THE CODE OF ETHICS OF THE GENEALOGIST
In accordance with paragraph 4.16 of the regulations of the Fédération québécoise des sociétés de généalogie, the Board of directors, at his meeting of May 20, 1995, has passed the present Code as a rule of conduct for the genealogists.
1. MUTUAL AID
1.1 The genealogist co-operates in various ways with his peers, with the society of genealogy of which he is a member, and also with other groups working in genealogy or in connected matters.
1.2 The genealogist shares its findings in publishing them, or in leaving a copy of his work at the library of the society of which he is a member.
1.3 The genealogist makes his researches known in order to minimise the duplication of similar works by others who do not know it is being done.
2. INTELLECTUAL PROBITY
2.1 The genealogist shall not distort, hide, minimise or overstate knowingly the importance of the facts gathered in his researches, and he shall not publish information not verified or false.
2.2 The genealogist takes care not to propagate erroneous genealogical information.
He will achieve this in checking the data gathered against their initial sources (civil status, deeds, etc.) before releasing them, or, where it cannot be done, in mentioning clearly why it cannot be accessed from the initial source or in specifying at least the source where he found it.
2.3 The genealogist abides by copyrights and intellectual property of manuscripts, published or otherwise prepared for someone, and in not taking their content without the permission of the author, except where it is permitted by the law.
2.4 The genealogist rejects plagiarism, and indicates sources of information consulted in the making of his work. He will take care to properly identify extracts from the text of another author, and he will mention joint authorship when it is the case.
3 RESPECT OF DOCUMENTS AND PLACES WHERE RESEARCH TAKES PLACE
3.1 The genealogist respects instructions given by the authorities and the rules established in various centres or research places where he goes.
3.2 The genealogist does his work in the respect of those working in his vicinity.
3.3 The genealogist takes great care of working tools and documents he is using, books, registers, card-index, manuscripts, plans, photographs, microfilms or computerised data; he takes even more care when using original documents.
3.4 The genealogist shall not annotate research instruments or documents, he shall not either put hand written inscriptions on these, even for the purpose of correction. However, he is encouraged to communicate to the owner corrections that should be signaled.
3.5 The genealogist shall not take, keep, damage or mutilate research instruments or documents passed to him.
4. RESPECT OF RIGHT TO PRIVACY
4.1 The genealogist shall respect the confidentiality of certain information gathered which concerns the private life of citizens. He will give proof of discretion and judgement when communicating, publishing and distributing such information. Should the occasion arise, he will obtain permission from the persons concerned.
4.2 The genealogist shall never make public, for whatever reason, genealogical data that may prejudice a third party.
4.3 The genealogist shall not divulge consanguinity in direct line of a person legally adopted, unless the person concerned has agreed to it or when it is of common knowledge in which case, it will be his responsibility to established the facts clearly.
4.4 The genealogist shall meet his obligations of discretion which were taken when he obtained confidential information; he will be bound by such engagements.
5. INTEGRITY WHEN DOING RESEARCH FOR FEES
5.1 The genealogist who makes a research which will be remunerated, for a person, shall come with an agreement on the basis he will be paid and this, preferably, should be done in writing.
5.2 When difficulties arise in doing his work, the genealogist shall inform his client, obtain his agreement and achieve an agreement on additional fees before going further.
5.3 The genealogist shall indicates to his client if there will be limitations in his work and prove to him , upon request, the truthfulness of his allegations.
5.4 While working honestly, the genealogist will present the facts objectively and will respect the above mentioned rules of discretion and confidentiality .
6.1 Any breach to the code of ethics that comes to the attention of the society may result in a punitive sanction , but only after an inquiry during which the member concerned has been given the right to speak on what is being reproached to him.
6.2 To be used against a member, the code of ethics must have been signed by him.
You can print this page, sign it and post it to any Genealogical Society with of course your subscription.
You will find a lot of genealogical societies at this place:
http://www.genealogie.org/clubs.htm (La centrale généalogique francophone d'Amérique, CGFA)
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This page was last revised on the May 10th, 1999.