Code of Ethics for Science Writers

One of the principal aims of the National Association of Science Writers, according to its constitution, is to “foster the dissemination of accurate information regarding science and technology in keeping with the highest standards of journalism.” This code of ethics is intended to guide NASW members and science writers in the pursuit of those standards.

Science writers should strive to be accurate and unbiased in their professional work including verifying the accuracy of their information, checking sources’ credentials and any potential conflicts of interest. While there are instances when anonymous sources are necessary, these should be few and carefully considered.

Science writers should refrain from discrimination based on race, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation.

Science writers' work should be their own. Plagiarism is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Science writers should support the healthy exchange of views and opinions in science, but also realize when scientific principles are no longer questioned by the majority of reputable scientists involved.

Science writers should attempt to avoid any potential conflict of interest with an assignment, financial or otherwise. Conflicts that are unavoidable should be disclosed.

Science writers should immediately admit publically disseminated mistakes and make every effort to correct them.

Updated and adopted by the Board on October 17, 2014


For more information on plagiarism, visit