Core Documents

Commentaries to the Guidelines for Practice

Commentary 2 - Disclosure

In this guideline, disclosure refers to the open dissemination of information about materials and procedures to enable appropriate professional scrutiny and use. In the past this has not always been the case; secret formulas and proprietary procedures were common. Open exchange of ideas and information is a fundamental characteristic of a profession. Because conservation is still an emerging profession, it is particularly important that conservation professionals continue to participate in such exchanges.

Disclosure is one facet of overall communication. See also Guidelines and Commentaries 5, 14, 16-19, 21, 22 for additional discussion of professional communication.

  1. Rationale
    • Disclosure acts to:
      • further professionalization in the field by demystifying conservation materials and procedures;
      • ensure that the choice of materials and methods, as discussed in Guideline 22, is based on all pertinent information.
      • Publication in peer reviewed literature lends credence to the disclosed information.
  2. Minimum Accepted Practice
    • When introducing new materials and procedures for potential use in the profession, the conservation professional must disclose all information (e.g., composition, test results, analytic results) in appropriate forums.
    • A conservation professional who holds a patent on a material or procedure must disclose the constituents of the patented item.
  3. Recommended Practice
    • Disclosure should take place in peer reviewed literature.
    • A conservation professional who holds a patent on a material should disclose the formula of the patented item.


Approved by the AIC Board May 30, 2001.