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Ethical Statements

Familiarize yourself with ethical statements from institutions, indigenous organizations, archives and institutional review boards.


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.

Intellectual Property Rights

Familiarize yourself with Intellectual Property Rights laws of the country in which you are doing research as well as for your country.


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.

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