Code of Ethics of the Professional Genealogist
The guiding principles of the professional genealogist members of Genealogists.com are our codification of the ethical duties that all members must agree to adhere to. This code not only encourages ethical conduct by genealogist professionals, but also ensures that the clients which we serve are treated in a manner that serves the clients’ best interests at the highest of standards, as well as preservation of the integrity of the profession.
This Code of Ethics of the Professional Genealogist embodies a veracious devotion to genealogy and history, reverence of records, worthiness of the confidence of clients and the genealogical community, all while conducting oneself in a professional manner when interacting with consumers, fellow genealogists, archival staff and other community professionals.
In accordance with these purposes, I pledge to:
Abstain from publishing any fact that I know to be inaccurate, dubious or unproven;
Refrain from knowingly misrepresenting, misquoting or suppressing information or sources uncovered during research efforts;
Seek original records whenever possible;
Utilize indexes, compilations and authored works principally as guides for locating the original records;
Refrain from plagiarizing the works of others by representing as my own by giving proper credit;
Quote sources accurately, while clearly noting any editorial interpretations;
Safeguard information regarding living people;
Keep confidential client-provided personal or genealogical information, except when use authorized in writing by client or as mandated by governing bodies;
Represent experience, expertise, education, credentials and work samples accurately, with no misleading information, including exaggeration or falsification;
Identify all sources of information and cite only sources personally referenced;
Disclose to client any potential conflicts of interest, personal or financial, which may impact your ability to fulfill your obligations as a professional;
Refrain from the solicitation of the clients of others;
Request all known information and documentation known to the client, so as to not knowingly duplicate any prior research as billable time;
Prior to undertaking research, prepare written agreement as to the scope, fees and deliverables of the project, without concealment or misrepresentation, and in turn closely adhere to this agreement through the duration of the project;
Take part in continuing education in a recurrent effort to increase your genealogical knowledge and skills;
Represent only facts which can be supported by adequate documentation;
Refrain from withholding information uncovered during the course of research which would negatively impact or alter conclusions;
Avoid disparaging the work of a fellow genealogist or otherwise harm their reputation or business.