Some questions in the field of Genealogy could be specifically about the ethics of research such as genetics, living persons, privacy, etc.

For example:

One could request clarification on ethics guidelines from various Genealogical organizations such as the Board for Certification of Genealogists "Ethics and Standards" section.

A person may have questions about specific scenarios. Certainly there are too many possibilities to list them all.

Questions regarding privacy are inherently a subset of ethics, but respect for privacy is not the only topic that may have ethical considerations.

I noticed there is no tag for ethics, but I feel like there should be.

Should we have a tag for questions regarding research ethics?

  • 2
    Do you have examples of questions that would warrant this tag, apart from your recent question? The examples could be existing questions or examples constructed for this discussion. We already have a Privacy tag.
    – user6485
    Aug 8, 2021 at 11:11
  • @ColeValleyGirl this is not meant to be rhetorical; I am asking the community members for their opinions. Aug 8, 2021 at 21:41
  • I didn't think for a moment it was meant to be rhetorical. I did think it would be easier to discuss with some concrete examples.
    – user6485
    Aug 9, 2021 at 6:35
  • I've edited to add the only other existing question on the site that seems to concern ethics (although there are others more tightly restricted to 'privacy' concerns).
    – user6485
    Aug 9, 2021 at 7:39

2 Answers 2


You are welcome to seek and await the discussion of whether we need an tag but also be aware that, with a reputation greater than 150, you already have the create tags privilege, and could simply create it yourself.

If you are ever wondering what other things you can do on the site there is a list of all the privileges available at the Privileges page.

  • Thank you! I do think it's good to get the counsel of others. Aug 9, 2021 at 0:17
  • @RyanMortensen I agree, especially as it says this in the Help centre: As a general rule, you should avoid creating new tags if possible, and new users are not allowed to create new tags. Even if you have sufficient reputation, you should only create new tags when you feel you can make a strong case that your question covers a new topic that nobody else has asked about before on this site.
    – user6485
    Aug 9, 2021 at 7:43

Although I suspect it won't be much used, I'm inclined to agree with the creation of such a tag. My only concerns are:

  1. Ethics questions will need careful handling to ensure they don't end up as opinion-based; answers should (IMO) refer to a relevant published set of ethical standards.
  2. (Housekeeping) We need to decide if the proposed Ethics tag should be applied to Privacy questions, or whether the Privacy tag is sufficient in itself (especially as it might be used to discuss technical mechanisms for enforcing privacy rather than ethical considerations).

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