Conference Code of Conduct

Anti-Harassment Policy

March 2017
SIGIR wishes to remind conference attendees of the ACM’s Conference Code of Conduct for conferences, which can be found here:

The open exchange of ideas and the freedom of thought and expression are central to ACM’s aims and goals. These require an environment that recognizes the inherent worth of every person and group, that fosters dignity, understanding, and mutual respect, and that embraces diversity. For these reasons, ACM is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for participants at our events, in our programs, and in official communications channels for these events and programs, including social media.

Harassment is unwelcome or hostile behavior, including speech that intimidates, creates discomfort, or interferes with a person’s participation or opportunity for participation, in a conference, event or program. Harassment in any form, including but not limited to harassment based on alienage or citizenship, age, color, creed, disability, marital status, military status, national origin, pregnancy, childbirth- and pregnancy-related medical conditions, race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other status protected by laws in which the conference or program is taking place, will not be tolerated. Harassment includes the use of abusive or degrading language, intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. A response that the participant was “just joking,” or “teasing,” or being “playful,” will not be accepted because that conduct is unwelcome.

Reporting Harassment

The ACM’s Code of Conduct makes no statements about how one might report harassment, arbitrate harassment complaints or the consequences of harassment. Thus, the material in this section is about how SIGIR will handle harassment at conferences.

If you believe you have been harassed or notice someone else being harassed while attending a SIGIR-sponsored conference, you are encouraged to report the incident at the time of the conference either by email or in person to the current SIGIR Chair Diane Kelly, and/or to other members of the SIGIR Executive Committee (Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) and/or to the Conference Organizers.

If you feel physically threatened by the harassment, then you should seek assistance from a member of the SIGIR Executive Committee or the Conference Chairs in notifying the appropriate authorities.

Anyone asked to stop harassing behavior is expected to comply immediately.  Even if you do not believe your behavior is harassing, if someone feels uncomfortable by your actions, we ask that you make adjustments out of professional courtesy.

A harassment report will be kept as confidential as possible. Within the SIGIR community, it will be known only by the SIGIR Chair, SIGIR Executive Committee, or Conference Chair (depending on to whom it is initially reported).  All harassment reports will be reported to the SIGIR Chair.  When incidents of harassment are reported, the current Chair will consult with past Chairs to see if prior complaints have been made about the offending individual.  If there is a pattern of harassment, then additional steps might be taken.