Reviewer Code of Ethics

Pen Habit Reviewer Code of Ethics

Updated 14 September 2016

The Pen Habit operates due to support from viewers, ad revenue from video views, and sponsorships. While this support is vital to ensuring that The Pen Habit can continue to operate, it is also vital that I, as a reviewer, am able to be honest and forthright in my reviews. To that end, I have developed this reviewer code of ethics to define the rules by which The Pen Habit will operate.

I will include explicit disclaimers in all written and videos reviews that indicate when review materials are provided for review—whether from a manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or fellow pen-friends. In all cases, I will make every possible effort to not allow the receipt of an item to color my opinion of that item. Additionally, I will include disclaimers when a review item comes from former advertisers as well. It is my hope that full transparency will help to offset any unintentional bias that may arise.

Review Items from Manufacturers
The Pen Habit will accept items from manufacturers for review purposes under the mutual understanding that the resulting review will be an honest indication of my feelings toward that product. At no point will The Pen Habit accept items explicitly or implicitly in exchange for a falsely positive review.

In the case of all review materials, reviews will clearly indicate when an item is provided for review by a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer who may have a vested interest in the product being reviewed.  Reviews will also clearly indicate whether those items are to be kept, sold, returned, or given away to Pen Habit viewership.


The Pen Habit is supported in part by sponsors who advertise on the website and YouTube channel.

  • Website advertisements – The Pen Habit blog features several slots for advertisers and sponsors. Usually, these ad slots are purchased by pen retailers, distributors, or in rare cases, manufacturers. In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest, The Pen Habit will not review products from manufacturers or distributors while their advertisements run on the site.
  • YouTube sponsorships – Starting after Season 3, The Pen Habit is now accepting sponsors for individual videos. At this time, I am only permitting video sponsorships on non-review content (e.g., the Currently Inked series or educational videos). In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest, I do not accept sponsorships on review videos.
  • Backfill Ads – Ad slots that have not sold may be filled with Google Ad Sense ads. The Pen Habit does not control the content of these ads.

YouTube Revenue
The Pen Habit currently allows YouTube to insert pre-roll advertisements before videos on the Pen Habit YouTube channel. The Pen Habit does not control which advertisements are shown in these pre-roll ads, nor is their appearance prior to a Pen Habit video an indication of endorsement of that product or service.

The Pen Habit accepts monetary donations from individual viewers via Patreon, PayPal, Venmo, or Google Wallet. Individuals who donate funds do not get to influence the items reviewed or the content of reviews in any way.