The goal of the Software Preservation Network (SPN) Code of Conduct is to help create an equitable community of practice. SPN acknowledges that the history of computing and technology has been exclusionary, elevated certain voices over others, and has perpetuated inequalities; SPN specifically seeks to actively dismantle these dynamics in our community. We seek to level the playing field so that people from all ranges of technological skill and organizational capacities understand they are welcome. We seek to create spaces where everyone can fully contribute to the preservation of software and software heritage.

SPN recognizes that collaboration works best when participants feel safe, heard, and respected. We encourage members to take the following actions to help create this environment:

  • Listen more than you speak
  • Support your colleagues and be mindful of their individual and/or organizational constraints
  • Remember that your colleagues may have expertise you are unaware of and have something to offer
  • Respect colleagues when they share what is challenging or unknown to them
  • Empathize where possible; +1 in chat boxes or vocally to support ideas or signal that you share challenges. Help your colleagues feel that they are not alone in both their successes and their challenges
  • Encourage and yield the floor to those whose viewpoints may be under-represented in a group
  • Use welcoming language; honor personal pronouns and favor gender-neutral collective nouns
  • Accept critique graciously; offer critique constructively
  • Give credit where it is due
  • Seek concrete ways to make physical and virtual spaces more universally accessible
  • Stay alert to the welfare of those around you

SPN will not tolerate harassment in any form. Harassment is any unwelcome or offensive verbal comments or nonverbal expressions related to: age; appearance or body size; employment or military status; ethnicity; gender identity or expression; individual lifestyles; marital status; national origin; physical or cognitive ability; political affiliation; sexual orientation; race; or religion. 

Examples can include:

  • Verbal comments or “jokes” that reinforce social structures of domination and oppression
  • Repeatedly misgendering a person or disregarding their personal pronouns
  • Sexual images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks, presentations, or conversations
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

Code of Conduct Violations

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns you would like to address with the Code of Conduct team, you have three options: reporting via the Code of Conduct Report Form (includes anonymous option), contacting the Code of Conduct team via email at, or contacting any of the team members listed below directly.

Reports submitted through the Form or the Code of Conduct email address will be reviewed by the Code of Conduct team, which includes:

In any report, you may include:

  • What happened, where, and when, including any supporting information you may have
  • Who was involved
  • Any members of the Code of Conduct team you’d like to not be involved with your report
  • What you would like to see happen, including follow-up from the Code of Conduct team
  • Your contact information

Include as much detail as you are comfortable with. This will help the Code of Conduct team to  determine next steps. The team will take all reports seriously, regardless of the amount of information shared.

Immediately following any report of Code of Conduct violations, the Code of Conduct team will assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe to the greatest extent possible. The Code of Conduct team, in consultation with any event monitors who received the report or witnessed the event, will then determine what further action may be necessary. This group will, based on the context and severity of the situation, do everything possible to maintain anonymity of the person who reports and keep the contents of any reports in confidence.

The report taker or other member of the Community Engagement Collaborative, Coordinating Committee, or Educopia staff will communicate any follow-up actions to the reporter, if they have chosen to share their contact information with the Code of Conduct team. At the discretion of the Code of Conduct team’s assessment of the severity of the violation, actions may include one or more of the following:

  • Private mediated discussion with participant(s) discussing what happened and why it was harmful
  • Requiring that a participant stops their behavior
  • Issuing a formal warning
  • Requiring that a participant prevents further contact with certain other participants
  • Removing a participant from SPN event
  • Banning a participant from any future SPN events
  • Making a report to a participant’s place of work to inform them of the incident/behavior
  • Making a report to relevant authorities,* if necessary and desired by person harmed
  • No action (if the harasser cannot be identified, or the Code of Conduct team determines no action is necessary to preserve the safety of the community)

* Involving law enforcement is not our preferred approach but in extreme cases it may be necessary. Please consider the varied relationships that different communities have with law enforcement before involving them in a situation.

Privacy Disclaimer, Data Protection, and Host Policies

The Software Preservation Network takes privacy and transparency seriously.

Educopia uses Airtable for the Code of Conduct Report Form. Their data privacy and retention statements are available here. Emails sent to may be retained by Google. Emails sent directly to Code of Conduct team members may fall under public records laws and organizational records retention policies.

Hosts of physical events may have their own Codes of Conduct that SPN members and attendees will be expected to adhere to. SPN members may be mandatory reporters within the bounds or policies of their home institutions. Companies that have developed and host platforms used during SPN events, such as Zoom, may have expectations and requirements for conduct. See, for instance, Zoom’s Acceptable Use Policy and Reporting Abusive Behavior.


Crisis Resources

The Code of Conduct team will do everything possible to aid during the event, but some scenarios may be beyond the capacity and expertise of our team. The resources in this section are meant to aid participants in any other way they may need.


Confidential sexual assault hotline. Support, information, advice, referrals. Your call will be forwarded to the nearest local affiliate based on the first six digits of your phone number. You also will have the option of entering your zip code of your current location. Chat and all services are available 24/7.

Call: 800-656-4673


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call is routed to the nearest crisis center in the national network of more than 150 crisis centers. Chat and all services are available 24/7.

Call: 1-800-273-8255

Lifeline chat:

Trans Lifeline

Confidential, 24/7 hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline is primarily for transgender people in a crisis, from struggling with gender identity to thoughts of self-harm.

Call: 877-565-8860

SAMHSA National Helpline

Confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Call: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)


The 2022 Software Preservation Network Code of Conduct drew from the 2020 BitCurator Consortium Code of Conduct for its framing, process, and procedures. That document was inspired by the Digital Library Federation’s Code of Conduct, the Library Publishing Coalition Code of Conduct, Contributor Covenant version 1.4, Geek Feminism’s Conference anti-harassment/Policy, and Write the Docs Code of Conduct.