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Community Participation Guidelines

NEREID welcomes contributions from everyone who shares our goals and wants to contribute in a healthy and constructive manner within our community. As such, we have adopted these Community Participation Guidelines as our code of conduct and require all those who participate to agree and adhere to these guidelines, in order to help us create a safe and positive community experience for all. 


These guidelines aim to support a community where all people feel safe to participate, introduce new ideas, and inspire others regardless of:

  • 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

  • Geographic location

  • Technical ability, or education level

  • Any other dimension of diversity 


Openness, collaboration, and participation are core aspects of our work. Diversity enriches our community, and we actively seek participation from those who increase it. These guidelines exist to further empower diverse individuals and groups to interact and collaborate for mutual benefit.


When and How to Use These Guidelines

These guidelines outline our behavior expectations as members of the NEREID community in all NEREID activities, both offline and online. Your participation is contingent upon following these guidelines in all NEREID activities, including but not limited to:

  • Working in NEREID spaces.

  • Working with other NEREID members or community participants virtually or co-located.

  • Representing NEREID at public events.

  • Representing NEREID in social media, on official and personal accounts

  • Participating in NEREID offsites and training.

  • Participating in NEREID-related forums, mailing lists, wikis, websites, chat channels, bugs, group or person-to-person meetings, and NEREID-related correspondence.

While these guidelines are specifically aimed at the NEREID community, we recognize that it is possible for actions taken outside of NEREID’s online or in person spaces to have a deep impact on the well-being of our community.


Expected Behavior

The following behaviors are expected of everyone participating in the NEREID community in all NEREID activities, both offline and online.


Be Respectful

Value each other’s ideas, styles, and viewpoints. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. Be open to different possibilities and to being wrong. Be respectful in all interactions and communications, especially when debating the merits of different options. Be aware of your impact and how intense interactions may be affecting people. Be direct, constructive, and positive. Take responsibility for your impact and your mistakes – if someone says they have been harmed through your words or actions, listen carefully, apologize sincerely, and correct the behavior going forward.


Be Direct but Professional

We must be able to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when others don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and direct, as well as respectful, particularly in conversations involving critical feedback


Be Inclusive

Seek diverse perspectives. Diversity of views and of people on teams power innovation, even if it is not always comfortable. Encourage all voices. Help new perspectives be heard and listen actively. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, it is especially important to step back and encourage other voices to join in. Be aware of how much time is taken up by dominant members of the group. Provide alternative ways to contribute or participate when possible.


Be inclusive of everyone in an interaction, respecting and facilitating people’s participation whether they are:


  • Remote (on video or phone)

  • Not native language speakers

  • Coming from a different culture

  • Using pronouns other than “he” or “she”

  • Living in a different time zone

  • Facing other challenges to participate

Think about how you might facilitate alternative ways to contribute or participate. Make way for other voices and listen actively to them.


Understand Different Perspectives

Our goal should not be to “win” every disagreement or argument. A more productive goal is to be open to ideas that make our own ideas better. Strive to be an example for inclusive thinking. “Winning” is when different perspectives make our work richer and stronger.


Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Remember that we’re different. Diversity contributes to the strength of our community, which is composed of people from a wide range of backgrounds. Different people have different perspectives on issues. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Don’t forget that it is human to err and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, focus on helping to resolve issues and learning from mistakes.

Appreciate and Accommodate Our Similarities and Differences

People in the NEREID community come from many cultures and backgrounds. Cultural differences can encompass everything from official religious observances to personal habits to clothing. Be respectful of people with different cultural practices, attitudes, and beliefs. Work to eliminate your own biases, prejudices, and discriminatory practices. Try to think of others’ needs from their point of view. Use preferred titles (including pronouns) and the appropriate tone of voice. Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Be open to learning from and educating others as well as educating yourself; it is unrealistic to expect NEREID community members to know the cultural practices of every ethnic and cultural group, but everyone needs to recognize the importance of cultural sensitivity.


Lead by Example

By matching your actions with your words, you become a person others want to follow. Your actions influence others to behave and respond in ways that are valuable and appropriate for our organizational outcomes. Design your community and your work for inclusion. Hold yourself and others accountable for inclusive behaviors. Make decisions based on the highest good for NEREID’s mission.


Behavior That Will Not Be Tolerated

The following behaviors are considered to be unacceptable under these guidelines.


Violence and Threats of Violence

Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable - online or offline. This includes incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm. This also includes posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxxing”) online.


Personal Attacks

Conflicts will inevitably arise, but frustration should never turn into a personal attack. It is not okay to insult, demean or belittle others. Attacking someone for their opinions, beliefs and ideas is not acceptable. It is important to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve, but such discussions must be conducted respectfully and professionally, while remaining focused on the issue at hand.


Derogatory Language

Hurtful or harmful language is not acceptable. This includes deliberately referring to someone by a gender that they do not identify with, and/or questioning the legitimacy of an individual’s gender identity. If you’re unsure if a word is derogatory, don’t use it. This also includes repeated subtle and/or indirect discrimination; when asked to stop, stop the behavior in question.


Unwelcome Sexual Attention or Physical Contact

Unwelcome sexual attention or unwelcome physical contact is not acceptable. This includes sexualized comments, jokes or imagery in interactions, communications, or presentation materials, as well as inappropriate touching, groping, or sexual advances. Additionally, touching a person without permission, including sensitive areas such as their hair, pregnant stomach, mobility device (wheelchair, scooter, etc) or tattoos is unacceptable. This includes physically blocking or intimidating another person. Physical contact or simulated physical contact (such as emojis like “kiss”) without affirmative consent is not acceptable. The sharing or distribution of sexualized images or text is unacceptable.


Disruptive Behavior

Sustained disruption of events, forums, or meetings, including talks and presentations. This includes:

  • ‘Talking over’ or ‘heckling’ speakers.

  • Drinking alcohol to excess or using recreational drugs to excess, or pushing others to do so.

  • Making derogatory comments about those who abstain from alcohol or other substances, pushing people to drink, talking about their abstinence or preferences to others, or pressuring them to drink - physically or through jeering.

  • Otherwise influencing crowd actions that cause hostility in the session.

  • Influencing Unacceptable Behavior


Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Bad behavior from any NEREID member, including those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated. Intentional efforts to exclude people (except as part of a consequence of the guidelines or other official action) from NEREID activities are not acceptable and will be dealt with appropriately.


Reports of harassment/discrimination will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the people responsible for the safety of the space, event or activity. Appropriate measures will be taken to address the situation.


Anyone being asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Violation of these guidelines can result in anyone being asked by facilitators to leave an event or online space, either temporarily or for the duration of the event, or being banned from participation in spaces, or future events and activities in perpetuity.



If you believe you’re experiencing unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated as outlined above, please use our Contact Us Form to report. Your report will be sent to the NEREID organizing committee for review.


Please also report to us if you observe a potentially dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of these guidelines, even if the situation is not happening to you.


If you feel you have been unfairly accused of violating these guidelines, please follow the same reporting process.


Ask Questions

Everyone is encouraged to ask questions about these guidelines. Please email questions in our  Contact Us Form.


License and Attribution

This set of guidelines is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.


These guidelines have been adapted with modifications from Mozilla’s original Community Participation Guidelines, ESIP Community Participation Guidelines and, Open Life Science Code of Conduct.


Modifications to these Guidelines

NEREID may amend the guidelines from time to time and may also vary the procedures it sets out where appropriate in a particular case. Your agreement to comply with the guidelines will be deemed agreement to any changes to it. 


This Policy was revised on this site on November 03, 2022.

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