This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participants within the Open Scholars Project (OSP) community, both online and in-person, as well as steps to reporting unacceptable behavior. We are committed to providing a welcoming and inspiring community for all and expect our code of conduct to be honored. Members are encouraged to read the Code of Conduct in full, before participating in any OSP events and activities (including use of online forums). Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be asked to leave the community.
Code of Conduct (in Brief):
Our Code of Conduct, covers, but is not limited to, two primary things:
- Physical, sexual, and verbal harassment are unacceptable: we have a zero tolerance policy.
- Don’t discriminate against people because of their identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, age, class background, ability, religion and more).
Here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind when checking whether you are putting the Code of Conduct into practice:
Ask for consent (i.e. permission), and respect people’s boundaries.
Ask for permission before you engage in physical interactions with participants (this applies to everything from friendly interactions, such as asking “Can I hug you?” before you hug someone—to sexual attention and/or sexualized physical contact at social events or after hours, off-site). If they say no, respect that and don’t continue. Sexual harassment is unacceptable, including in online spaces and other social events.
Be careful about the words you use. Is the language that you’re using discriminatory?
There is a lot of everyday language which discriminates against people. Using racial slurs, or phrases like “that’s lame”, “that’s gay”, or “that’s retarded” may seem harmless to some, but actually discriminates against minorities such as people of colour, LGBTQ+ people, or those with disabilities. If someone calls you out for using problematic language, please take the time to listen, apologize, and put effort into not using the language again. You may be asked to leave the community for using this kind of language.
Be mindful of how much time and space you’re taking up. Be aware of your power and privilege, and whether you’re taking advantage of it.
Are you a man who is taking up all the time for questions in a workshop full of mostly female participants? Are you a Western academic who isn’t giving a chance for a participant from an underrepresented country to speak? Are you attempting to engage in a physical or intimate interaction with someone who doesn’t have the capacity to consent? (E.g. at an evening social event with alcohol). Are you taking the time to listen to the perspectives of those who are different from you?
We encourage everyone to participate and are committed to building a community for all. 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 our responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and do our best to right the wrong.
Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honor diversity in age, gender, gender identity or expression, culture, ethnicity, language, 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.
Anti-Harassment Policy: At Events & Online
We value your attendance. We do not tolerate harassment of OSP participants in any form. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. OSP participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the group. A full list of sanctions is listed below.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, age, regional discrimination, political or religious affiliation.
- Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
- Deliberate misgendering. This includes deadnaming or persistently using a pronoun that does not correctly reflect a person’s gender identity. You must address people by the name they give you.
- Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop.
- Threats of violence, both physical and psychological.
- Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
- Deliberate intimidation
- Stalking or following
- Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
- Sustained disruption of discussion
- Unwelcome sexual attention, including gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior
- Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
- Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
- Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect others from intentional abuse.
- Publication of non-harassing private communication
If you experience or witness unacceptable behaviour—or have any other concerns—please report it to any member of the OSP Taskforce by contacting us privately. Our contact emails can be found here. All reports will be handled with discretion.
In your report please do your best to include:
- Your contact information
- Identifying information (e.g. names, nicknames, pseudonyms) of the participant who has violated the code of conduct
- The behavior that was in violation
- The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made)
- If possible, where the code of conduct violation happened
- The circumstances surrounding the incident
- Other people involved in the incident
- If you believe the incident is ongoing, please let us know
- If there is a publicly available record (e.g. mailing list record), please include a link
- Any additional helpful information
If, for any reason, you don’t feel comfortable reporting an incident as described above please contact Camille Thomas at cthomas5[at]fsu[dot]edu or Daniel Dunleavy at djd09e[at]fsu[dot]edu. If the person who is harassing you is part of the response team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse.
Open Scholar’s Project Process for Responding to Reports
After filing a report, a representative will document your report, contact you personally (if possible), and contact the person who has violated the code of conduct to let them know they have done so. If they have your permission, the representative will review the incident with other designated taskforce members. They will then follow up with any additional questions, and have a discussion to decide how to respond. They will communicate sanctions to the person who has violated the code of conduct. Staff members will do their best to be respectful about any requests or boundaries you communicate.
The following is a list of potential sanctions for anyone who violates the Code of Conduct, depending on the severity of the violation. The sanctions will be decided on collectively by a subset of the OSP Taskforce designated to review reports:
- Warning the harasser to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in sanctions.
- Requiring that the harasser avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, their victim for the remainder of the event.
- Ending a talk that violates the policy early
- Not publishing the video or slides of a talk that violated the policy
- Not allowing a speaker who violated the policy to give (further) talks at the event
- Requiring that the harasser immediately leave the event and not return
- Banning the harasser from future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
- Removing a harasser from membership of the OSP and being banned or blocked on online community platforms, (e.g. OSP GitHub, Facebook, and Discord pages)
Attribution & Acknowledgements
This Code of Conduct was based in part on that developed by OpenCon.