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Code of Conduct

updated: 2021-11-22

The Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Association is committed to providing an inclusive environment where all people can participate fully in all activities without fear of harassment¹ or discriminatory behavior. To this end, the below code of conduct seeks to provide examples of what this looks like in practice, as well as describe what actions the organization will take when behaviors do not meet this standard.

This Code of Conduct applies to all spaces, both physical and virtual, managed by the RDAP Association, including but not limited to the Summit, workshops, social media, and community forums such as the email list. This Code of Conduct applies to all who attend and participate in an RDAP event, including RDAP members, non-members, and guests. Participation in any RDAP activity in any capacity is a privilege and indicates assent to this Code of Conduct. 

Small actions you can take will help us meet this goal. With special thanks to the Digital Library Federation for this wording, we suggest the following actions: 

  • listening as much as you speak, and remembering that colleagues may have expertise you are unaware of; 
  • encouraging and yielding the floor to those whose viewpoints may be under-represented in a group; 
  • using welcoming language, for instance by using an individual’s stated pronouns and favoring gender-neutral collective nouns (“people,” not “guys”); 
  • accepting critique graciously and offering it constructively; 
  • giving credit where it is due; 
  • seeking concrete ways to make physical spaces and online resources more universally accessible; and
  • staying alert, as Active Bystanders, to the welfare of those around you.

Conflict resolution

Although we anticipate that members of the RDAP community will generally be respectful and inclusive of one another, situations may arise which cause harm and require the involvement of the organization to maintain adherence to the Code of Conduct. In these cases, we will follow the processes outlined below.

All claims and disputes arising under or relating to this Code of Conduct are to be settled (where necessary) by binding arbitration in Hamilton County, Ohio, or another location mutually agreeable to the parties. An award of arbitration may be confirmed in a court of the same state.

1. Initial incident

If you believe this Code of Conduct is being violated in any way (e.g, you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns) and feel comfortable speaking with the person in question, please inform them that they have affected you negatively and attempt to resolve it directly with them. 

If speaking directly to the person in question is not feasible for you or you don’t feel comfortable speaking directly with them, proceed to step 2.

2. Escalation

Find the Code of Conduct (CoC) Officer or Volunteer at the RDAP event you are attending. They will be identified on the RDAP Association website or Summit webpage and designated by a nametag (at in-person events) or next to their name on Zoom. If you cannot find the CoC volunteer, locate another event organizer to help if the situation calls for immediate action.

We encourage you to talk to the CoC Officer or Volunteer or another event organizer directly so we can help immediately. However, if that is not possible, you can report the incident through the Incident Report Form or an email to the CoC Officer (codeofconduct@rdapassociation). Note that the CoC Officer will not be in attendance at all RDAP events, though each event should have a CoC volunteer who will have access to the email and incident report form. When contacting the CoC officer through the form or email (outside of the Summit), your communication will be reviewed and confirmed within 48-72 hours.

For incidents on the listserv, the messages are not moderated but the list is maintained by the RDAP Executive Board. You may email the CoC Officer at the email address stated above. 

3. Sanctions

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant continues the harassing behavior, the Code of Conduct Volunteer may take appropriate action. Examples of sanctions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • warning the person in question to cease their behavior;

  • requiring that the person in question avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, the person who brought the claim;

  • early termination of a talk that violates the policy;

  • requiring that the person in question immediately leave the event and not return;

  • immediately ending any event responsibilities and privileges the person in question holds;

  • banning the person in question from giving talks at future RDAP events (in-person or virtual) ;

  • banning the person in question from volunteering for future RDAP events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period);

  • banning the person in question from attending future RDAP events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period);

  • publishing an anonymized account of the harassment; and issuing a termed suspension.

The sanctions will be decided by the Code of Conduct Officer in consultation with the Executive Board. If any of these individuals were involved in the incident or are perceived to have a conflict of interest in the matter, they will recuse themselves from this process. 

We expect participants to follow these rules at all RDAP Association venues, RDAP Association-related social events, community gatherings, and online communication channels.

¹ Harassment is explained further by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission here


The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities.


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Columbus, OH 43220



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