Code of Ethics

Approved by the ALBSA Executive Committee, this Code is based on the Code of Ethics of the International Sociological Association (ISA), whose principles are mandatory for its regular and collective members, such as the Albanian Sociological Association (ALBSA).


The Albanian Sociological Association's (ALBSA) Code of Ethics consists of a Preamble and four sets of specific Ethical Standards. Membership in the ALBSA commits members to adhere to it.

The Code of Ethics is not exhaustive, all-embracing and rigid. The fact that a particular conduct is not addressed specifically by the Code of Ethics does not mean the conduct is necessarily either ethical or unethical.


Sociologists and scholars of social and human sciences work to develop a reliable and valid body of scientific knowledge based on research and, thereby, to contribute to the development of the society and the improvement of the quality of life for the people.

The primary goals of the Code of Ethics, a symbol of the identity of the ALBSA, are (1) to protect the welfare of groups and individuals with whom and on whom sociologists and social scholars work or who are involved in sociologists' and social scholars research efforts and (2) to guide the behaviour of ALBSA members, both between themselves and toward the society at large.

Each scholar supplements the Code of Ethics in ways based on her/his own personal values, culture and experience. Each scholar respect the standards outlined in this Code of Ethics. It is the individual responsibility of each sociologist to aspire to the highest standards of conduct.

The efficacy of a Code of Ethics relies principally upon the self-discipline and self-control of those to whom it applies.

1. Sociology as a field of scientific study and practice

As scholars, sociologists are expected to cooperate locally and transnationally on the basis of scientific correctness alone, without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual preference, ethnicity, language, religion or political affiliation.

a. Group work, cooperation and mutual exchanges among sociologists and social scholars are necessary for sociology to achieve its ends. Sociologists are expected to take part in discussions on their own work, as well as on the work of others.

b. Sociologists should be aware of the fact that their assumptions may have an impact upon society. Hence their duty is, on the one hand, to keep an unbiased attitude as far as possible, while, on the other hand, to acknowledge the tentative and relative character of the results of their research and not to conceal their own ideological position(s). No sociological conclusion should be presented as indisputable truth.

c. Sociologists and social scholars should act with a view to mantaining the image and the integrity of their own discipline; this does not imply that they should abandon a critical approach toward its fundamental assumptions, its methods and its achievements.

d. The principles of openness, criticism and respect for all scientific perspectives should be followed by sociologists and social scholars in their teaching and professional practices.

e. Sociologists and social scholars are expected to protect the rights of their students and clients.

2. Research procederes

I. Sponsors

a. Research activities in sociology necessarily rely on private or public funding, and thus depend to a certain extent on sponsorship. But sponsors, be they private or public, may be interested in a specific outcome of research. Yet, sociologists should not accept research grants or contracts which specify conditions inconsistent with their scientific judgment of what are appropriate means of carrying out the research in question, or which permit the sponsors to veto or delay academic publication because they dislike the findings.

b. Sponsors should be clearly informed in advance of the basic guidelines of research projects, as well as of the methods which researchers are willing to adopt. Sponsors should be advised of the risk that the result of an inquiry may not fit with their own expectations. Sponsors also should be advised about the negative impact that can have if the findings of a research may not used in accordance with ethical standards and their principles.

c. Sponsors, both private and public, may be particularly interested in funding sociological research for political aims. Whether or not they share such aims, sociologists should not become subordinate to them. They should also refrain from every kind of cooperation that impact in the fulfillment of undemocratic aims or discriminatory goals.

d. The conditions agreed upon between researchers and sponsors should preferably be laid down in written agreements. Funds provided for sociological research should be used for the agreed purpose; researchers should not compete with other bidders by the use of unfair tactics, not consistent with appropriate scientific standards.

II. Data gathering

a. The security, anonymity and privacy of research subjects and informants should be respected rigorously, in both quantitative and qualitative research. The sources of personal information obtained by researchers should be kept confidential, unless the informants have asked or agreed to be cited. Payment of informants, though acceptable in principle, should be discouraged as far as possible, because it can influence the reliability of the information provided.

b. Researchers who are being given access to records in historical archives, both private and public, respect the privacy conditions under which the data were collected, the legal conditions, and archive rules.

c. The consent of research subjects and informants should be obtained in advance. Covert research should be avoided in principle, unless it is the only method by which information can be gathered, and/or when access to the usual sources of information is obstructed by those in power.

3. Publication of data

a. Data gathered in sociological research activities and research work constitutes the intellectual property of the researchers, who are in principle also entitled to copyright. Should copyright be vested in a sponsor or in an employer, researchers should be entitled to fair compensation.

b. In principle, researchers have a right to submit their work for publication, or to publish it at their own expense.

c. Researchers have the right to ensure that their results be not manipulated or taken out of context by sponsors.

d. The contribution of scholars, sponsors, technicians or other collaborators who have made a substantial contribution in carrying out a research project should be acknowledged explicitly in any subsequent publication.

e. Databases should be public, accompanied with the exact sources of data (respecting the standards of the references in scientific research), and the methods by which they were constructed.

f. Once published, information about a research project should be considered to be part of the common knowledge and background of the scientific community. Therefore, it is open to comments and criticism to which researchers should be allowed to react.

4. Extra-scientific use of research results

a. The results of sociological inquiries may be a matter of public interest. The debate about them should not be hindered. Researchers, however, should be aware of the dangers connected with distortions, simplifications and manipulations of their own research material, which may occur in the process of communication through individual or mass media. Researchers should be able, and are entitled, to intervene to correct any kind of misinterpretation or misuse of their work.

b. Researchers should refrain from claiming expertise in fields where they do not have the necessary depth of research knowledge, especially when contributing to public discussion or policy debate.