DGOF & GOR Code of Conduct


The German Society for Online Research/Deutsche Gesellschaft für Online-Forschung (DGOF) is a charitable organization with a focus on fostering the interests of the actors in online research from academia and industry. In this role, DGOF fully supports and values our members and event participants having collegial interactions that yield interpersonal connections, as well as intellectual outcomes: discussions, differing viewpoints, and scientific debates. Our events and activities are held in the spirit of free inquiry and free expression, which is important and necessary for advancing the science and practice of online research. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and our respect for others.

Our annual conference, the General Online Research (GOR) conference, brings together people from around the world and from many different backgrounds. GOR is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for everyone attending or associated with the conference, free from harassment and discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion (or lack thereof), language, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, health, physical appearance, body size, socioeconomic status, marital status, domestic status, or parental status. Harassment and discrimination undermine the principles of equality and respect, are serious forms of professional misconduct, and will not be tolerated.

Everyone, DGOF members and non-members, who participates in the GOR conference, including presenters, guests, staff, vendors, exhibitors, contractors, as well as venue staff (from now on “GOR participants”) is expected to comply with this Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct applies to all conference venues including ancillary events, official and unofficial social gatherings, as well as Twitter and other online media. GOR participants who violate this Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action outlined below.

Expected Conduct

GOR participants are expected to treat each other in a professional manner and behave professionally while conducting or engaging in the GOR conference. Our baseline expectation is for all GOR participants to:

  • Be considerate in language and actions, and respect the boundaries of fellow GOR participants.
  • Follow the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic and professional interchange.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behaviour and language.
  • Be proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid any harm to any GOR participant that you personally witness.
  • Alert law enforcement if you see a situation in which someone might be in imminent physical danger.

Unacceptable Conduct

Harassment toward others while participating in the GOR conference will not be tolerated. Harassment consists of a single or multiple persistent or pervasive acts which are demeaning, abusive, offensive, or create a hostile professional environment. Harassment may include sexual solicitation, physical advance, or verbal or non-verbal conduct that is sexual in nature; it may also include threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group; epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping based on group identity. Unprofessional behaviour is not limited to face-to-face interactions. As such, it also includes written, electronic, and telephone communication. If you are asked to stop harassing behaviour you should stop immediately, even if your behaviour was meant to be friendly or a joke, it was clearly not taken that way and for the comfort of all GOR participants you should stop.

Presentation slides and posters should not contain offensive or sexualized material. If this material is impossible to avoid given the topic (for example text mining of material from hate sites) the existence of this material should be noted in the abstract and, in the case of oral contributions, at the start of the talk or session.

Procedure for Code of Conduct Violations

The DGOF board reserves the right to determine the appropriate response for all code of conduct violations. Potential responses include:

  • a formal warning to stop harassing behaviour
  • expulsion from the conference
  • cancellation or early termination of talks or other contributions to the programme

Refunds may not be given in case of expulsion.

What To Do If You Witness or Are Subject To Unacceptable Behaviour

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns relating to harassment, please contact a member of the GOR staff.

GOR staff can be identified by badge during the event. A member of the organizing staff can be found at the event registration counter at any time. You can also write a formal report via email: office@dgof.de. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by GOR participants seriously.

We reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. This includes reports intended to silence legitimate criticism.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

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