COPE seminars, webinars, workshops, Forum, and other related events provide support, guidance, education, and discussion of topics related to publication ethics. COPE is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, productive, and welcoming environment for all participants. COPE does not tolerate harassment in any form and requires all participants to abide by the Code of Conduct for meetings and events.
COPE Trustees, Council Members, or staff members will enforce this code of conduct throughout all COPE events (whether in person or online) and we expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.
This code of conduct applies to all participants in a COPE event including: COPE Trustees, Council Members, staff, volunteers, speakers, and attendees.
- All participants should treat each other with respect and consideration, valuing diverse views and opinions.
- Participants should be considerate, respectful, and collaborative with others.
- Participants should communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
- Participants should avoid personal attacks directed towards other attendees and/or participants.
- Participants should respect any specific meeting rules, eg. Chatham House rules.
- For online meetings and events, participants should observe good practice, such as muting microphones when not speaking to minimise unnecessary noise. If using video, participants should be mindful of any visible background and ensure it is appropriate. Use of any chat function should adhere to the expected behaviours outlined above.
- Participants should mute any ringers or otherwise disrupting devices while in meeting rooms.
- Participants should respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotel, or any other venue.
- Participants should respect and uphold public laws in the area where a conference, meeting, or related event is taking place.
- Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated.
- Physical or verbal abuse, or unwelcome and/or uninvited attention or contact, of any attendee, speaker, COPE Trustee or Council Member, COPE staff member, or other meeting guest will not be tolerated.
- Examples of unacceptable behaviour include, but are not limited to: verbal or written comments or non-verbal expressions related to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, physical appearance, medical condition, partner status, age, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, COPE Trustee or Council Member, COPE staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
- Sustained disruption of presentations or other events.
- Sharing the online meeting link for web-based events or unauthorized copying, distribution, or alteration of COPE's proprietary content, or other misuse of COPE member resources.
- Sharing of third party content, e.g. presentations by non-COPE members, material that we have used (with permission) but do not have permission to share with third parties, etc.
- Retaliation against anyone reporting prohibited conduct or participating in an investigation of a claim.
- Any other conduct deemed inappropriate and/or that may jeopardise the success of the meeting or related event, COPE’s reputation and goodwill, or the positive experience of any other attendee.
Anyone requested to cease unacceptable behaviour will be expected to comply immediately.
Reporting unacceptable behaviour
- Anyone experiencing or witnessing behaviour that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety or is of a criminal nature, is advised to either (a) locate a facility house phone and ask for security or (b) contact the local authorities directly.
- If you are the subject of unacceptable behaviour or have witnessed any such behaviour, immediately notify a COPE staff member, COPE Trustee, or Council Member.
- Notification should be done by contacting a COPE staff person, COPE Trustee, or Council Member on site or by emailing your concern to [email protected]
- Any questions or comments regarding this code should be directed to COPE’s Executive Officer [email protected]
Investigation of reports
- COPE will endeavour to keep confidential the details of reports to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.
- All reports will be taken seriously and investigated by the Executive Officer and members of the Trustee Board in a timely manner.
- The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the incident/behaviour or who may have other relevant knowledge. It may engage other COPE staff, leaders, and legal counsel, as appropriate.
- Event security and/or local law enforcement may be involved, as appropriate, based on the specific circumstances. COPE will communicate the determination of the investigation, inclusive of any disciplinary action, to the involved parties as appropriate.
- If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to the COPE Board of Trustees (excluding any Trustees that were involved in the investigation) via the COPE Executive Officer or COPE Chair. Any decision of the Board of Trustees shall be final.
- During the meeting, COPE Trustees, Council Members, or COPE staff, may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund (in person or online).
- COPE reserves the right to prohibit attendance by anyone violating this code of conduct at any future meeting.
- If COPE feels that an individual's actions raise questions about the fitness of membership for that individual and/or the organization they represent, then COPE may suspend or expel that member by a two-thirds vote of the Trustee Board. If the individual is not a COPE member, they may be prohibited from attending future events.
Page last updated: 25 August 2021