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Code of Conduct

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Our Code of Conduct

FORCE11 is a community-run membership organization focused on the advancement of research and scholarship. Our events are community-organized and intended for networking, collaboration, dissemination of new ideas, and learning. Our community consists of developers, publishers, researchers, librarians, and more, across a wide variety of disciplines and geographic locations.

Accordingly, the FORCE11 Board, event organizers, and community members are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), technology choices, or other group status. We value the participation of every member of the community and want all participants in FORCE11 activities to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Everyone taking part in FORCE11 activities—whether in person or online—are expected to show respect and courtesy to others throughout their participation. In addition, we ask all attendees to adhere to the following standards of conduct:

  • All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience consisting of people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is never appropriate in such a context, nor is language referring to personal qualities or characteristics or group membership.
  • Be kind to others. Engage respectfully with ideas and never with person or identity. Insulting, degrading, or disrespectful behaviour is never appropriate at FORCE11 activities.
  • Be mindful of jargon, slang, and cultural references that can exclude others from engaging in the discussion.
  • Feel free to join new groups of people in conversation. When you are in a group, try leaving space for one more person to join you (the PAC-Man rule) as a way of encouraging others.

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

Conflict Resolution

As a community organization, we take a community approach to ensuring the safety and comfort of all attendees. Everyone is responsible for assisting in any circumstances where anyone appears to not following the Code of Conduct. In addition, a Code of Conduct Committee exists at FORCE11 and its events to ensure the Code of Conduct is enforced.

If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, or otherwise violates the Code of Conduct, please report this as soon as possible to a member of the Code of Conduct Committee if you are hesitant about addressing the person yourself. At any time, you can reach the Committee either in person or via email (see contact information below). You can make a report either personally or anonymously. The Committee is committed to address and resolve the issue in question to the best of its abilities. It is also committed to reviewing this Code of Conduct regularly and learning from other organizations.

Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our organization for everyone. We want you to be happy at and benefit from our community.


If a participant engages in harassing behavior, FORCE11 and its Code of Conduct Committee may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the person in question, removing them from a specific FORCE11 activity, or banning them from further participation in FORCE11 activities, in person or online. Participants asked to stop any behavior that makes others uncomfortable are expected to comply immediately.

Specific actions to enforce this Code of Conduct may include but are not limited to:

  • warning the person to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in other sanctions;
  • requiring that the person refrain from any interaction with, and physical proximity to, the person harmed by their behaviour for the remainder of the event;
  • early termination of activities (such as lectures, discussion, or online activities) that violate the policy;
  • refusing to publish video or other material from a lecture or activity that violated the policy;
  • cancelling subsequent appearances by a speaker or participant who violated the policy;
  • immediately ending any volunteer responsibilities and privileges;
  • preventing the person from holding a position of responsibility in future FORCE11 events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period);
  • requiring the person to cease participation or leave the event or online activity immediately and not return;
  • banning the person from future events and online activities (either indefinitely or for a certain time period).

The Code of Conduct committee will discuss each case privately, and assess and decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether to make public an account of the breach of the Code of Conduct. Publication will never occur contrary to the wishes of those harmed by the incident and would occur only in accordance with the law.

For in person events, FORCE11 event organizers can be identified by their name badges, and will help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

For virtual events, event organizers whom you can contact for support during the event will be identified during the event.

If an incident occurs, please use the following contact information:

Code of Conduct (CoC) Committee Members

(Alphabetical order)

Matt Buys
Güleda Doğan
Jennifer Miller
Jiban K. Pal

Reach the entire Code of Conduct Committee at

(Credit: CoC Working Group Leads: Violeta Ilik, Kaitlin Thaney, Daniel S. Katz with contributions from many others)

Date Last Updated: Monday, December 6, 2021.