This is the post for "DNA Standards - Part 8."
Prior bullets are discussed in other parts of this series:
- for an introduction to the blog series on DNA standards see http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-1.html
- test the right descendants with the right test(s) at the right company or companies to obtain the information needed to answer the research question (Standard 51) (For "DNA Standards - Part 2" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-2.html.)
- select matches and/or target-test others with the right test (Standard 51) (For "DNA Standards - Part 2" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-2.html.)
- analyze the DNA results accurately and in-depth (Standard 52) (For "DNA Standards - Part 3" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-3.html.)
- integrate the thoroughly researched and analyzed DNA and documentary evidence; logically sequence and clearly illustrate the DNA analysis and the documentary analysis in a written conclusion; accurately and completely cite all sources (Standards 1–8, 55, 56, 65, 74) (For "DNA Standards - Part 3" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-3.html.)
- ensure enough people have tested to support the conclusion (Standard 53) (For "DNA Standards - Part 4" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-4.html.)
- support every parent-child link in the line from all test takers to the hypothesized ancestors with documentary evidence (Standard 2) (For "DNA Standards - Part 5" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-5.html.)
- identify familial relationships (where appropriate), present the conclusion as a genetic link only if the DNA supports that conclusion, explain any insufficient research (Standards 50, 56, 65, 74) (For "DNA Standards - Part 6" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-6.html.)
- make the DNA data available for verification, as much as possible within the limits of test taker permissions (Standard 54) (For "DNA Standards - Part 7" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-7.html.)
In "DNA Standards - Part 8" I further discuss the final bullet. The main bullets indicate considerations when using DNA to help answer a research question; sub-items explain what is needed to accomplish the tasks defined in the main bullet:
- publish or share only as a living test taker’s permission allows (Standard 57)
- deceased persons have no privacy rights; courtesy to living descendants might warrant anonymizing the identity of a deceased test taker
- general information can be shared as long as the identifying information is hidden (such as when asking for assistance or when teaching how to use a site or tool)
- do not use a living person’s DNA results if they do not give permission (some disagree on whether inclusion in a public DNA project constitutes permission)
- do not identify a living person if they do not give permission
- identities can be anonymized
- anonymizing too many people in a study may make the conclusion questionable
- identities can be anonymized
Unless you are working in a legal capacity where you may be held liable for misidentifying descendants you should be able to use whatever sources you wish to use. If you are publishing, your work will be subject to the requirements of the editor. If you are submitting a portfolio to BCG, your work will be subject to the requirements of BCG. You should contact those entities with your questions.
There will always be disagreements about what constitutes proof. I have read articles in some of the premier genealogical journals that I do not think meet the threshold for the claims made. Obviously, the editors and peer-reviewers felt differently. Some of those articles were based only on documents and some included DNA. We will never all agree on exactly how much evidence is needed for proof and DNA does not change that fact.
GETTING OFFICIAL INFORMATION ON STANDARDS FROM BCG
Only BCG provides official answers on what it expects to see in application portfolios. No one, not even members of the BCG Board of Trustees or associates helping at exhibit hall booths, speak officially for BCG. For specifics on what BCG expects to see in portfolios, please use BCG’s website, blog, newsletter, and other means of communication:
- BCG website at https://bcgcertification.org/ has a “Contact BCG” link
- BCG SpringBoard blog at https://bcgcertification.org/springboard/
- BCG OnBoard Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists has many articles available online at https://bcgcertification.org/learning/skills/onboard/ or subscribe to receive current issues as published
- BCG news announcement “Standards for DNA Evidence” dated 28 October 2018 at https://bcgcertification.org/standards-for-dna-evidence/
All statements made in this blog are the opinion of the post author. This blog is not sponsored by any entity other than Debbie Parker Wayne nor is it supported through free or reduced price access to items discussed unless so indicated in the blog post. Hot links to other sites are provided as a courtesy to the reader and are not an endorsement of the other entities except as clearly stated in the narrative.
21 September 2021: added missing link to part 1.
To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Standards - Part 8," Deb's Delvings, 10 March 2019 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).
© 2019, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved