Your Comments Needed on New Standards for Genetic Genealogy Research

By Diane Haddad

A committee of genetic genealogists and scientists have drafted ethical and usage standards for genetic genealogy research, and they’re asking for your feedback by June 15, 2014.

You can download the Genetic Genealogy Standards and Ethics document as a PDF or view it online here, and click the Comment link on the left side of the page to contribute your comments.

The three-page draft has 21 guidelines intended for use when purchasing, recommending, sharing results of, and writing about the results of DNA testing for genealogy. They address topics such as:

  • privacy of test-takers (especially when the person who takes the DNA test is someone other than the person who purchases the test and/or uses the results)
  • DNA sample storage
  • raw DNA data (this refers to the data on the alleles at each single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, that the DNA test analyzed)
  • unexpected test results
  • health information
  • understanding the types of available DNA tests and their limitations
  • interpreting results
  • combining DNA testing with other genealogical evidence
  • citing genetic genealogy sources (it looks like this standard is under development)

Click here to read more about the document’s purpose and see names of members of the Genetic Genealogy Standards Committee.

If you could use help understanding how to use DNA testing in your genealogy research, look into Family Tree Magazine’s on-demand webinar, Using DNA to Solve Family Mysteries.