National Genealogical Society

References for Researching

Guidelines for Sharing Information with Others

Recommended by the National Genealogical Society

Aware that sharing information or data with others is important and that it needs continuing support and encouragement, genealogists and family historians consistently

  • respect the restrictions on sharing information that arise from the rights of another as an author, originator or compiler; as a living private person; or as a party to a mutual agreement;

  • observe meticulously the legal rights of copyright owners, copying or distributing any part of their works only with their permission, or to the limited extent specifically allowed under the law's "fair use" exceptions;

  • identify the sources for all ideas, information, and data from others, and the form in which they were received, recognizing that the unattributed use of another's intellectual work is plagiarism;

  • inform people who provide information about their families how it may be used, observing any conditions they impose and respecting any reservations they may express regarding the use of particular items;

  • require evidence of consent before assuming that living people are agreeable to further sharing or publication of information about themselves;

  • convey personal identifying information about living people--such as age, home address, genetic information, occupation, or activities--only in ways that those concerned have expressly agreed to;

  • recognize that legal rights of privacy may limit the extent to which information from publicly available sources may be further used, disseminated, or published;

  • communicate no information to others that is known to be false, or without making reasonable efforts to determine its truth, particularly information that may be derogatory; and

  • are sensitive to the hurt that information discovered or conclusions reached in the course of genealogical research may bring to other persons and consider that in deciding whether to share or publish such information and conclusions.

© 2000, 2016 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is granted to copy or publish this material provided it is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.

See also:

Text Size Increase Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Bookmark and Share