In 2006 the Executive Committee of the Linguistic Society of America established an ad hoc Ethics Committee with two subcommittees. Subcommittee A was charged with drafting new guidelines for the responsible conduct of linguistic research. Members of this subcommittee were Lise Dobrin, Jane Hill, Keith Johnson, Jack Martin, and Sara Trechter. Subcommittee B was asked to develop materials to help linguists deal with Institutional Review Boards. Members of that subcommittee included Claire Bowern, Penny Eckert, Ted Gibson, Philip Rubin, and Susan Steele. Monica Macaulay served as the committee’s representative to the Executive Committee and as the point of contact between the subcommittees.
This ethics statement was drafted in early 2007. It was influenced in part by the 1988 Statement of Ethics for the American Folklore Society and by the 1998 Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association.
I think it would be helpful overall to provide case studies and/or examples of ethical and unethical behavior. I don’t think the general statements are enough. I think it can be difficult for some to comprehend the extent of a statement without applications to ground them.
@Sonja: The Ethics committee is planning to have some case studies available, but they will be separate from the statement.
I believe the ad hoc Ethic Committee has produced an excellent draft of the guidelines necessary for the responsible conduct of linguistic research. The committee has covered the essential points.