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Code of Ethics and Conduct - Genealogical Research Service

To act in my client's best interests; and
To protect my client's privacy

To protect the consumer (client) 

I will keep confidential any personal or genealogical information given to me, unless I receive written consent to the contrary.

I will reveal to the consumer any personal or financial interests that might compromise my professional obligations.

I will undertake paid research commissions only after a clear agreement as to scope and fee.

I will, to the best of my abilities, address my research to the issue raised by the consumer and report to that question.

I will seek from the consumer all prior information and documentation related to the research and will not knowingly repeat the work, as billable hours, without explanation as to good cause.

I will furnish only facts I can substantiate with adequate documentation; and I will not withhold any data necessary for the consumer's purpose.

If the research question involves analysis of data in order to establish a genealogical relationship or identity, I will report that the conclusions are based on the weight of the available evidence and that absolute proof of genealogical relationships is usually not possible.

If I cannot resolve a research problem within the limitations of time or budget established by contract, I will explain the reasons why.

If other feasible avenues are available, I will suggest them; but I will not misrepresent the possibilities of additional research.

I will return any advance payment that exceeds the hours and expenses incurred.

I will not publish or circulate research or reports to which the consumer has a proprietary right, without prior written consent of the consumer; I will observe these rights, whether my report was made directly to the consumer or to an employer or agent.

To protect the public

I will not publish or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproven; nor will I be a party, directly or indirectly, to such action by others.

I will identify my sources for all information and cite only those I have personally used

I will quote sources precisely, avoiding any alterations that I do not clearly identify as editorial interpretations.

I will present the purpose, practice, scope, and possibilities of genealogical research within a realistic framework.

I will delineate my abilities, publications, and/or fees in a true and realistic fashion.

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