Code of Conduct

As a community we welcome everyone, and encourage a friendly and positive environment.

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participants, members, contributors, and leaders within the community, as well as steps to reporting unacceptable behaviour. We are committed to providing a welcoming and inspiring community for all and expect our code of conduct to be honored. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be banned from the community.

Our Pledge

We pledge to make participation in our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, visible or invisible disability, ethnicity, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression, level of experience, education, social and economic status, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, neurodiversity, or sexual identity and orientation.

We pledge to act and interact in ways that contribute to an open, welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and healthy community.

We pledge that all contributions to FORRT projects are formally credited (for more information see FORRT’s General Collaboration & Writing guidelines).

Our open community strives to:

  • Be friendly and patient.

  • Be welcoming: We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, colour, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, abledness, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability. We are welcoming of different communications, thinking styles and speeds (e.g. linear and non-linear communication, free thinking and written communication).

  • Be considerate: Your work may be used by other people, and you, in turn, may depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. One should focus on what is best not just for them as individuals, but for the overall community. Remember that we’re an international community, so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language.

  • Use preferred pronouns (e.g. she/her/hers, they/their/theirs, he/him/his).

  • Be respectful of differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences: Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. It is important to demonstrate empathy and kindness toward other people.

  • Try to understand why we disagree: Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively by giving and gracefully accepting constructive feedback. Remember that we’re different. Diversity contributes to the strength of our community, which is composed of people from a wide range of backgrounds. Different people have different perspectives on issues. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Don’t forget that it is human to err and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, focus on helping to resolve issues and learning from mistakes.

  • Open communication and mutual respect: Be generous about information and definition requests. Welcome neurodivergent people to make themselves comfortable – feel invited to tic, self-stimulate/stim, fidget, move around etc.

  • Be careful in the words that we choose: We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Public or private harassment and other exclusionary behaviour aren’t acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Unacceptable Behaviors:
    • Intimidating, harassing, lewd, demeaning, bullying, stalking, or threatening speech or actions.
    • Unwelcome sexual attention.
    • Unwelcome physical contact.
    • Any real or implied threat of physical harm.
    • Sustained disruption of speakers or events (verbally or physically)
    • Violent threats or language directed against another person.
    • Trolling, insulting or derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks.
    • Discriminatory jokes and language.
    • The use of ableist, sexualized or violent language or imagery, and sexual attention or advances of any kind.
    • Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”).
    • Personal insults, especially those using ableist, racist, xenophobic or sexist terms.
    • Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.
    • Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or other unacceptable behaviors or for participating in an investigation of such a claim.
    • Pass judgement about personal choices or force disclosure of one’s own experiences and identifications.
    • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting.
    • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour.

Code of Practice, Research Integrity & Research Misconduct

First and foremost, FORRT expects all of its members to observe the highest standards of ethics and integrity in the conduct of their collaborations in FORRT projects and in FORRT premises (e.g., Slack channel, social media, conferences, events, etc.). In pursuance of such high standards FORRT members must:

  • be honest in proposing, conducting and reporting research. They should strive to ensure the accuracy of research data and results and acknowledge the contributions of others.
  • acquaint themselves with guidance as to best research and collaboration practice and standards of integrity
  • comply with ethical and legal obligations as required by statutory and regulatory authorities, including seeking ethical review and approval for research as appropriate.
  • seek to ensure the safety, dignity, wellbeing and rights of those associated with the research
  • effectively and transparently manage any conflicts of interest, whether actual or potential, reporting these to the appropriate authority as necessary
  • ensure that they have the necessary skills and training for their field of research
  • recognise their accountability to FORRT and their peers for the conduct of their research
  • having due regard to subject disciplinary norms, acknowledge that authorship of a research output should be attributed only to a researcher who has made a significant intellectual, scholarly, or practical contribution to that output and is willing to take responsibility for the contribution.

Secondly, FORRT defines misconduct in research as including acts of omission as well as acts of commission. It excludes genuine errors that are not due to negligence, differences in interpretation or judgment in evaluating research methods or results, or misconduct unrelated to research processes. It does not include poor research. Misconduct in research and collaboration in FORRT means—but is not limited to—the doing, planning or attempting of any of the following while proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research:

  • falsification or fabrication of data, including the intentionally misleading or deliberately false reporting of research information
  • misrepresentation of data, including the invention of data and the omission from analysis and publication of inconvenient data
  • failure to follow good practice for the proper preservation, management and sharing of primary data, artifacts and material
  • unacknowledged appropriation of the work of others, including plagiarism, the abuse of confidentiality with respect to unpublished materials, or misappropriation of results, physical materials or other resources
  • misrepresentation of involvement in a research project; for example, the failure to include legitimate author(s) on outputs, or granting authorship where none is warranted, or of credentials, including qualifications, experience, and publication history
  • failure to declare conflicts of interest
  • failure to follow accepted procedures, legal, professional or ethical requirements, or to exercise due care in carrying out responsibilities for avoiding unreasonable harm or risk to humans, other vertebrates, cephalopods or the environment
  • failure to follow existing guidance on good practice in research, including proper handling of privileged, private or confidential information collected on individuals during the research
  • improper conduct in peer review of research proposals, results or manuscripts submitted for publication
  • improper dealing with allegations of misconduct: failing to address possible infringements, or to adhere to agreed procedures in the investigation of alleged research misconduct accepted as a condition of funding

Failure to comply with this Code of Practice may give rise to an allegation of Code of Conduct Violation which may be a ground for disciplinary action, and if serious, for dismissal or expulsion from our FORRT community and projects.

Diversity Statement

We encourage everyone to participate and are committed to building a community for all. Although we will fail at times, we seek to treat everyone both as fairly and equally as possible. Whenever a participant has made a mistake, we expect them to take responsibility for it. If someone has been harmed or offended, it is important to apologize to those affected by our mistakes. By listening carefully and respectfully, and doing our best to right the wrong, one is expected to learn from the experience.

Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honor diversity in age, gender, gender identity or expression, culture, ethnicity, language, neurodiversity, national origin, political beliefs, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and technical ability. We will not tolerate discrimination based on any of the protected characteristics above, including participants with disabilities.

Enforcement Responsibilities

Community leaders are responsible for clarifying and enforcing our standards of acceptable behaviour and will take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any behaviour that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful

Scope

This Code of Conduct applies within all community spaces, physical and virtual, and also applies when an individual is officially representing the community in public spaces. Examples of representing our community include using an official email address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event.

  • Consequences of Unacceptable Behaviors

    • Participants who are asked to stop any unacceptable behavior are expected to comply immediately.
    • Potential consequences for violations of this code of conduct include, but are not limited to: warning the offender, expulsion from the Slack Community and FORRT events, banning from future FORRT events, and denying or revoking FORRT membership.
  • Reporting

    • If you experience or witness unacceptable behaviour, or have any other concerns, please report it as indicated below. All complaints will be reviewed and investigated promptly and fairly. All community leaders are obligated to respect the privacy and security of the reporter of any incident. All reports will be handled with discretion.
  • How to make a report

    • You can report a suspected code of conduct violation to any member of FORRT’s Code of Conduct Committee: Kimberly Quinn; Sam Parsons; or Leticia Micheli.
    • If possible please report the following information Your contact information: Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there are additional witnesses, please include them as well. Your account of what occurred, and if you believe the incident is ongoing. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. a mailing list archive), please include a link. Any additional information that may be helpful.
    • You may also make a report anonymously through our online form here: https://forms.gle/YQu3FcDTaeLwxRbB6
    • All reports will be passed along to the Code of Conduct Committee, who will decide on appropriate action.
    • After filing a report, a representative (of your choice if indicated & from the Code of Conduct Committee) will contact you personally, review the incident, follow up with any additional questions, and make a decision as to how to respond. If the person who is harassing you is part of the response team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. If the complaint originates from a member of the response team, it will be handled by a different member of the response team. We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse.
    • Recusal: Code of Conduct Committee members and any others responsible for enacting or overseeing this policy will recuse themselves if they have a significant conflict of interest, such as being a specific target of harassment, an alleged harasser, or having a close personal or professional relationship with a target or alleged harasser.



Attribution & Acknowledgements

This Code of Conduct was adapted from Contributor Covenant Code of Conducts (primarily), SIPS CoC, the Open Science UMontreal, and Open Life Science. As well as from Aurora, V., & Gardiner, M. (2019). How to Respond to Code of Conduct Reports.

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