russell. 2006. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Lanham, MD: Altamira.

Denzin, Norman, and Lincoln, Yvonna S. The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. 1994. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scarre, Christopher, and Scarre, Geoffrey. 2006. The Ethics of Archaeology: Philosophical Perspectives on Archaeological Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Turner, Trudy. 2005. Biological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity. Albany, NM: SUNY Press.

Vitelli, Karen D., and Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh. 2006. Archaeological Ethics. Lanham, MD: Altamira.

In the social sciences, it is common practice for researchers to archive and share quantitative datasets. However, the archiving and sharing of qualitative data is less common, though electronic data collection and archiving may facilitate wider access to qualitative research datasets:

Bishop, Libby. 2009. “Ethical Sharing and Reuse of Qualitative Data.” The Australian Journal of Social Issues 44(3): 255-272.

Broom, Alex, Lynda Cheshire, and Michael Emmison. 2009. “Qualitative Researchers’ Understandings of their Practice and the Implications for Data Archiving and Sharing.” Sociology 43(6): 1163-1180.

Carusi, Annamaria and Jirotka, Marina. 2009. “From Data Archive to Ethical Labyrinth.” Qualitative Research 9(3): 285-298

Parry, Odette, and Natasha Mauthner. 2004. “Whose Data Are They, Anyway?” Sociology 38(1): 139- 152.

Anthropological research increasingly involves on-line research studies, which raise particular concerns about data validity, privacy, confidentiality, collection, and management. A good starting point for assessing these issues is the 1999 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) report: Mark S. Frankel and Sanyin Siang, “Ethical and Legal Aspects of Human Subjects Research in Cyberspace” (Washington D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1999). Despite being 12 years old, this report remains most frequently cited resources on this topic.

The University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research has extensive resources and information related to data management, including tutorials and educational materials on electronic information retention and archiving.

The Digital Archaeological Record is an electronic repository to facilitate the archiving and sharing of archaeological data.

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center has a good overview of issues related to archaeological research ethics and the law: William D. Lipe, “Archaeological Ethics and Law” (2006).

The Council of European Social Science Data Archives provides guidance on the development, annotation, archiving, and management of social science data, as well as an extensive discussion of ethics, rights and responsibilities in the collection, management, and sharing of social science data.

The Smithsonian Institution maintains a database of its anthropology collections; equally interesting are the links to and discussions of the role of databases in the Smithsonian’s efforts to manage its complex stakeholder relationships. See also “Accessing Anthropology: The Collections and Archives Program at the Department of Anthropology.”

Preservation and Retention

Council for the Preservation of Anthropological Records (COPAR). N.d. Links to ethnographic archives, sites about anthropologists, and resources for anthropologists.

Golla, Victor. 1995. “The Records of American Indian Linguistics.” In Preserving the Anthropological Record. 2nd ed. Sydel Silverman and Nancy J. Parezo, eds. New York: Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

Griset, Suzanne, Arthur W. Vokes, and Catherine Sarther. 2004. Requirements for the Preparation of Archaeological Project Collections for Submission to the Arizona State Museum. Tuscon: Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona.

International Council of Museums. 2010. “CIDOC: Supporting Museum Documentation.”

Leopold, Robert. 2008. “The second life of ethnographic fieldnotes,” Ateliers du LESC 32:n.p.

Leopold, Robert. 2009. “Guide to Anthropological Fieldnotes and Manuscripts in Archival Repositories.”

National Anthropological Archives. N.d. “Donating Collections to the Archives.” Smithsonian Institution.

Silverman, Sydel. N.d. “Why Preserve Anthropological Records?” CoPAR Bulletin 1.

Sullivan, Lynne P., and S. Terry Childs. 2003. Curating Archaeological Collections: From the Field to the Repository, Archaeologist’s Toolkit 6. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.

Wilson, Thomas H., and Nancy J. Parezo, “The Role of Museums.” In Preserving the Anthropological Record. 2nd ed. Sydel Silverman and Nancy J. Parezo, eds. New York: Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

Research Data and Intellectual Property

See Footnote 2.

Notes

  1. Sydel Silverman, “Why Preserve Anthropological Records?” CoPAR Bulletin 1 (n.d.); see also the following in Sydel Silverman and Nancy J. Parezo, eds., Preserving the Anthropological Record, 2nd ed. (New York: Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 1995): Victor Golla, “The Records of American Indian Linguistics“; John Van Willigen, “The Records of Applied Anthropology“; Sue E. Estroff, “The Records of Medical Anthropology”; Michael A. Little, Jane E. Buikstra, and Frank Spencer, “The Records of Biological Anthropology“; Don D. Fowler and Douglas R. Givens, “The Records of Archaeology.”  (back)
  2. The National Science Foundation now requires prospective Principal Investigators to submit a Data Management Plan with all proposals. See National Science Foundation, “Data Management and Sharing Frequently Asked Questions.” The University of Connecticut provides helpful background about this requirement (“Why Create a Data Management Plan?“) and advice about “Writing a Data Management Plan“; further guidance and resources are available from the University of California’s DMPTool.

    The National Institutes of Health requires data sharing (“NIH Data Sharing Policy“). In 1999, the Office of Management and Budget issued a revision to OMB Circular A-110, which requires that Federal agencies that award research and development dollars ensure that all data be available to the public under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. A discussion of the changes and the text of the revision, which went into effect in November 1999, is available at: Office of Management and Budget, “OMB Circular A-110: Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations,” Federal Register 64, no. 195(1999):54926-54930.

    Anthropologists who pursue federal projects that result in the development of intellectual property, particularly those which generate licenses and/or patents, should be aware of the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act, popularly known as the Bayh-Dole Act, as well as their own institutions’ policies regarding intellectual property and technology transfer. Bayh-Dole is the 1980 legislation that enabled universities to assume exclusive control over intellectual property resulting from federally-funded research and development, for the purpose of further development, transfer to industry, commercialization and provision to the public.

    30 Bayh-Dole – Driving Innovation commemorates the enactment and assesses the impact of the Bayh-Dole Act. The University of California Technology Transfer Office has republished a COGR-developed overview of the history and impact of the Bayh-Dole Act:. Council on Governmental Relations, “The Bayh-Dole Act: A Guide to the Law and Implementing Regulations” (1999). The National Council of University Research Administrators has published a monograph on intellectual property issues in university research: Ann M. Hammersla, A Primer on Intellectual Property (Washington, D.C.: National Council of University Research Administrators, 2006).  (back)

  3. David H. Price, “Anthropological Research and the Freedom of Information Act,” Cultural Anthropology Methods 9, no. 1 (1997):12-15.  (back)

  4. Mary Elizabeth Ruwell, “The Physical Preservation of Anthropological Records” in Sydel Silverman and Nancy J. Parezo, eds., Preserving the Anthropological Record, 2nd ed. (New York: Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 1995).  (back)

  5. Hugh Gusterson, “What’s in a Laptop?Anthropology Now 4, no. 1 (2012):26-31.  (back)

  6. For informational and instructional materials on archiving and preserving qualitative data, see the following resources:

    Irish Qualitative Data Archive and Tallagt West Childhood Development Initiative. “Best Practice in Archiving Qualitative Data.”
    UK Data Archive. “Create and Manage Data.”
    Denise Thomson, Lana Bzdel, Karen Golden-Biddle, Trish Reay & Carole A. Estabrooks. “Central Questions of Anonymization: A Case Study of Secondary Use of Qualitative Data.” FQS: Forum: Qualitative Social Research 6(1).

    For information on anonymization software, see:
    University of Pennsylvania Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health page on QualAnon software
    and the Irish Qualitative Data Archive (IQDA) Qualitative Data Anonymizer.

    For information on data repositories, visit:
    Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, the Qualitative Data Repository, and the UK Data Service.  (back)

7. Maintain Respectful and Ethical Professional Relationships

There is an ethical dimension to all professional relationships.1 Whether working in academic or applied settings, anthropologists have a responsibility to maintain respectful relationships with others. In mentoring students, interacting with colleagues, working with clients, acting as a reviewer or evaluator, or supervising staff, anthropologists should comport themselves in ways that promote an equitable, supportive2 and sustainable workplace environment. They should at all times work to ensure that no exclusionary practices be perpetrated on the basis of any nonacademic attributes.

Anthropologists may gain personally from their work, but they must not exploit individuals, groups, animals, or cultural or biological materials. Further, when they see evidence of research misconduct, they are obligated to report it to the appropriate authorities.3

Anthropologists must not obstruct the scholarly efforts of others when such efforts are carried out responsibly. In their role as teachers and mentors, anthropologists are obligated to provide instruction on the ethical responsibilities associated with every aspect of anthropological work. They should facilitate, and encourage their students and research staff to engage in dialogue on ethical issues, and discourage their participation in ethically questionable projects. Anthropologists should appropriately acknowledge all contributions to their research, writing, and other related activities, and compensate contributors justly for any assistance they provide. They are obligated to give students and employees appropriate credit for the authorship of their ideas,4 and encourage the publication of worthy student and employee work.

Previous Page: Protect and Preserve Your Records

AAA Member Discussion of Code Draft on Statement Draft
Supporting

AAA Ethics Committee. 2014. “Ethics Resources.”

American Association of University Professors. N.d. “AAUP Policies and Reports.”

Cassell, Joan, and Sue-Ellen Jacobs, eds. 1987. Handbook on Ethical Issues in Anthropology. Special Publication of the American Anthropological Association 23. Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association.

Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions. 2012. Ethics Education Library. Illinois Institute of Technology.

Council of Graduate Schools. 2014. Project for Scholarly Integrity.

Fostering Integrity in Research, Scholarship and Teaching (FIRST). 2004. “Teaching Ethics for Research, Scholarship, and Practice.” University of Minnesota.

Macquarie University. 201o. “Human Research Ethics for the Social Sciences and Humanities.” (Online ethics training module.)

National Academy of Engineering. 2013. Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science.

National Center for Professional and Research Ethics. 2013. Ethics CORE: Collaborative Online Resource Environment. (RCR modules from the Center on Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research [CMDITR].)

National Postdoctoral Association. 2014. “Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) for Postdocs.”

Office of Research Integrity. 2011. “General Resources.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Research Ethics Program. 2013. Resources for Research Ethics Education. University of California San Diego.

Science, Technology and Society Initiative. N.d. “IDEESE: International Dimensions of Ethics Education in Science and Engineering.” University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Notes

  1. Sue-Ellen Jacobs, “Case 12: Possible Conflict of Interest,” 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)
  2. American Association of University Professors, “Statement on Professional Ethics” (2009).  (back)

  3. C. K. Gunsalus, “How to Blow the Whistle and Still Have a Career Afterwards,” Science and Engineering Ethics 4, no. 1(1998):51-64).  (back)

  4. Sue-Ellen Jacobs, “Case 10: Professor Purloins Student’s Work: Her Recourse?” 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)