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The WEAVE Instrument and WEAVE Survey Consortia: Code of Conduct



Overview

The WEAVE Instrument Consortium and the WEAVE Survey Consortium welcome and respect all Consortia members, regardless of racial identity, ethnic origin, religious beliefs, political affiliation, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, or family and socio-economic status or cultural background, or other factors unrelated to scientific merit. The Consortia have embraced, and aim at continuing to host, a vibrant, productive and collegial atmosphere for the development of both the WEAVE instrument and the surveys using this instrument, strengthened by the diverse background of its members. The WEAVE Instrument and Survey Consortia embrace the current WEAVE Code of Conduct as a guideline for all Consortium meetings and interactions.



WEAVE Code of Conduct

Acknowledgments

The WEAVE Code of Conduct is based on the SDSS Code of Conduct and the European Astronomical Society Ethics Statement.

Principles

The WEAVE Instrument Consortium and the WEAVE Survey Consortium welcome and respect all Consortia members, regardless of racial identity, ethnic origin, religious beliefs, political affiliation, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, family and socio-economic status or cultural background, or other factors unrelated to scientific merit. The Consortia have embraced, and aim to continuing to host, a vibrant, productive and collegial atmosphere for the development of both the WEAVE instrument and the surveys using this instrument, strengthened by the diverse background of its members.

The success of the WEAVE Survey relies on vigorous scientific and technical discourse within a framework of consideration and respect for all participants, including scientists, engineers, support staff at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and participating institutions, contractors working with the WEAVE Instrument Consortium, and prospective external collaborators and members. This includes, but is not restricted to, interactions with other scientists, colleagues at different career stages including supervised post-docs and students, mentees, other group members, administrative, technical and other support staff, and members of the public, media, government, and funding agencies as appropriate. Interactions among WEAVE participants occur in many different contexts, including Consortium meetings, telecons, video conferences, email exchanges on or off the Consortium lists, Slack discussions, Confluence webpages, JIRA tickets, and in-person exchanges. This Code of Conduct states the Consortia's expectation of consideration, respect and appropriate behaviour in all of these interactions.

The Consortia have strong interests in nurturing the careers of junior engineers and scientists, and protecting their stature and scientific freedom.

Equal treatment should be afforded to all colleagues, regardless of sex, gender, gender identity, racial identity, ethnic and national origin, socio-economic background, political affiliation, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability and any intersection thereof, or any other reason not related to scientific merit. 

The WEAVE Consortia should be harassment-free environments. The Appendix quotes the definition of harassment adopted by the International Astronomical Union, which also applies within the WEAVE Consortia. Abusive, intimidating, humiliating or demeaning behaviour is unacceptable under any circumstance. Maximum effort should be put into creating inclusive, supportive, and stimulating environments, where people feel included, welcomed and valued. Free expression and a healthy discussion and exchange of scientific ideas should be encouraged at all levels, with cultural sensitivities in mind. 

Invitation to WEAVE workshops, telecons, web pages, Slack channels, and email lists are a privilege extended by the Consortia, not a right of membership of the Consortia, and any member engaging in unprofessional behaviour places their invitation at risk.

Applicability

This code covers social conduct. Scientific conduct is covered by the WEAVE Data Policy and WEAVE Publication Policy. The WEAVE Instrument and Survey Consortia consider breaches of either the social or scientific code of conduct as equally serious. WEAVE communications should be conducted in an environment that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas. It is the responsibility of members to ensure that such discourse is conducted in a professional atmosphere in which all participants are treated with courtesy and respect.

The WEAVE Consortia note that measures to deal with social misconduct are regulated at the institutional and national levels, and this Code of Conduct does not supersede those regulations. WEAVE Consortia members should acquaint themselves with such institutional and national regulations, including the course of action to be taken when encountering inappropriate behaviour.

Reporting Concerns about Violations

An individual who wishes to raise a concern about inappropriate behaviour or violation of this Code of Conduct can do so by contacting the WEAVE Project Management Team (weavepmt@ing.iac.es), an individual member of the WEAVE Project Management Team (PI, Project Manager or Project Scientist) or Science Executive as appropriate, the Deputy Project Scientist, or any other member of the Project/Survey Executive they trust. The Consortia have appointed two WEAVE Participants, who are not members of the management structures, who will act as Ombudspersons and can be contacted to report inappropriate behaviour or violation of this Code of Conduct: Prof. Matthew Jarvis (Oxford) and Dr. Daniela Bettoni (INAF-Padova).

Concerns will be treated confidentially unless/until the person raising them agrees to have them communicated further or unless the person contacted is required to report a misconduct allegation by institutional rules or by law. Issues arising under this Code of Conduct will be treated with discretion to the extent practical, but if the complainant wishes to pursue a consideration of formal remedial actions, this will necessarily involve  sharing some information with relevant members of the Project Management Team and the Project/Survey Executive.

All requests for formal investigation will be acknowledged within seven days, and complainants will be informed of who is the contact point for their case (if different from the person they contacted) so that they can inquire about the status of their complaint.

Investigating Complaints

Complaints will be investigated by a committee composed of the WEAVE PI, Project Scientist, Deputy Project Scientist, the Project/Survey Executive, a representative of the WEAVE Project/Survey Board, and the Ombudsperson(s), omitting any of these individuals who have a conflict of interest. Being a target or source of the complaint, or being at the same institution as either the source or target of the complaint, will be automatically considered as a conflict. The committee will investigate the alleged violations, communicating with both the person or persons raising concerns and the alleged violator and with other WEAVE Instrument/Survey Consortium members as necessary.  A two-thirds majority of the committee must find that the respondent has committed the charges by a preponderance of evidence, i.e., it must be more likely true than not true, in order to bring sanctions.

Sanctions

Violations of this Code of Conduct can result in a wide range of sanctions. Sanctions will depend on the severity and persistence of the misconduct.

Possible sanctions

  • Removal from one or more WEAVE teams and email lists.
  • Loss of access to the WEAVE Consortia's internal Confluence pages.
  • Loss of the privilege of attending WEAVE Consortia telecons.
  • Loss of the privilege of attending WEAVE Consortia meetings.
  • Removal from committees or leadership roles.
  • Removal from the WEAVE Consortia, including loss of access to proprietary WEAVE data and of right of co-authorship of WEAVE publications.

The most serious behaviour may be beyond the scope and training of the committee to investigate, and in such instances the committee will be available to support the complainant if they choose to report to their own institution or other bodies as appropriate. When considering sanctions, the committee will endeavor to protect the interests of scientists working with the respondent, in particular students and postdocs working with the respondent if they are not themselves in violation of Code of Conduct. In the most severe cases, an individual may be removed from the WEAVE Consortia entirely, including debarment from access to proprietary WEAVE data and removal of the right of co-authorship of WEAVE publications. 

Note that the WEAVE Data Policy and WEAVE Publication Policy documents specify the sanctions that can be imposed for scientific misconduct. These include a delay in publication and, in extreme cases, debarment from access to proprietary WEAVE data.

Once the committee reaches a decision about the appropriate response,  this will be described in a written communication to the individual or individuals being sanctioned; this written communication will be copied to the complainant. The written report is intended to ensure clarity of communication. Verbatim posting of this report in a public forum would be considered a violation of the Code of the Conduct. The respondent and the complainant will both have an opportunity to file a written response to the committee's decision within fourteen days. The committee reserves the right to change its decision on the basis of new evidence at any time and will notify both parties of any changes.

Appendix: Definitions

Complainant: The person who believes a violation of the code of conduct has happened and has brought that matter to the attention of relevant person(s) in WEAVE.

Respondent: The person who has been accused of a violation of the Code of Conduct, and is asked to respond to that.

Harassment: The definition of harassment is adopted from https://www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann16007/:

In general, harassment is a conduct that exerts unwelcome pressure or intimidation. This conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group.

Particularly serious is sexual harassment, which refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Because of the international nature of the WEAVE Consortia, it is important to realise that behaviour and language that are welcome/acceptable in one particular cultural environment may be unwelcome/offensive to another. Consequently, individuals must use discretion to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others. This is especially important for those in positions of authority, since individuals with lower rank or status may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regarding unwelcome behaviour.

The WEAVE Consortia also follow the EAS Ethics Statement (https://eas.unige.ch/documents/EAS_Ethics_Statement.pdf): 

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, racial harassment, harassment based on real or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation, ableist harassment, physical harassment, verbal harassment, and bullying. Because of intersectionality, these different forms of harassment often occur simultaneously. Power dynamics are also a vital aspect of harassment and bullying, and must be acknowledged and taken into account when developing anti-harassment policies to ensure that those in positions of relatively little power, such as undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff, and junior faculty can report harassment by their superiors safely and without fear of reprisal.


Ownership

This Code of Conduct is owned by the WEAVE Instrument Consortium Project Executive until the completion of the WEAVE project and by the Survey Consortium Science Executive thereafter. It has been authored by Scott Trager (Project Scientist) and Shoko Jin (Deputy Project Scientist), based on the SDSS Code of Conduct and the European Astronomical Society Ethics Statement. The Code of Conduct has been acknowledged by the WEAVE Project funding agencies: CNRS, IAC, INAF, NWO, and STFC.

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