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Code of Conduct

Updated: May 7, 2021.

This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all attendees, including organisers, facilitators and staff, of the eLife Innovation Sprint, in activities in relation to the event. This code also details steps for reporting unacceptable behaviour. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe space for everybody.

Why have this Code of Conduct?

The goal of the eLife Innovation Sprint is to drive change in research communication and culture through the development of open tools and prototypes and bringing a community of passionate innovators together.

Our event, projects and community gain strength from diversity. We believe that Sprint prototypes and tools will benefit from creativity and ideas from a diverse group of contributors, and that our community members can best learn and grow through sharing with and listening to folks with diverse perspectives.

We prioritise creating a space and platform that is safe and productive for everyone in the Sprint community, regardless of their background, family status, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, native language, age, ability, race and/or ethnicity, caste, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, physical appearance, geographical location, work experience, or any other dimension of diversity.

We recognise that if people experience harassment, and/or feel unsafe or unwelcome, it can jeopardise their ability to work and participate in the Sprint.

With this Code of Conduct, we expect all attendees at the Sprint to help create and maintain a safe and productive space, and prevent and avoid behaviours that will make people feel unsafe or unwelcome. We ask all participants to join us in supporting and empowering others to contribute responsibly in a way that lifts others up, and to protect (where possible) the people who help us to do this by using and supporting the enactment of this Code of Conduct.

What is it not?

This code of conduct does not replace existing legal mechanisms. For any incident where a crime may have been committed, we will support the victim to report this if they feel comfortable to do so.

When and where to use this Code of Conduct

Your participation is contingent upon following this Code of Conduct in all eLife Innovation Sprint activities, including but not limited to:

  • Participating in collaborative work and discussions during the Sprint, on Qiqochat, Slack, Zoom, GitHub, Google Suite, Miro and social media such as Twitter
  • Participating in pre-Sprint workshops, trainings, community calls, mentorship meetings and other Sprint-related interactions and correspondence

Behaviours that will be encouraged

Examples of behaviour that contribute positively to our communities include:

  • Showing empathy and kindness toward others
  • Being respectful of differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences
  • Giving and gracefully accepting constructive feedback
  • Taking responsibility for our mistakes and any impact on others, and learning from the experience
  • Taking breaks during the Sprint, being respectful of yours and others needs
  • Being mindful of timezones while building and maintaining an a-synchronous work environment

Behaviours that will not be tolerated

The following behaviours from any attendees of the eLife Innovation Sprint, including those with decision-making authorities, are considered to be harassment and unacceptable under this Code of Conduct: 

  • Verbal and text comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or work experience.
  • Use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, or jokes
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other interactions
  • Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”)
  • Spamming or trolling
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

If you believe you were accidentally kicked out from our online platforms, please contact the Sprint Facilitators, who will work with the Safety Officers to review reinstatement.

Procedures for Code of Conduct Violations


If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible. You can make a report either personally or anonymously. All reports will be handled with discretion.

Unacceptable behaviours reduce the value of our activities for everyone. We would support everyone in our communities in reminding others of our standards when they believe it is needed, but only if they feel safe to do so. If you believe someone has behaved unacceptably, we ask that you report it.

You are encouraged to submit your report by completing our Sprint CoC Incident Report Form. The form may be completed anonymously, or you may include your contact information.

All reports will be handled with discretion by our Safety Team. If you do not want to use the form, the team can also be contacted via their shared email ( The names of the individual team members are given below.

Handling and reviewing Code of Conduct violations

We will enforce this Code of Conduct when we receive a report of a violation, or when any of the organisers, facilitators or Safety Officers witness a violation. 

Who will read and handle reports?

All anonymous and personal reports will be read and handled by the Sprint’s Safety Team, which is composed of following people: [these people will be appointed at a later date, and published on the website before the 31st August].

We will close the anonymous form and Protonmail account for personal reports after December 31, 2021 and will no longer monitor Code of Conduct Violation reports.  

If any Safety Team member has a conflict of interest with a report, they will be recused and will not have access to the content or process of the report followup. Please note that all named people will have access to every initial report submitted using the anonymous form and the Protonmail account. To keep this first report confidential from any of the Safety Team members, please submit your first report by direct messaging on Slack/direct email to any of the Safety Team members you are comfortable disclosing the information to, and be explicit about which Safety Team member(s) you do not consent to sharing the information with.

If your report concerns Giulia, please report directly to eLife’s Human Resources (hr [at] elifesciences [dot] org).

Triaging and reviewing reports

After receiving the report, the Safety Team will first triage the incident to determine whether immediate action is required, for example, whether there is immediate threat to participants’ safety. The Safety Team will also assess whether there is sufficient information to determine whether the report constitutes a Code of Conduct violation, and/or for the Safety Team to make a decision on actions. In the case where there is insufficient information, the Safety Team may contact the reporter, reported or any other attendees to obtain more information. 

Once additional information is gathered, the Safety Team will collectively review and decide on the best course of action to take, if any. The Safety Team retains the right to not act on a report. 

Confidentiality and data policy

All reports, and any additional information and data included, are collected and stored solely for the purpose of enforcing this Code of Conduct. 

This information is only shared with the Safety Team (excluding any persons recused) and eLife staff members handling appeals. All of these individuals have been given guidelines on how to safeguard the data, to use it only for the aforementioned purposes, and not to disclose it to any other parties without our consent. Some of these individuals are outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). We will not share any of the harassment victims’ personal information beyond discussions between Safety Team without victims’ affirmative consent. 

All data is stored in a private Google Drive folder owned by eLife, which access will be limited to members of the Safety Team. We retain the data for as long as we need to for the aforementioned purpose and up to three years.

You may request a copy of any personal data that eLife holds about you. To exercise these rights, please contact You may complain about our retention and processing of your personal data to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the supervisory authority for data protection issues in England and Wales.


Actions the Sprint’s Safety Team may take include and are not limited to:

  • Asking anyone to stop a behaviour; the person asked is expected to comply immediately
  • Asking anyone to leave the event and online spaces either temporarily, for the remainder of the event, or permanently
  • Removing anyone’s access to the event spaces that we manage either temporarily, for the reminder of the event, or permanently
  • Communicating to all participants to reinforce our expectations for conduct and remind what is unacceptable behaviour; this may be public for practical reasons
  • Communicating to all participants that an incident has taken place and how we will act or have acted– this may be for the purpose of letting event participants know we are aware and are dealing with the incident; this communication may include naming any person who has been asked to stop or leave– this would be for the purpose of enabling us to enforce the action
  • Banning anyone from participating in eLife-managed spaces, future events and activities, either temporarily or permanently.
  • No action

Please note that there are spaces and platforms on which the Sprint’s Safety Team has no way to control access. These include but are not limited to:

  • Social media platforms, e.g. Twitter, Facebook
  • Public GitHub repositories

In these venues, in addition to some of the other actions we can take above, we can:

  • Be the ones who/support participants to report issues to the venue
  • Support and encourage participants to block people

Appealing a Decision

To appeal a decision, contact Lena Dowdall ( with your appeal and eLife will review the case.


For questions about codes of conduct, we recommend you check the Code of Conduct FAQ.


This Code of Conduct is adapted from many other sources, including: