Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

FocalPlane is a microscopy community site hosted by Journal of Cell Science (JCS) and encompassing all fields in the biological sciences where they meet microscopy. FocalPlane is committed to providing a safe and collaborative environment for both microscope/software developers and researchers to exchange ideas and information to help the field develop and progress.

This code of conduct applies to all FocalPlane participants, including users, contributors, FocalPlane Network users and members, event attendees as well as anyone with decision-making authority at FocalPlane. This document offers guidance to ensure a positive and welcoming atmosphere for everyone at FocalPlane. This code of conduct includes a summary of the shared values of our FocalPlane community and the expectations we have for our community participants. This code of conduct applies to all the content and interactions on our website, our Slack workspace, the FocalPlane Network, and any event hosted by FocalPlane. We are confident that people come to the community for positive interactions, but we hope this guidance is useful for those rare occasions when something goes wrong.

Expected behaviour

  • Be welcoming: we welcome and support people of all backgrounds and identities in our community. This includes members of any ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, religion, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, career experience, socioeconomic or disability status, or any other dimension of diversity.
  • Be respectful: a community can only function when its members feel happy and accepted. We do not tolerate personal attacks in any way, be that racism, sexism, or any other form of discrimination. We might not always agree all the time, but disagreements can and should be resolved constructively, without resorting to bad language, poor manners, or personal attacks. Remember that people have different perspectives on issues and be careful to treat their opinions with the same respect you would expect others to have of yours. 

Unacceptable behaviour

We define unacceptable behaviour as anything that doesn’t meet the standards of positive behaviour outlined above. For the purposes of this code of conduct, harassment refers to any unwelcome or offensive comments or behaviour directed towards another community member or participant. Harassment by any member of the FocalPlane community (including anyone with decision-making authority) or event participant is considered unacceptable under our code of conduct.

Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Unwelcome and/or offensive comments referring to anyone’s sex, race, colour, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, or any other status protected under applicable law.
  • Use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, or jokes.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (either virtual or in-person) or unauthorised recording.
  • Spamming or trolling.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Sustained or disrespectful disruption of presentations or events.
  • Encouraging or advocating for any of the above behaviour.

Reporting a problem

If anyone in the FocalPlane community, in the FocalPlane Network or at a FocalPlane event makes you or anyone else feel unsafe, unwelcome or uncomfortable please report it to the Community Manager at as soon as possible.

In your report please include:

  • Your contact information.
  • Names of any individuals involved.
  • Your account of what occurred, if the issue is ongoing, and any other additional information that might be helpful.

Your report can be made either personally or anonymously, and all incidents will be handled with discretion. Our community depends on a positive and collaborative environment. If you believe someone has behaved unacceptably, we ask that you report it.

After filing a report, the Community Manager will contact you, review the incident, follow up with any additional questions, and make a decision as to how to respond.

If your concerns relate to the behaviour of the FocalPlane Community Manager, please report it to The report will be reviewed by one of the managers at The Company of Biologists independently of the FocalPlane Community Manager and they will contact you to review the incident.

Code of conduct violations

Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately. Failure to do so, or repeated instances of harassment or code-of-conduct violation, may result in the temporary or permanent removal of that person from the FocalPlane community and exclusion from any event hosted by FocalPlane.

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Updated on 7 March 2022