GBatNet expects participants to abide by a scientific and research code of conduct that ensures responsible practice in research. This is critical to building trust across different communities so that everyone feels that it is a safe and accepting environment for sharing ideas, participating in activities, and building connections. The below statements and examples are meant to ensure that our international and multi-disciplinary community all has the same fundamental understanding of what constitutes scientific integrity.
- Unprofessional behavioral conduct—sexual harassment or otherwise—of any other participant will be treated as a form of scientific misconduct. Actions that constitute harassment may include, but are not limited to: inappropriate verbal comments, inappropriate touching, intimidation, stalking, degradation, retaliation against whistleblowers, etc. We aim to foster an open and safe space for everyone to share scientific ideas and build long-term collaborations. Should you experience any form of behavioral misconduct, please report to leadership and/or an ombudsperson so that action can be taken immediately.
- Communicate respectfully to one another. What may be acceptable in one culture may not be acceptable in another. For instance, in English, there are no formal vs. informal pronouns used with respect to level of familiarity or social status, unlike many other languages. But a person may indicate to you what their gender pronouns are, either during their self-introduction or through a sticker on their conference badges. Non-verbal communication, such as gestures, may also vary in meaning across cultures. For instance, pointing at someone directly with your finger may be an insult in one culture, but in another it is only to indicate that you are referring to something.
- Researchers, practitioners, and others must comply with legislative or regulatory requirements for any step in the research or conservation process. This includes but is not limited to laws on: foreign research, import/export, wildlife sample collection, safe use of chemicals, care for test subjects, etc.
- If handling wildlife is necessary, the research methods must take into consideration the welfare of the bats, and expert-informed guidelines and methods should be read and understood prior to any necessary direct contact (e.g. Sikes, 2016. Guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the use of wild mammals in research and education). In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the IUCN Bat Specialist Group has recommendations for working with bats while reducing the likelihood of human-to-bat-transmission for SARS-CoV-2 on their publications page.
- Plagiarism, meaning the practice of presenting another person’s words or work as your own without providing appropriate citations, may result in disciplinary action. Plagiarism also extends to partial paraphrasing without citation, copying a combination of a portion of the work from multiple authors, copying of other materials (e.g. figures, code, data) without providing citation, or plagiarism of ideas.
- All collaborative parties jointly decide and agree on how research will be conducted in a manner that adheres ethical scientific principles, including but not limited to, giving the appropriate credit and intellectual property rights to participating parties.