ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market, Opinion and Social Research and Data Analytics

ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market, Opinion and Social Research and Data Analytics

ICC and ESOMAR are delighted to present this latest revision of the Code, one that we believe will continue to promote high standards of ethical behaviour and reinforce public confidence in research. We recommend use of this Code worldwide.

Research is being transformed with increasing reliance on data already available in digital form.

The role of the researcher is evolving from interviewer to data curator, focusing more on organising and integrating data, much of which already exists. The research and insight function is extending beyond data collection and analysis to managing and synthesising data from a diverse range of sources, from focus groups and sample surveys to social media and large databases.

This revision of the ICC/ESOMAR Code takes account of the impact of these new technologies on the research profession. The inclusion of data analytics in the title recognises that the proliferation of data has resulted in an entirely new approach to research within our profession wherein researchers assemble and analyse large databases to uncover patterns in the data and deliver powerful new insights to clients. Data analytics can be used for other purposes, but when used for research, this Code applies.

Purpose and scope

This Code is designed to be a comprehensive framework for self-regulation for those engaged in market, opinion and social research and data analytics. It sets essential standards of ethical and professional conduct designed to maintain public confidence in research, while also requiring strict adherence to any relevant regional, national and local laws or regulations, and industry/professional codes of conduct that may set a higher standard. It ensures that researchers and analysts working with both traditional and new sources of data continue to meet their ethical, professional and legal responsibilities to the individuals whose data they use in research and to the clients and organisations they serve. It also is intended to safeguard the right of researchers to seek, receive and impart information as stated in Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

This Code applies to all research worldwide. Acceptance and observance of the Code is mandatory for ESOMAR members and the members of other research associations that have adopted it.