Ethical Guidelines for Research

General Guidelines (Drafted and approved in June 2020)


  1. Issues of legality, responsibility and loyalty: We will consider national, regional and local regulations for research such as applying for permission and visa regulations wherever necessary, accessible or advisable.
    We are aware of our responsibility towards the different parties involved in the research process and as representatives of the University of Tuebingen and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. We take into consideration the potential difficulty of deciding over loyalties.
  2. Collaboration: We will collaborate with local partners on equal terms wherever possible and consider structural inequalities. We strive to affiliate with a national partner university or department or research institution if available. We are aware and sensitive about the collaborations with persons, groups, institutions or authorities that operate in contested power-relations.
  3. Do no harm: We adhere to the principle of “do no harm”. We make sure that precaution is taken against possible harmful effects of research towards persons, communities, environments, as well as ourselves with regard to health, wellbeing and personal and political security. Personal conduct should include reflective behavior so as to anticipate possible repercussions on research interlocutors and partners, the wider public, employers and funders, colleagues and anthropology as a discipline.
  4. Informed consent: Research will be based on the principle of “informed consent” implying relevant information about our research towards our partners and obtaining their consent to collaborate. We will neither work undercover nor hide our professional identity. Research goals, sponsors and results will be made transparent.
  5. Data collection: We will be sensitive in the realization of our plans and ideas of work progress and adjust to local mechanisms of negotiation and collaboration to ensure a respectful research process. We respect privacy and therefore will keep our interlocutors and partners anonymous where desired or necessary.
  6. Data safety: We do our utmost to protect data within the research process and treat sensitive information as confidential.
  7. Reciprocity: We strive to establish fair reciprocal relations to our interlocutors, assistants, hosts and other research partners.
  8. Compensations: We strive to offer fair compensation to interlocutors, research assistants & partners. This may include contribution to household costs, offering gifts, payments, services, skills and knowledge or the like.
  9. Intellectual property: We respect the intellectual property and copyrights of third parties in research, concerning the publication of research results including online publications. We consider the possibility of co-authorship and acknowledge help in research, analysis and publishing wherever it may be appropriate.