The Researcher's Pledge

Regardless of your political values, I think we can all agree that last week's United States presidential election impacted many of us deeply. Many of us researchers felt betrayed by the way data was used during the election season. The world relied on it, and we were surprised and shocked by the reality of it, which told a very different story. I wrote a post on Medium about the importance of making data more inclusive so that we can better measure and account for the nuances of politics. 

Research is my absolute passion and, I feel, my purpose in life. My love for research has lead me down a path of literacy activism, most recently volunteering in the refugee resettlement program in my city. I care very deeply about the ethics of research and journalism, and the people who are impacted by these ethics. I'll admit that I felt helpless last week, scared and worried for the state of the world. And like many, this kicked me into action. Research and data are becoming more and more important, and since there's just so much of it, researchers and librarians and information scientists are more important than ever to help make sense of it all. 

So I created the Researcher's Pledge to commit to using research for good, which consists of the following commitments:

  • I commit to making my research open and accessible to the general public;

  • I commit to making my methodology inclusive, to the best of my ability;

  • I commit to being transparent in my methodology and biases;

  • I commit to holding journalists and researchers accountable for flawed or misrepresented data;

  • I commit to holding high standards for peer review, both for my own research and the research I cite;

  • I commit to collaborating across disciplines to conduct research beyond the confines of the Ivory Tower;

  • I commit to educating and empowering my community to understand and interpret data and science;

  • I commit to adhering to strict ethical standards that protect and prioritize the safety of the subjects of my research;

  • I commit to using my research to enlighten, educate, and inform.

Above all, I commit to using the research process and scientific method for good.

If you're a researcher, scientist, writer, genealogist, etc., please take the pledge. You can also download the badge to display on your social profiles.