The European Association of Geochemistry (EAG) welcomes as Members all who are interested in geochemistry. As a professional society, the EAG is committed to providing an open, diverse, and supportive environment and expects the highest standards of ethical conduct among its Members and participants at its activities, to encourage the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas. These freedoms extend to Members and participants of EAG activities, regardless of their demographic including, but not limited to, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, disability, or religion (or lack thereof).
The aim of this document is not to lay-down laws, by-laws, or rules of engagement. The purpose of this document is for the EAG to exclaim its support for inclusivity, and outline the course of action for reporting, investigating and, if necessary, acting upon any ethical misconduct experienced or perpetrated by a Member. Members, as a condition of membership, will abide by this scientific code of conduct and professional ethics in the conduct of all professional affairs in all locations and situations where EAG business is conducted, including publications, and at all EAG-sponsored activities and events. This Policy also applies to any non-member who participates in any EAG-sponsored activity or event.
Scientific integrity is one of the most important pillars supporting the standing of science in the world, and it is the responsibility of all researchers to ensure that their work is carried out to the utmost of standards of professional ethics. In all aspects of research, Members will not engage in fraud, dishonest misrepresentation, coercive manipulation, censorship, or other misconduct that alters the meaning, content, veracity, validity, or attribution of research findings. The EAG expects its membership, in addition to the guidelines set out here, to follow the principles of similar guidelines laid down by fellow professional geochemical societies and national funding agencies for ethical behavior in research and publication. This applies to all EAG-sponsored activities, events, and publications.
Allegations of scientific misconduct may be submitted to the EAG when the alleged action is directly connected to publications, presentations, and meetings operated under the direction of the Society. Members are expected to behave according to professional scientific and personal ethics standards. Any individual covered by this policy who believes that a violation of the code of professional ethics has occurred, involving an individual or group of individuals, should contact an EAG Ethics Committee member, EAG Councillor, or journal editor. All reports of scientific misconduct will be investigated promptly.
Statement on harassment, discrimination, and bullying
The EAG opposes and prohibits harassment, discrimination, and bullying of any kind, directly, indirectly, in person, or online. Harassment is defined as the application of aggressive pressure or intimidation, or unwanted attention of a sexual nature. Discrimination is defined as the unjust or prejudicial treatment. Bullying is defined as an action which seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce a person, or people, either physically or mentally. The EAG has a zero-tolerance policy on harassment, discrimination, and bullying. Importantly, the EAG considers false claims as an act of harassment, discrimination, and/or bullying.
Reporting an incident of harassment
The EAG will initiate investigations of scientific misconduct and harassment, discrimination and bullying promptly, in a manner and method that are reasonable and appropriate. The EAG will observe a policy of confidentiality, to the extent reasonable and appropriate, when an allegation is reported by a Member.
Any Member who believes that they are the subject of harassment, discrimination, or bullying, or believes that they have witnessed harassment, discrimination, or bullying of another Member or non-member, may inform the alleged harasser that the behavior is unwelcome and should cease immediately. However, if the Member is uncomfortable with such confrontation, or if the Member confronts the alleged harasser and the harassment continues, the Member should contact an appropriate EAG officer (these include members of the Ethics Committee, the President, Past President or Vice President, and members of the current EAG Council).
Investigative procedures for harassment and misconduct
All reports of scientific misconduct and harassment, discrimination or bullying will be handled seriously. Once a complaint is received, the EAG will begin a prompt and thorough investigation. Confidentiality will be honoured to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.
- The issue will be handled by the Ethics Committee. This committee comprises of two EAG councillors and the serving President of the EAG. For the time period 2019-2020, the composition of the committee is as follows: Dr Sami Mikhail (Councillor), Prof Caroline Peacock (Councillor), and Prof Sigurður (Siggi) Reynir Gíslason (President). If any conflict of interest is perceived by any member of the Ethics Committee regarding any other member, or indeed, if the claimant is concerned about a conflict of interest regarding their submission, then the Council can exhibit fluidity and to swap the conflicted member of the Ethics Committee for another (non-conflicted) EAG councillor.
- The Ethics Committee has primary responsibility for reviewing formal complaints. In cases where the Chair of the committee deems the allegations to be credible, the Committee will investigate the complaint and gather other relevant facts in order to make a recommendation to the EAG Council.
- Members of the Ethics Committee will respond to the complainant and review the complaint. If no written complaint exists, one may be requested. A written complaint, however, is not required.
- In certain cases, members of the Ethics Committee may speak to the parties involved directly. However, for any complaint, the Committee may request assistance from an outside investigator or attorney to interview the parties, interview witnesses, and gather facts on behalf of the Ethics Committee. In such cases, this investigator or attorney shall present their report to the Ethics Committee, which will then make its recommendations to the Council based on the report. Both the complainant and alleged offender will have the opportunity to respond to the report before the Committee makes its recommendation.
- In all cases, the alleged offender will be given the opportunity to address the complaint in a timely fashion. They will also have sufficient time to respond to evidence gathered in the course of an investigation and submit their own evidence. The alleged offender has the right to retain, and be represented by, their own counsel.
- The Ethics Committee will report its findings to the Council. If the Ethics Committee finds misconduct, the Council, in its sole discretion, will review the Ethics Committee’s recommendation. If the Council agrees with the Ethics Committee’s findings of misconduct, the Council will determine the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken.
No retaliation will be taken against any Member, employee, volunteer, exhibitor, or supplier because they report an act of harassment, discrimination, or bullying. Members, employees, volunteers, exhibitors, or suppliers can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal, and the EAG strictly prohibits those individuals from taking any retaliatory action against any individual who reports harassment, discrimination, or bullying of any kind, or who provides information or participates in an investigation of harassment, discrimination, or bullying. Any Member, employee, volunteer, exhibitor, or supplier, who is found to engage in retaliatory conduct may be subject to disciplinary action, such as expulsion from the EAG, the EAG-sponsored activity or event, or according to the law of the land upon where the misdemeanour was undertaken.
Individuals engaging in behavior prohibited by this Policy, as well as those making allegations of ethical misconduct in bad faith, may be subject to disciplinary action. Such actions range from a verbal warning to revocation of membership, ejection from the meeting or activity in question without refund of membership or registration fees, correction of the publication record, recommendations for education or training. Repeat offenders may be subject to further disciplinary action, such as being banned from participating in future EAG meetings or EAG-sponsored activities, or publishing in the Society’s journals.
The EAG Ethics Committee acknowledges that sections of this ethics statement were adapted from the policies on misconduct from the following scientific societies: the Geochemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Biophysical Society, the Meteoritical Society, the American Astronomical Society, and the American Geosciences Institute.