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Ethical Principles

We are committed to the ethical principles for the protection of human subjects in research. Information about the ethical codes that serve as the foundation for the conduct of research with human participants may be found here:

Nuremberg Code

Modern human subjects protections begin with the Nuremberg Code. The Code (1949) was developed following the Nuremberg Military Tribunal as a standard by which to judge human experimentation conducted by the Nazis. It addresses many of the basic principles governing the ethical conduct of human subjects research, including the voluntary consent of human subjects.

Declaration of Helsinki

The World Medical Association adopted the Declaration of Helsinki (1964) as guidance for medical doctors undertaking biomedical research involving human subjects. The Declaration has been continuously revised (most recently in 2008). It addresses important issues including the principle of risk to benefit ratio in research, human studies based on laboratory and animal studies, review of research by independent committees and informed consent.

Belmont Report

The U.S. Congress commissioned the Belmont Report (1979) in response to public outrage over the Tuskegee syphilis study conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service. The report addresses the three ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence and justice.


Professional Ethics Codes

In addition to complying with the federal regulations governing human subjects, researchers should also follow codes of ethics and regulations within their profession and area of research:

American Anthropological Association (AAA)

American Association for Public Opinion Research

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)

American Historical Association (AHA)

American Folklore Society

American Psychological Association (APA)

American Sociological Association (ASA)

Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA)

British Sociological Association

Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA)

European Sociological Association

International Sociological Association

Middle East Studies Association (MESA)

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA)

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

National Council on Public History (NCPH)

Oral History Society