Code of conduct: Creating a friendly and intellectually stimulating space

Version 1.0, 2022-11-09

Epistemic responsibility1 – which is based on virtues such as open-mindedness, diligence, and honesty – and interpersonal respect are central values of the German Reproducibility Network (GRN). Therefore we aim to create an open, friendly, diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community and scholarly context in which insights and criticisms are welcome from all participants, regardless of personal characteristics or academic rank.

Our values and what follows from them:

  • Epistemic responsibility and trustworthiness are core values for us as scientists. Critical discussion and evaluation of research has a vital function for the self-correction and progress of science, and we gracefully accept constructive criticism. When criticizing others’ research, we differentiate between the research (as output) and the researcher as a person. We acknowledge that such a separation is sometimes difficult. We are aware of the impact that criticism can have on the lives and careers of researchers, in particular early career researchers, and always aim to balance the values of intellectual honesty and kindness towards our colleagues.
  • We are convinced that a diversity of personal backgrounds and viewpoints is key to scientific progress. We embrace this diversity in our events and believe in the power of collaboration and co-creation. We include as many people as possible in group interactions by being respectful and inviting.
  • We discuss views and claims based on the evidence and the quality of arguments, not based on the status of the people making the claim, nor their personal characteristics or their academic rank.
  • Scientific debates can feel challenging or even uncomfortable. But also in heated debates we show respect and civility to our fellow colleagues, without discrimination or personal attacks.
  • We respect the private sphere of other people. We never share others’ private information without their consent.

We do not tolerate…

… any form of public or private harassment of event participants, either in person, on event platforms or social media. This includes abusive, discriminatory, derogatory, or demeaning language and behaviour. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any event venue or talks. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event or the GRN at the discretion of the Steering Committee.


This Code of Conduct applies within all online and offline community spaces and events of the GRN, and also applies when an individual is officially representing the GRN in public spaces. Examples of representing the GRN include using an official e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event. All GRN members (Reproducibility Initiatives, Research Institutions, Academic Societies, members of the Steering Group) can be excluded from the GRN when they (a) engage in behavior that is contrary to the aims of the GRN or (b) violate the terms of reference (see our Terms of References, Annex 2).


If you think that a GRN representative, GRN member, or participant of a GRN event acts against these guidelines, please report this to the steering committee responsible for enforcement at or to individual members of the steering committee (please see here) for names and email addresses. The complaint will be investigated by two appointed SC members based on the principles of impartiality, proportionality, and due process ensuring the anonymity of both reporter and reportee. We ask all event participants to await the outcome of such investigations before they publicly comment or act on potentially unfounded allegations. The following website contains all further information about the specific complaints procedure:

1Epistemic Responsibility is about the goal to “produce, maintain, and disseminate knowledge and other knowledge-related (or: epistemic) goods, such as insight, rational belief, and understanding” (Lechner et al, 2022) and has been defined as "related to the capacity to engage in adequate policies in the search of truth, the ability to give reasons, or the readiness to revise one's beliefs in the light of new evidence.” (Echeverri, 2011).


Echeverri, S. (2011). Epistemic Responsibility and Perceptual Experience. In D. Lauer, C. Laudou, R. Celikates, & G. W. Bertram (Hrsg.), Expérience Et Réflexivité: Perspectives au-Delà de L’Empirisme Et de L’Idéalisme. L’harmattan.

Lechner, I. M., Mokkink, L., de Ridder, J., van Woudenberg, R., Bouter, L., & Tijdink, J. K. (2022). The core epistemic responsibilities of universities: Results from a Delphi study Preprint. Open Science Framework.

This CoC is inspired by: