Familiarize yourself with ethical statements from institutions, indigenous organizations, archives and institutional review boards.
- The LSA Statement on Language Rights outlines some misconceptions about language and helps to define the rights of their speakers.
- The LSA Statement on Human Subjects presents some issues that must be considered when working with community members.
- AAA Statement on Ethics
- The Institutional Review Board Discussion and News Forum website provides links to multiple IRB statements
- Principles for the Conduct of Research in the Arctic
When planning a documentation project you should think about accessibility to the data. Two factors to be considered are access in a physical sense, that is, how do speakers get hold of the materials, and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues which can determine who gets access to the materials. For more information on preparations for digital access to data, visit our page on digital access guidelines.
Familiarize yourself with Intellectual Property Rights laws of the country in which you are doing research as well as for your country.
- AILLA provides some basic info on IPR
- Mark Liberman's "Concerning the Recording and Publications of Primary Language Materials" at Exploration 2000
- Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press' Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations
- The WIPO provides a directory of Intellectual property offices across the world
- Basic information on copyright in the U.S.
Getting consent for your documentation work from the community you are working with is exteremly important. Try to find some examples of written and oral agreements between researchers/projects and speakers/communities. Visit our pages on getting consent for more information.
Be sure to think about forms of compensation (money, gifts, labor) for consultants. Compensation depend on many things: region, culture, religion, class. Visit our pages on giving back to the community for more information.