Code of conduct

At Crossref, we assume that most people are intelligent and well-intended, and we’re not inclined to tell people what to do. However, we want all engagement with Crossref to be safe and productive for everyone involved. To that end, this code of conduct frames our expectations for behavior when interacting with Crossref staff and our community—in person and online—including at our LIVE events, during meetings and webinars, through social media, email, support tickets, and forum discussions.

The core of our approach is this: We do not accept harassment or offensive behavior, anywhere. It’s counter to Crossref’s values and counter to our values as human beings.

Crossref is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. We welcome your questions, concerns, and feedback relating to any aspect of our work. We ask that you respect all staff and community members, regardless of race, gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, national origin, ethnicity, or religion.

Harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • Offensive comments related to race, gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, national origin, ethnicity, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices.
  • Deliberate misgendering.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • A pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
  • “Trolling” i.e. posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in online communities.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent.
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Anyone violating this Code of Conduct will be blocked—without warning—from the space where the harrassment took place, such as social media, or expulsion from the meeting/forum. They may also be banned from all future interaction indefinitely—including suspension from using our services—at the discretion of Crossref’s directors. Member accounts may be terminated through a vote by the Board and that decision may be appealed as set out in our bylaws.

Please bring any concerns to the attention of the Crossref staff, or contact our Conduct response team. All reports will be treated privately. Requests to be reinstated after being blocked or banned may be sent to the same address and will be considered.

We thank our community for your help in keeping Crossref a welcoming, respectful, and friendly space for all participants.


The Crossref Code of Conduct is adapted from the excellent and well thought-through O’Reilly Media Conferences Code of Conduct with which Crossref fully agrees. The list of harassment types is adapted from the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki.

Last Updated: 2016 December 23 by Ginny Hendricks