EthicalGuidelines.pdf - Approved by ASA Board of Directors...

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Approved by ASA Board of Directors April 14, 2018Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice Prepared by the Committee on Professional Ethics of the American Statistical AssociationPurpose of the Guidelines The American Statistical Association’s Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice are intended to help statistics practitioners make decisions ethically. Additionally, the ethical guidelines aim to promote accountability by informing those who rely on statistical analysis of the standards they should expect. The discipline of statistics links the capacity to observe with the ability to gather evidence and make decisions, providing a foundation for building a more informed society. Because society depends on informed judgments supported by statistical methods, all practitioners of statistics—regardless of training and occupation or job title—have an obligation to work in a professional, competent, respectful, and ethical manner. Good statistical practice is fundamentally based on transparent assumptions, reproducible results, and valid interpretations. In some situations, guideline principles may conflict, requiring individuals to prioritize principles according to context. However, in all cases, stakeholders have an obligation to act in good faith, to act in a manner that is consistent with these guidelines, and to encourage others to do the same. Above all, professionalism in statistical practice presumes the goal of advancing knowledge while avoiding harm; using statistics in pursuit of unethical ends is inherently unethical. Ethical statistical practice does not include, promote, or tolerate any type of professional or scientific misconduct, including, but not limited to, bullying, sexual or other harassment, discrimination based on personal characteristics, or other forms of intimidation. The principles expressed here should guide both those whose primary occupation is statistics and those in all other disciplines who use statistical methods in their professional work. Therefore, throughout these guidelines, the term “statistician” includes all practitioners of statistics and quantitative sciences—regardless of job title or field of degree—comprising statisticians at all levels of the profession and members of other professions who utilize and report statistical analyses and their implications.
2 2 A. Professional Integrity and Accountability The ethical statistician uses methodology and data that are relevant and appropriate; without favoritism or prejudice; and in a manner intended to produce valid, interpretable, and reproducible results. The ethical statistician does not knowingly accept work for which he/she is not sufficiently qualified, is honest with the client about any limitation of expertise, and consults other statisticians when necessary or in doubt. It is essential that statisticians treat others with respect.

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