Genealogical Society has published standards for genealogical research,
including the following:
Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest for truth, family history
- Record the source for each item of information they collect.
- Test every hypothesis or theory against credible evidence, and reject
those that are not supported by the evidence.
- Seek original records, or reproduced images of them when there is
reasonable assurance they have not been altered, as the basis for their
- Use compilations, communications and published works, whether paper or
electronic, primarily for their value as guides to locating the original
- State something as a fact only when it is supported by convincing
evidence, and identify the evidence when communicating the fact to
- Limit with words like "probable" or "possible" any statement that is
based on less than convincing evidence, and state the reasons for
concluding that it is probable or possible.
- Avoid misleading other researchers by either intentionally or carelessly
distributing or publishing inaccurate information.
- State carefully and honestly the results of their own research, and
acknowledge all use of other researchers' work.
- Recognize the collegial nature of genealogical research by making their
work available to others through publication, or by placing copies in
appropriate libraries or repositories, and by welcoming critical
- Consider with open minds new evidence or the comments of others on their
work and the conclusions they have reached.
© Copyright 1997 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is granted
to copy or publish this material provided it is reproduced in its entirety,
including this notice.