A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC BOTANY'S GUIDELINES OF
At the 1993 meetings, the Guidelines of Professional Ethics prepared by Brian
M. Boom and Christine Padoch, co-chairs of the Ethics Committee, was presented
to the members for approval. The vote at the meetings approved the Guidelines
in principle, but also called for further revision. Subsequently, the Guidelines
were published in the Spring 1994 issue (Vol. 7, p. 4) Plants & People Newsletter.
They were published again in the Fall 1994 (Vol. 7, p. 10) Newsletter, accompanied
by a letter from Varro E. Tyler with questions on several points. The last page
of the same Newsletter included a response form, inviting members to agree,
disagree, or comment on the Guidelines. At the 1995 meetings, the SEB Council
voted to adopt the Guidelines. The mixed responses of both society members and
of the Council indicate that the present Guidelines need more work. By publishing
them on our web page, beginning in late 1999, we hope to stimulate discussion
GUIDELINES OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC BOTANY
Adopted Summer, 1995
In conducting their research, economic botanists often must confront difficult
ethical issues related both to their daily collection needs and methods, and
to the dissemination and use of their findings. Since economic botanists are
a diverse group with greatly varying scientific backgrounds and professional
affiliations, their ethical problems are both diverse and complex. This document
presents guidelines for professional behavior for members of the SOCIETY FOR
1. MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC BOTANY HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE
A. They will strive to use their knowledge, skills, and training to enhance
the well-being of human kind. They will specifically refuse to work professionally
on any research that in their knowledge or judgment will result in harm being
done to anyone.
B. They will strive to maintain professional competence and will not
offer advice on subjects on which they are uninformed.
C. They will not engage in nor allow the dissemination of information
about economic botany that is false, misleading, or exaggerated.
2. MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC BOTANY HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO THOSE
A. They will communicate clearly and honestly to all with whom they work
the objectives and possible consequences of their research. If the research
has a commercial objective, researchers will make that explicit to those studied
and will disclose what the commercial results might reasonably be expected to
B. They will comply with all rules and limitations that local people,
their communities, or their institutions place on the research. They will not
"trick" people into revealing "secret" information. They will offer to supply
any reports or materials resulting from the research.
C. They will respect any request for confidence made by those providing
data or materials, provided that the maintenance of such confidence does not
compromise other ethical considerations.
D. They will respect individuals' right to anonymity and privacy of those
they work with when it is requested.
E. When materials or information obtained from those people can reasonably
be expected to have a commercial payoff, they will arrange with employers for
equitable economic compensation for those who have provided the information
and/or plants and will do all in their power to ensure that compensation is
3. MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC BOTANY HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO HOST
GOVERNMENTS AND OTHER HOST INSTITUTIONS.
A. They will comply honestly and completely with all regulations requesting
disclosure of project objectives, sponsorship and methods, as well as supply
reports and specimens to perform specified services (e.g., seminars and training).
B. They will, when the situation requires, make clear that they will
not compromise their professional ethics as a condition of their receiving clearance
to do research. Specifically, they will provide no secret information or reports
that might jeopardize people they have worked with or other individuals.
C. They will assist their collaborators in enhancing the physical and
human resources of their institutions.
4. MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC BOTANY HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE
A. They will maintain a level of integrity and professional behavior
in the field so as not to jeopardize future research by others.
B. They will not present as their own the work of others.
C. They will not allow, to the limits of their abilities, their materials
to be used for fraudulent or harmful purposes.
5. MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC BOTANY HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO THOSE
WHO SUPPORT THEIR RESEARCH THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE ETHICAL GUIDELINES OF
THE SOCIETY FOR ECONOMIC BOTANY.
In order to submit an article for review to the Editorial Office,
authors must attest to the following principles:
1) The submitted manuscript represents the original work of
2) At least one of the authors of the paper is an individual member of the Society
for Economic Botany. If you aren't an SEB member, click here.
3) All authors have agreed to be so listed and have seen and approved the manuscript,
its content, and its submission to Economic Botany. Any further change
in authorship must be approved in writing by all authors.
4) No component of the manuscript has been published or is under consideration
for publication elsewhere including on the Internet, and the main findings of
a paper have not been reported in the mass media.
5) Informed consent was obtained for studies on humans after the nature and
possible consequences of the studies were explained.
6) Care of experimental animals was in accordance with institutional guidelines.
7) Copyright of an accepted manuscript will be assigned over to the New York
8) Research methodology followed the Society for Economic Botany Professional
Code of Ethics.
9) Potential conflicts of interest must be identified and described.
SUBMIT A COMMENT ON THE GUIDELINES
The Society for Economic Botany Ethics Committee welcomes your comments and
suggestions on the current Guidelines. Your input is valuable for future revisions!
The following link will allow you to send an email to the Chair of the Committee.
Please include your name and full contact information, and briefly identify
the viewpoint or subfield from which you are making comments.
THE ETHICS COMMITTEE
We welcome your comments, feedback, and suggestions for other links and bibliographic
references. Please link us to your Ethics page! Contact: Ethics