Ethics in parliamentary research & library services

At the 2016 IFLAPARL conference, during a coffee-shop meeting of delegates interested in parliamentary research services, I noted that we lacked explicit and systematic guidance on the ethical questions that arise in daily work in the sector. We had two sets of professional guidelines (one for research and another covering libraries) but neither addressed the question directly. During the 2017 IFLAPARL conference the significance of this gap was discussed (presentation here). A survey, workshops and two years discussion by a working group ended in 2019 with the adoption of a set of checklists (final presentation here). We did not find an absolute standard that could apply to all services worldwide. We did find a definition of the minimum aspiration to make work on ethics worthwhile; and a set of specific issues found in the sector which any service could self-assess on – the checklists. The checklists are selective – they seek to avoid duplicating generic ethical codes for libraries and research, and focus on known issues rather than all possible issues. The checklists and their background can be found on the IFLAPARL site here.

UPDATE – checklists now available in Spanish and in French. Same location. February 2020