The National Genealogical Society (NGS) promulgated a set of "Standards for Sound
Genealogical Research" in their March 1998 issue (Volume 86, Number 1, Page 50).
By permission granted by the NGS, these standards are presented below.
Standards for Sound Genealogical
Recommended by the National Genealogical Society
Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest for truth, family
history researchers consistently --
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 that 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 a fact to others.
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 comment.
Consider with open minds new evidence or the comments of others on their
work and the conclusions they have reached.
Copyright 1997 by the National
Genealogical Society. Permission is granted to copy or publish this material, provided it is reproduced in its entirety,
including this notice.