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R Foundation Announces Code of Conduct Policy

The R Foundation recently announced that all conferences it supports must have a code of conduct. They encourage other R meetings to adopt codes of conduct as well, stating that:

A code of conduct serves two important purposes. Firstly, it sends a clear message to those outside the community that an R conference is a professional and comfortable working environment for all participants. Secondly, it provides a mechanism for reporting and monitoring any incidents of harassment that may occur.

The R Foundation has opted not to require a specific format for the code of conduct, but they point to useR! 2015's code as one example. Acknowledging that a written code of conduct is insufficient without enforcement, the R Foundation has also stipulated that the codes of conduct should be legally and practically enforceable.

This announcement came as welcome news to members of the R community who had requested such a policy. Last June many R users formalized this request in an open letter to the R Foundation.

With its new policy, the R Foundation joins a growing number of academic and professional organizations (including Software Carpentry) that have instituted codes of conduct for all of their events. These policies are an important step in building inclusive and diverse communities, and it is rewarding to see the R Foundation respond positively to the voices of R users who want to make R conferences as safe and welcoming as possible.

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