Code of Conduct at sanger-tol (v1.0)

This code of conduct is adopted from nf-core.

Our Pledge

In the interest of fostering an open, collaborative, and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers of sanger-tol pledge to making participation in our projects and community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of:

  • Age
  • Ability
  • Body size
  • Caste
  • Familial status
  • Gender identity and expression
  • Geographical location
  • Level of experience
  • Nationality and national origins
  • Native language
  • Neurodiversity
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual identity and orientation
  • Socioeconomic status

Please note that the list above is alphabetised and is therefore not ranked in any order of preference or importance.


Note: This code of conduct has been adopted from nf-core document. "We", in this document, refers to the Safety Officers, who are also deemed to be members of the sanger-tol community and are therefore required to abide by this Code of Conduct. This document will be amended periodically to keep it up-to-date. In case of any dispute, the most current version will apply.

Our Safety Officers are

sanger-tol is a new and growing community that welcomes contributions from anyone with a shared vision for Open Science Policies. Open science policies encompass inclusive behaviours and we strive to build and maintain a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals.

We have therefore adopted this CoC, which we require all members of our community and attendees of sanger-tol events to adhere to in all our workspaces at all times. Workspaces include, but are not limited to, Slack, meetings on Zoom, YouTube live etc.

Our CoC will be strictly enforced and the sanger-tol team reserves the right to exclude participants who do not comply with our guidelines from our workspaces and future activities.

We ask all members of our community to help maintain supportive and productive workspaces and to avoid behaviours that can make individuals feel unsafe or unwelcome. Please help us maintain and uphold this CoC.

Questions, concerns, or ideas on what we can include? Contact members of the Safety Team.

Our Responsibilities

Members of the Safety Team (the Safety Officers) are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any instances of unacceptable behaviour.

The Safety Team have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this CoC, or to ban temporarily or permanently any contributor for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.

Members of the Safety Team who violate the CoC will be required to recurse themselves pending investigation. They will not have access to any reports of the violations and will be subject to the same actions as others in violation of the CoC.

When and where does this Code of Conduct apply?

Participation in the sanger-tol community is contingent on following these guidelines in all our workspaces and events, such as hackathons, workshops, bytesize, and collaborative workspaces on These guidelines include, but are not limited to, the following (listed alphabetically and therefore in no order of preference):

  • Communicating with an official project email address.
  • Communicating with community members within the SangerTreeofLife Slack channel.
  • Participating in hackathons organised by sanger-tol (both online and in-person events).
  • Participating in collaborative work on GitHub, Google Suite, community calls, meetings, and email correspondence.
  • Participating in workshops, training, and seminar series organised by sanger-tol (both online and in-person events). This applies to events hosted on web-based platforms such as Zoom, YouTube live etc.
  • Representing sanger-tol on social media. This includes both official and personal accounts.

sanger-tol cares 😊

sanger-tol's CoC and expectations of respectful behaviours for all participants (including organisers and the sanger-tol team) include, but are not limited to, the following (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Ask for consent before sharing another community member’s personal information (including photographs) on social media.
  • Be respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences. We are all here to learn from one another and a difference in opinion can present a good learning opportunity.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments! (Get creative with your use of emojis 🎉 🥳 💯 🙌 !)
  • Demonstrate empathy towards other community members. (If tasks are pending, don’t hesitate to gently remind members of your team. If you are leading a task, ask for help if you feel overwhelmed.)
  • Engage with and enquire after others.
  • Focus on what is best for the team and the community. (When in doubt, ask)
  • Accept feedback, yet be unafraid to question, deliberate, and learn.
  • Introduce yourself to members of the community. (We’ve all been outsiders and we know that talking to strangers can be hard for some, but remember we’re interested in getting to know you and your visions for open science!)
  • Show appreciation and provide clear feedback. (This is especially important when don’t see each other in person and it can be harder to interpret subtleties. Also remember that not everyone understands a certain language to the same extent as you do, so be clear in your communication to be kind.)
  • Take breaks when you feel like you need them.
  • Use welcoming and inclusive language. (Participants are encouraged to display their chosen pronouns on Zoom or in communication on Slack)

sanger-tol frowns on 😕

The following behaviours from any participants within the sanger-tol community (including the organisers) will be considered unacceptable under this CoC. Engaging or advocating for any of the following could result in expulsion from sanger-tol workspaces:

  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following and sustained disruption of communication among participants of the community. This includes hijacking shared screens through actions such as using the annotate tool in conferencing software such as Zoom.
  • “Doxing” i.e. posting (or threatening to post) another person’s personal identifying information online.
  • Spamming or trolling of individuals on social media.
  • Use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, jokes, or unwelcome sexual attention.
  • 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.

Online Trolling

A lot of sanger-tol interactions and events are held online or hybrid. Unfortunately, holding events online comes with the risk of online trolling. This is unacceptable — reports of such behaviour will be taken very seriously and perpetrators will be excluded from activities immediately.

All community members are required to ask members of the group they are working with for explicit consent prior to taking screenshots of individuals during video calls.

Procedures for reporting CoC violations

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable through their behaviours or actions, report it as soon as possible.

You can reach out to members of the Safety Team (Priyanka Surana, Matthieu Muffato, and Edward Symons) via email.

Issues directly concerning members of the Safety Team or the senior leadership in Tree of Life will be dealt with by the safety manager, Edward Symons — possible conflicts of interest will be taken into account.

All reports will be handled with the utmost discretion and confidentiality.

In your email report, please do your best to include:

  • Your contact information.
  • Identifying information (e.g. names, nicknames, pseudonyms) of the participant who has violated the Code of Conduct.
  • The behaviour that was in violation and the circumstances surrounding the incident.
  • The approximate time of the behaviour (if different than the time the report was made).
  • Other people involved in the incident, if applicable.
  • If you believe the incident is ongoing.
  • If there is a publicly available record (e.g. mailing list record, a screenshot).
  • Any additional information.

After you file a report, one or more members of our Safety Team will contact you to follow up on your report.

Who will read and handle reports

All reports will be read and handled by the members of the Safety Team at sanger-tol.

If members of the Safety Team are deemed to have a conflict of interest with a report, they will be required to recurse themselves as per our Code of Conduct and will not have access to any follow-ups.

To keep this first report confidential from any of the Safety Team members, please submit your first report by direct email to any of the safety officers you are comfortable disclosing the information to, and be explicit about which member(s) you do not consent to sharing the information with.

Reviewing reports

After receiving the report, members of the Safety Team will review the incident report to determine whether immediate action is required, for example, whether there is immediate threat to participants’ safety.

The Safety Team will assess the information to determine whether the report constitutes a Code of Conduct violation, for them to decide on a course of action.

In the case of insufficient information, one or more members of the Safety Team may contact the reporter, the reportee, 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 reserves the right to not act on a report.


All reports, and any additional information included, are only shared with the team of safety officers. We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse.

We will not name harassment victims, beyond discussions between the safety officer, without the explicit consent of the individuals involved.


Actions taken by the sanger-tol’s Safety Team may include, but are not limited to:

  • Asking anyone to stop a behaviour.
  • Asking anyone to leave the event and online spaces either temporarily, for the remainder of the event, or permanently.
  • Removing access to Slack and other online spaces, either temporarily 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 of and dealing with the incident.
  • Banning anyone from participating in sanger-tol managed spaces, future events, and activities, either temporarily or permanently.
  • No action.

Attribution and Acknowledgements


v1.0 - June 28th, 2023