Code of Conduct


CSE Commitment

The Council of Science Editors (CSE) is committed to diversity and inclusivity, and to providing a safe and welcoming environment that allows for free expression of ideas and productive dialogue. CSE promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, religion, age, appearance, or political affiliation. The CSE Annual Meeting, short courses, educational offerings, and networking outlets, and other related events, both in person and virtual, are intended to provide a place to connect, communicate, and collaborate with individuals with diverse backgrounds throughout the scholarly publishing industry. CSE leadership, staff, members, volunteers, attendees, and guests share a responsibility to maintain an environment free of harassment, discrimination, and hostility.

Scope of Policy

CSE prohibits any form of harassment or discrimination, verbal, physical, or otherwise. This code of conduct applies to all participants (including but not limited to attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, volunteers, and guests) of all CSE-sponsored events, offerings, and platforms. Please read it carefully. CSE staff and volunteers in leadership positions will enforce this code throughout all events. This code of conduct has been ratified by the Board of Directors as of February 8, 2019 and is in effect for all CSE events as of February 21, 2019.

Expected Behavior

All CSE event participants will treat others with respect, valuing diverse viewpoints, ideas, and opinions, and maintaining professional and ethical conduct during the course of the event. Participants will:

  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Express differences in ideas and opinions in a productive manner, free of personal attacks.
  • Adhere to all venue and hotel rules and policies.
  • Be mindful of their surroundings and alert CSE staff, CSE leadership, and/or venue security of any dangerous situations or individuals in distress.

Unacceptable Behavior

Harassment, discrimination, or intimidation in any form will not be tolerated. These include but are not limited to:

  • All speech, gestures, or behaviors that are not welcome or are personally offensive, abusive, or derogatory. For example:
    • Harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, religion, age, physical appearance, political affiliation, or other personal characteristics.
    • Verbal or physical intimidation, threats, stalking, unwelcome attention, inappropriate/unnecessary physical contact.
    • Physical assault, including unwelcome touch or groping.
    • Real or implied threat of physical harm.
    • Offensive or unprofessional language or images in presentations or other public spaces.
  • Unwelcome photography or recording.
  • Disruption of talks, presentations, courses, and other events.
  • Other conduct that may jeopardize the success of the event, CSE’s reputation, or the positive experience of any other event participant.

Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior.

Anyone requested to cease unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Targets of harassment are not under any obligation to attempt to stop the behavior or to confront the alleged offender, and will not, therefore, be assumed to have implicitly consented to such behavior.

Reporting Procedure

Any individual who is the subject of harassment or other unacceptable behavior, or any individual who has witnessed such an incident, should immediately notify the CSE Executive Director or another CSE staff member, or a member of the CSE Board of Directors. Notification may be done by contacting one of these individuals on-site, or by emailing your concern to [email protected].

Moderators of CSE events are expected to report potential Code of Conduct violations immediately by contacting the event’s assigned staff member or pursuing any of the other notification options listed above.

Board members or staff receiving reports of potential Code of Conduct violations should immediately notify CSE Staff at [email protected].

If the behavior presents a serious, immediate threat to participants’ safety, participants are advised to contact the local authorities and/or 911, and locate a house phone and ask for security.

Individuals reporting harassment are not expected to discuss the incident with the offending party.

Reporting individuals will be asked to provide a description of the incident and may be invited to support any potential investigation by participating in an information-gathering interview.

All reports will be treated seriously and investigated promptly. All reports will be strictly confidential to the extent permitted, as long as the rights and safety of others are not compromised.

Investigation Procedure

Upon receipt of a report of harassment or other unacceptable behavior, the incident will be investigated by the CSE President, President-Elect, and Executive Director, with the goal of taking swift and decisive action to ensure the safety and comfort of all participants. If any of the prescribed members of the investigative party are colleagues or close associates of parties involved in the alleged incident, or otherwise considered to be in conflict, another current or immediate-past member of the Executive Committee or Board of Directors may be asked to serve on the investigation team. A template investigation plan and procedures document will be provided by CSE staff to support the investigation. As deemed necessary and depending on the nature of the behavior, this group may choose to involve external counsel such as other CSE volunteer officers, an ombudsman, and/or legal representation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigative party will report to the CSE Board of Directors and inform all parties of the outcome. In all cases, the safety of the participants will take priority.


Individuals engaging in unacceptable behavior prohibited by this policy may be subject to sanctions at the discretion of the investigating group, based on the severity and nature of the behavior. Such sanctions may include but are not limited to:

  • Verbal warning
  • Ejection from the event without refund
  • Prohibition from future attendance at CSE events
  • Removal from CSE leadership positions and/or committee membership, if applicable
  • Notification to the offender’s employer

The CSE Board of Directors reserves the right to pursue additional measures as it may determine is appropriate.

In the event that any individual is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation and resulting sanctions, he or she may appeal to the President of CSE.

CSE will not tolerate any form of retaliation against individuals reporting an incident, and such retaliation may be considered a violation of this policy subject to the same sanctions as harassment itself. Likewise, purposefully making false allegations of harassment may be considered a violation of this policy subject to the same sanctions as harassment itself.

Any questions about this policy should be directed to [email protected].