Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Ethics, actually

 Our Ancient National Airs: countdown to submission

I was just working on a footnote.  Suddenly, I realised that I might possibly, remotely have discovered the name of  someone's descendent - and in that case, maybe I have a tenuous thread by which I could investigate what happened to certain papers in his possession.

Eagerly, I started revising the footnote.  In it all went - tenuous link and all.  And then I stopped.  Should I be publishing names?  These are the first, tiny beginnings of a hunch, no more.  

I stopped, went and fixed supper, then went back and deleted my revisions.  It would be wrong to leave pure guesswork in that footnote, and wrong to divulge names of living descendents.  If I followed my hunch, and did all the tactful diplomacy stuff - which my supervisor thought I was quite good at, as it happens - then I might perhaps one day have a story to tell.  

But I'm not publishing guesswork.  I can't do it; it wouldn't be ethical.

Twenty more pages to revise, and then the appendices and bibliography.  Three and a half weeks to my submission date.  Will I manage it?  Watch this space.  Our Ancient National Airs are close to getting airborne!

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