FOGGIE Collaboration Agreement

our code of conduct, values, and polices

Code-of-Conduct and Collaboration Agreement

This document is set up as follows. In Section 1, we outline our values as a collaboration. This values statement additionally serves as our overall Code of Conduct and informs our collaboration policies as described in the subsequent sections. We describe our planned processes for handling conflict in Section 2. Section 3 describes our processes for sharing ideas and working on projects together, hopefully in such a way that the authorship policies laid out in Section 4 are straightforward. Our simulation use policies are given in Section 5. We expect that this agreement will be reviewed regularly (e.g., when team members’ professional positions change and when new team members join) and updated as needed.

As of this writing (February 29, 2024), “the PIs” referenced below Molly Peeples, Jason Tumlinson, and Brian O’Shea. The full list of current collaboration members can be found at our "Who We Are" page; everyone on this page has agreed to abide by this document (with the exception of some of “the alumni”, who may have been collaboration members before the genesis of this collaboration agreement).

  1. Values
    1. Treat each other with respect. We value each other as human beings, recognizing that part of what makes us human is our differences from one another and diversity of experiences and perspectives. We treat all people with respect, regardless of race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, nationality, ethnicity, immigration status, age, or religion. This collaboration will be a bullying- and harassment-free environment.
    2. Harassment of any kind is not tolerated. This includes sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, sexual attention or innuendo, deliberate intimidation, stalking, and photography or recording of an individual without consent. It also includes offensive comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion, or any other exclusionary comments or jokes.
    3. This is a bullying-free collaboration. We do not tolerate intimidation, humiliation, belittlement, embarrassment, sabotaging or undermining work performance.
    4. We value fostering both career and personal growth. We place a strong emphasis on mentoring, and we recognize that not all mentoring is “top-down” nor will all mentoring take place solely within our collaboration.
    5. We value inclusivity. We value and promote the ideas of the students and postdocs in our collaboration. We value having a collaborative environment in which people do not feel excluded from projects they are interested in, while still enabling those leading projects to have ownership of their work.
    6. We value honesty, fostering mutual trust, and an openness of communication. We try to raise potential issues with one another early so they do not fester and lead to bigger issues later. We value and accept sincere apologies when appropriate. We value collegiate disagreements, and we will be open to critical feedback, including and especially from those less senior than us. This includes both feedback on science and/or code development, as well as feedback on behavior and/or mentorship.
    7. We value having fun. We make a lot of jokes in our collaboration and we enjoy making each other laugh. We believe that work can be fun and that occasionally spending time together socially can improve our professional relationships. However, it is important that everyone is comfortable with the jokes that are being made. It is never our intention for a joke to make someone feel bad. We are open to any collaboration member, especially junior or newer members, stating that a joke has crossed a line. If this occurs, we will change our behavior to ensure it does not happen again. As a general rule, jokes related to gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion will not be tolerated and should not be made.
  2. Handling Conflict
    1. We will recognize that a variety of factors can lead to conflict, and that some conflicts stem from reasonable differences of opinion or personality, technical approach, or from ambiguity of roles or interactions. To that end we will be proactive in our conflict resolution, and work to identify and deal with issues as soon as they become apparent using clear and effective communication rather than letting problems linger and grow.
    2. When potential areas of conflict seem like they may be arising within the collaboration and we’re not sure what to do, we will seek advice from one or more of the PIs to discuss possible paths forward.
    3. We recognize that each collaboration member's host institution will have their own requirements for mandatory reporting and procedures for investigation and punishment. Such processes may also have requirements that such matters not be discussed openly. As a collaboration, we will respect and defer to these guidelines when applicable.
    4. Conflict that needs to be handled formally, including violations of this code of conduct and collaboration agreement, will be mediated as quickly as reasonably possible. The affected person(s) and/or the person reporting a violation of our code of conduct will bring the problem to the attention of at least two collaboration members, including at least one PI. Throughout this process, the affected individual(s), if their identity is known, will be consulted to ensure that any action taken on their behalf, and against the other party, is consistent with their wishes and does not jeopardize their career prospects, their physical and/or emotional well being.
    5. For first offenses, if it is determined that a reasonable observer would recognize the problematic behavior in question as the result of ignorance and/or misunderstanding and not malice, then the PI to whose attention the problem was brought will approach the person in question to discuss the situation. In this case it will be assumed that the person in question is open to opportunities for behavioral growth through constructive feedback, and the conversation will be broached with both respect and honesty about actions and their consequences. These conversations will be expected to remain private and will not be publicly known to other collaboration members beyond the offending individual(s), the affected individual(s), and the other collaboration member(s) to whom the issue was initially reported. The other PIs will be informed of the situation and its resolution in order to prevent future potential surprises. If one of the PIs is the source of the problematic behavior, it should be brought to the attention of at least one of the other PIs, who will approach the problem in the same way.
    6. For more serious offenses (including repeated “minor” offenses previously addressed with feedback) where a reasonable observer would recognize that an action was done with malicious intent against the affected individual(s) or causes egregious harm to a collaboration member regardless of intent, the PIs will determine the appropriate course of action in consultation with at least one junior collaboration member. Such situations include repeated actions that would, in isolation, be seen as non-malicious, and have been addressed with the process described above. Possible courses of action will vary depending on the exact situation and severity of the infraction. These may include:
      1. A formal condemnation and warning
      2. Formal reporting to the home institution of the offending individual
      3. Temporary or permanent exclusion of interactions between the offending individual and the affected individual, with possible mediation by other collaboration members if needed
      4. Temporary or permanent expulsion from collaboration-sponsored events and meetings
      5. Temporary or permanent revocation of permission to use specific proprietary data and/or code
      6. Temporary or permanent expulsion from the collaboration entirely
  3. Project + Paper Planning
    1. Ideas: There is an “ideas” document listing all current ideas with the FOGGIE simulations, including simulations that have not yet been run and projects that we would like to do with those simulations. We will try our best as a collaboration to keep this document up to date. These project ideas range from papers in progress to “this idea may not be viable or interesting, but it’s an idea!”. Team members can freely express interest in open ideas. We will be mindful of who outside of the collaboration these ideas are shared with in order to minimize conflicts of interest.
    2. Inclusivity and Collaboration: As ideas develop into projects, the person(s) leading them will make a good faith effort to involve everyone who has expressed interest in the project. Involvement here means providing space for contribution to direction of the investigation, interpretation and analysis of results, new or complementary analyses, etc., as well as providing regular and frequent updates (both on slack and at our weekly group meetings). We will endeavor to include all who express interest, but final authorship status is determined by actual contributions to the project and is up to the project lead in the end (see item 4a below). In particular, we will take care to involve our observational collaborators early and often to make sure that the theory/simulation work has the highest impact on the observational community; if the collaboration observers are not experts in the topic in question, we will additionally reach out to new potential collaborators.
    3. The PIs will work together to keep track of what the ongoing projects are and who is leading what. In particular, they will try to define boundaries between projects so that junior members of the collaboration have well-defined areas in which they can claim ownership since this is crucial for their career advancement.
    4. Project type definitions:
      1. “Primary FOGGIE projects” are projects based primarily on FOGGIE simulations that are not public, and conceived and executed in direct collaboration with core FOGGIE team members. These projects result in the numbered papers, which may have observational components.
      2. “FOGGIE-adjacent projects” are defined as research projects that uses existing FOGGIE simulation datasets for a use unrelated to the core FOGGIE avenues of research - i.e., in research areas where FOGGIE core members and collaborators are unlikely to be working, and thus it will not result in direct competition. We anticipate that this will arise in situations where somebody outside of the collaboration has requested use of simulation data that has not been made public (but which has been published in a numbered FOGGIE paper). Adjacent projects include but are not limited to: providing bespoke simulation analysis with FOGGIE to a paper led externally to the collaboration, contributing FOGGIE simulation analysis to an observational paper led by a FOGGIE team member, or a project primarily about analyzing FOGGIE simulations in support of another program (e.g., future mission concept).
      3. In either of these cases, as soon as a project idea is proposed it should be added to the ideas document, the overall PIs notified, and it should be mentioned in one of our weekly group meetings so as to prevent future surprises. In some cases (e.g., analysis in support of an observational result) no additional collaboration contribution may be warranted. In other cases (e.g., a primarily FOGGIE-based paper in support of another project), however, it may make both intellectual and collaborative sense to involve more team members. Early and ongoing communication is important. The external collaboration and their FOGGIE Collaboration Member contact should agree to the “FOGGIE Data and Analysis Use Agreement” before any work using the simulations is done, and a backup FOGGIE Collaboration contact should be identified in case issues arise.
      4. A non-FOGGIE project fits one of the following criteria: (1) uses public FOGGIE data or public codes by either a member or non-member of the FOGGIE collaboration; or (2) is a project by FOGGIE collaboration members that is not directly related to FOGGIE simulation efforts and research areas. We expect that many junior members of the FOGGIE collaboration will move on to lead their own research groups, which will require them to develop independent research programs, pursue their own external funding, and write their own papers. To that end, we believe that it is natural and expected that these researchers will use the simulation and analysis tools and skills developed as part of the FOGGIE collaboration in pursuit of their own agendas. While the FOGGIE collaboration may be updated on these projects in early stages out of scientific interest, fully independent projects carry no expectation nor obligation of collaboration.
  4. Authorship Policies
    Ideally, if the policies in Section 3 regarding project+paper planning are followed, there should be no surprises here. That said, in general, the lead author should be able to state why each co-author is on the paper, and what they have contributed. Likewise, each co-author should be able to state what they have contributed. Where appropriate, this may involve clearly defining specific roles at the early stages of individual projects.
    1. Primary FOGGIE Papers
      1. For whoever ran the simulations or generated the initial conditions: if this is the first time those runs have been published, that person gets automatic authorship; otherwise, cite the first paper they showed up in but offer space to contribute to that person, if they are not already naturally included (and whoever created the ICs or ran the simulations should always be acknowledged if they are not co-authors).
      2. Anyone who helps with analysis and interpretation during preparation should be given at least two weeks to comment on and revise the draft.
      3. Other team members (including, e.g., relevant observers) should be given at least a week (preferably two) to contribute at later stages if they have not yet already.
      4. It is ultimately the responsibility of the lead author to determine if a person’s contribution merits co-authorship versus a place in the acknowledgments; we note that making contributions to an otherwise final draft does not typically rise to the level of “significant contribution”, but critical feedback that adds context/depth or otherwise sharpens the argument made by the paper would do so.
      5. We recognize that for some individuals authorship order may carry a lot of weight due to their career stage or other professional factors; we will therefore put care into determining the authorship order. Ultimately, the author list and order is up to the lead author, in consultation with the PIs. In the rare cases that it is not immediately obvious who the lead author is, we will advocate ongoing conversations respectful of the contributions and career stages of everyone involved to reach a solution that is mutually agreeable. We suggest as a general principle that in situations where ordering is uncertain, early-career collaboration members should precede more senior members in an author list.
    2. Externally Collaborative FOGGIE projects
      Authorship in these papers will be determined by the policies set forth in the FOGGIE Data and Analysis Use Agreement. Specifically, we expect for the primary FOGGIE collaboration contact to be a co-author in any resulting publications, and for authorship to be extended to any other collaboration members who have made meaningful, well-defined contributions.
  5. Simulation Use Policies
    1. Private FOGGIE data is available for the use of anybody in the collaboration to pursue any project of interest, under the guidance given previously in this document in the “authorship policy” (4a) and “Core FOGGIE projects” (3ci) sections.
    2. Private FOGGIE data will be made available to researchers who are not part of the FOGGIE collaboration upon reasonable request, under the restrictions given previously in this document in the “FOGGIE-adjacent projects” section (3cii and 4b) and the FOGGIE Data and Analysis Use Agreement.
    3. We will endeavor to make some subset of FOGGIE data and derived data products public within a reasonable time frame. Any public data can be freely used by anybody—either within or outside of the FOGGIE collaboration—with the only restriction being that we require citation of the paper where the simulation is first described.
    4. All simulation initial conditions and parameter files available upon request, and as with the public FOGGIE data we will only request citation.
Much of this document was inspired by (or adapted from) the N-Body Shop Code of Conduct. We are grateful for their work toward improving our community.