Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

The Academic Data Science Alliance (ADSA) is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. The ADSA communities welcome participation from people all over the world, of all demographic backgrounds. These community members bring with them a wide variety of professional, personal, and social perspectives; whatever these may be, we strive to treat colleagues with dignity and respect.

Expected behavior

Conversations within our community intentionally challenge common assumptions, generating discussion and debate. We consider these discussions to be healthy when they come from a standpoint of mutual respect, reasoned argument, and evidence-based support. These discussions may also stem from a place of collegiality and respect for whole persons (e.g. not just the researcher in us). 

All participants in our events and communications are expected to show respect and courtesy to others and all interactions should be professional, both online and in-person. 

The following kinds of behaviors in all ADSA events and platforms are encouraged:

  • Focusing on what is best for the community
  • Showing courtesy and respect towards every member of the community
  • Being respectful of different viewpoints and experiences
  • Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
  • Using welcoming and inclusive language
  • Being direct, but professional
  • Asking for consent and respecting people’s boundaries
  • Being aware of the dynamics of power and privilege (be mindful of how much time and space you are taking up)

Unacceptable Behavior

We do not tolerate harassment of anyone in any form or in any ADSA Community venue, be it in person or online. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from participation in ADSA events and spaces at the discretion of the ADSA staff.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal or written comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion
  • Sexual language or images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Non-consensual photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

Anyone asked to stop any harassing behavior is expected to comply immediately. If a person engages in harassing behavior, the ADSA retains the right to take any actions to keep the community a welcoming environment for all participants. This may include warning the offender, removal of specific types of privileges (e.g. access to alcohol, access to specific sessions or activities),  expulsion from events or online spaces, or other corrective actions.

Other Considerations

Be Professional 

All ADSA community participants are expected to be respectful of others and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, regardless of the formality or informality of the specific setting. Even if behavior may not be explicitly harassing, participants are urged to behave professionally while in ADSA spaces, communicating within or about ADSA, or representing ADSA in other venues.

Consider Your Language 

We come from diverse backgrounds with diverse expectations about professional conduct in our in-person and online spaces. In order to provide a welcoming atmosphere, we ask that participants consider whether and how the language they use in our spaces helps create that welcoming atmosphere. In addition to language choices that violate the harassment element of this code of conduct, participants should also avoid swearing and offensive language, and excessive use of jargon and acronyms. We believe considering your language can help make this a more welcoming environment at very little expense.

Drinking and Drugs

In particular, some events associated with ADSA, or during which you are representing ADSA, may serve alcoholic drinks. Participants are expected to either avoid drinking or drink responsibly and behave appropriately. Excessive intoxication due to alcohol or legal drug use, outward drunkenness or influence from behavior-altering drugs, and any use of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited. This behavior damages not just your reputation but that of our community and may present legal risks to the organization. 

Consequences of excessive drinking or drug use

Anyone deemed to be significantly under the influence at an ADSA event will be escorted to their room or the exit* and may not rejoin the event until the following day. As drinking and drug use are often precursors to Code of Conduct harassment violations, anyone who has been found in violation of the CoC while under the influence will face possible suspension from all future ADSA events. Alcohol use or other intoxication are never accepted as an excuse for CoC violations.

Commercial Activities

ADSA events and workspaces are meant to focus on academic data science work. While we recognize that academic and commercial spaces commonly intersect in the field of data science, ADSA events are workspaces should not be used to promote or sell commercial services. 

Reporting Code of Conduct Violations

Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our programming for everyone. If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe, unwelcome or demeaned, you are urged to report as soon as possible. However, if it takes months or years to feel comfortable, there is no statute of limitations on reporting. If you see others being harassed, please report it immediately and intervene if you feel comfortable (“see something, say something”). You can make a report either personally or anonymously. ADSA events will always have publicly identified “Helpers” present who are trained** to take reports; these individuals will stand and make themselves visibly known to participants. Their names will also be made available in the materials that are distributed to everyone.

To report at any time, contact ADSA Executive Director, Micaela Parker, at micaela@academicdatascience.org or another event Helper.  Anonymous reports can be made via this reporting form.

Thank you for helping to make our event inclusive, welcoming and safe.

Conflict Resolution

The ADSA staff and event organizers may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the community or making the environment hostile for any participants. We expect participants to follow these rules at all the event venues and related activities. We will use the following protocol for addressing reported harassment:

  1. Initial Incident

    If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, notice that someone is behaving unprofessionally, or have any other concerns, and you feel comfortable speaking with the offender, please inform the offender that their behavior is having a negative impact on you. Oftentimes, the offending behavior is unintentional, and the accidental offender and offended will resolve the incident in the initial discussion.

    ADSA communities recognize that there are many reasons speaking directly to the offender may not be workable for you (including but not limited to unfamiliarity with the conference or its participants and concerns for personal safety). If you don't feel comfortable speaking directly with the offender for any reason, skip to step 2.

  2. Escalation

    If the offender insists that they did not offend, if offender is actively harassing you, or if direct engagement is not a good option for you at this time, then you will need a third party to step in.

    If you are at a conference or other event, find an event organizer or other trusted party such as the “Helpers” referenced above and work with them to resolve the situation with the offender and other parties, as needed. If you are in a virtual space, please use the reporting form or email address provided above. Examples of resolutions to a conflict could include, but are not limited to: dialog among parties, a written warning, expulsion from current and/or future events, expulsion from ADSA community channels (e.g. Slack). Public apologies have been found to be ineffective or, in some cases, counter-productive. Public apologies may not be a preferred form of redress and will not, on their own, be considered evidence of good behavior or appropriate remorse.

  3. Wider community response to Incident:

    If the incident is resolved at Step 1 (discussion reveals offense was unintentional, apologies said, public note or community is informed of resolution), then there's not much the community can do at this point since the incident was resolved without outside intervention.

    If the incident results in corrective action, the community should support the decision made by the helpers in Step 2 if they choose corrective action (for example: end a talk early or remove the person from communication channels, escort an outwardly drunken member to their room or the exit***), and support those harmed by the incident, either publicly or privately (whatever individuals are comfortable with).

    If the helpers in Step 2 run into issues implementing the CoC, then they should come to the community with these issues and the community should revise the CoC as they see fit.

In Real Life, people will have opinions about how the CoC is enforced. People will argue that a particular decision was unfair, and others will say that it didn't go far enough. We can't stop people having opinions, but what we can do is have constructive discussions that lead to something tangible (affirmation of decision, change in CoC, modification of the decision, etc,).

This Code of Conduct is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism Wiki created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers, in addition to elements of the Samvera, Code4Lib, and Research Software Engineers Association policies. This Code of Conduct is available for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license

* If the person is escorted to the exit, they will not be allowed to operate a motorized vehicle or pedal bike as a mode of transit. A taxi/Lyft/Uber will be arranged, if needed. 

** Conference organizers identified as Helpers have completed Code of Conduct Incident Response Training either through Otter Tech or using “How to Respond to Code of Conduct Violations” by Aurora and Gardiner [pdf here].

***If the person does not have a room, please escort them to the exit, see to it that they have a safe way home, and get them a taxi/Lyft/Uber if they do not. ADSA will reimburse the cost of a rideshare if it occurs due to a member trying to uphold the CoC.