Professional Standards

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AIIP and its members set high standards for professional practice. AIIP members accept a code of ethics, and AIIP also has developed a policy statement on intellectual property. They are presented here to further AIIP’s aims of informing the public about the responsibilities of the information professional and advancing understanding of the information profession.

AIIP Code of Ethical Business Practice

An Independent Information Professional is an entrepreneur who has demonstrated continuing expertise in the art of finding and organizing information. Each provides information services on a contractual basis to more than one client and serves as an objective intermediary between the client and the information world.

All members of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) agree to and support the objectives of AIIP and accept the following Code of Ethical Business Practice:

  • Uphold the profession's reputation for honesty, competence, and confidentiality.

  • Give clients the most current and accurate information possible within the budget and time frames provided by the clients.

  • Help clients understand the sources of information used and the degree of reliability which can be expected from those sources.

  • Accept only those projects which are legal and are not detrimental to our profession.

  • Respect client confidentiality.

  • Recognize intellectual property rights.

  • Respect licensing agreements and other contracts. Explain to clients what their obligations might be with regard to intellectual property rights and licensing agreements.

  • Maintain a professional relationship with libraries and comply with all their rules of access.

  • Assume responsibility for employees' compliance with this code.

Approved by the membership May 5, 1989, at the Third Annual Meeting, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA.

Amended by the membership April 22, 1990, at the Fourth Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, USA.

Amended by the membership April 18, 1997, at the Eleventh Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, USA.

Amended by the membership April 24, 1999, at the Thirteenth Annual Meeting, Berkeley, California, USA.

Amended by the membership April 20, 2002, at the Sixteenth Annual Meeting, Long Beach, California, USA.

AIIP Statement of Policy 
Concerning Intellectual Property Rights

Members of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) are independent small business owners who provide fee-based information services to multiple clients. AIIP members act as agents of their clients when they locate and retrieve information, or act as intermediaries who provide information services on behalf of their clients.

AIIP members are required to adhere to a Code of Ethical Business Practice in which they bear the following responsibilities relating to intellectual property rights:

  • Recognize intellectual property rights —Respect licensing agreements and other contracts. Explain to clients what their obligations might be with regard to intellectual property rights and licensing agreements.
  • Assume responsibility for employees' compliance with this code.

AIIP members charge their clients for professional services and for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, which may include costs involved in retrieving and delivering copyrighted materials.

AIIP members are committed to the practice and principle of one-time use of copyrighted material, sometimes called "one search, one use."

In situations in which AIIP members are aware that they are providing copyrighted materials to clients, AIIP members recognize their responsibility to inform clients about potentially applicable provisions of international copyright laws regarding the reproduction and photocopying of protected materials.

In order to ensure that publishers' rights are protected, AIIP strongly advises members to include a statement about copyright in client contracts and agreements.

AIIP strongly suggests that informational and advisory copyright statements provided to clients include the following essential elements:

  • A statement informing clients that the materials they are receiving may be copyrighted, if in fact they are.
  • A statement informing clients that questions regarding copyright should be addressed to their legal advisers or to the publishers holding the copyright.

Approved by the AIIP Board of Directors on October 23, 1994.

Amended by the Board of Directors on April 6, 2000, and April 21, 2002, to reflect subsequent modifications of the Code of Ethical Business Practice.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Topaz Sponsor

American Economic Association

The AEA publishes seven prestigious economics journals including the American Economic Review. Libraries also subscribe to EconLit, a comprehensive database of essential economics sources including 1.3 million records and full-text linking options. Coverage includes articles, working papers, dissertations, books and reviews, and collective volume articles. More information:


Ruby Sponsor

Mary Ellen Bates

Mary Ellen helps fellow infopreneurs make a living doing what they love. She offers one-on-one strategic coaching, webinars and online courses to help independent info pros thrive. Download free resources at


Topaz Sponsor

June Boyle

CeRCo means seek. Seeking information is what we’re all about. We help business leaders – and the consultants who advise them – get access to the right information in order to make critical decisions for their organizations.


Ruby Sponsor

Scott Attenborough

How content is published makes a difference. The right combination of technology, innovation and discipline will make all the difference. Your content is your capital - build it right - make it count. Visit Content Capital.


Opal Sponsor

Michelle Rawl

Rawl Research, Inc. provides media research and analysis to companies interested in seeing how they stack up against their competitors. Public relations firms, medical organizations and government agencies use the targeted results to find new business and define their products or services. More information:


Amethyst Sponsor


We would like to thank ProQuest for your Amethyst Sponsorship and ongoing support of AIIP!


Topaz Sponsor

Jane Langeman

Langeman Consulting helps academics, non-profits and associations leverage technology and data to make smarter decisions.

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