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Code of Ethics

Bylaws - Article V. Code of Ethics and Member Conduct

Section 1. Ethics related to scientific practice:
Members of the Animal Behavior Society:

  • Shall conduct their professional affairs in an ethical manner as prescribed in this Code, shall endeavor to protect the profession of Animal Behavior from misunderstanding and misrepresentation, and shall cooperate with one another to assure the rapid and accurate interchange and dissemination of knowledge about animal behavior.
  • Shall use their knowledge, skills, and training to assist in achieving the harmonious interaction of the human species with other organisms and the environment.
  • Shall conduct research with animals consistent with “ABS/ASAB Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Research and Teaching” and under the auspices of the appropriate institutional committee.
  • Shall not represent themselves as spokesperson for the Society or imply Society endorsement except with prior approval of the Executive Committee.
  • Shall be guided by the following in preparing research reports for publication or public presentation:
    1. The authors of a research report should be all and only those who have made a significant scientific contribution to the research, except that no one should be listed as an author without his or her consent.
    2. Intellectual property rights should be respected. In particular, authors should include unpublished data, personal communications, or concepts of others in publications only as stipulated in an agreed upon policy or by consent.
    3. Authors of scientific publications should avoid plagiarism. In particular, because material not attributed to previous publications is assumed to be original, authors should give proper acknowledgment when previously published work is included in a research report. (An obvious exception is material, such as the Pythagorean theorem, that is so widely known that citing the original would be pedantic.)
    4. Authors shall not present or publish material that is fabricated or falsified, or from data that cannot be verified.
    5. At the outset of supervised, mentored or other collaborative research arrangements, participants are urged to arrive at mutually agreeable policies regarding publication of the results, including responsibility for data analysis, sharing data and analytical procedures, manuscript preparation, authorship, and disposition of records. All parties involved should take responsibility for informing their collaborators of these policies or becoming informed, as appropriate.
    6. Authors are encouraged to practice the principles of open, transparent, and reproducible research (e.g., The Open Science Training Handbook, Consequently, authors are encouraged to use FAIR (Findability, Accessibility,Interoperability, and Reuse) data practices (

Section 2. Ethics and Member Conduct related to participation in Society events and other professional interactions

The Code of Ethics and Member Conduct provided herein applies to all members of the Animal Behavior Society including student, professional, amateur, and retired members, and to all participants in Animal Behavior Society and Society-sponsored events. Membership or participation in the Animal Behavior Society and its sponsored events constitutes an agreement to adhere to the Code of Ethics and Member Conduct. These policies cover member conduct in all professional and educational settings and related environments, and in relation to both members and non-members. These settings may include, but are not limited to:

  • Any professional workplace, networking event, or activity;
  • Conferences, meetings, discussion panels, and other activities at Animal Behavior Society affiliated or sponsored meetings;
  • Professional and educational field work settings, including transport vehicles and housing associated with such settings;
  • Educational environments, including formal and informal educational spaces and housing associated with them;
  • Informal spaces where there are social activities with Animal Behavior Society members;
  • Informal and professional social networking sites and online platforms both affiliated and not affiliated with the Animal Behavior Society.

Participants in any event (virtual or in-person) hosted or sponsored by the Animal Behavior Society shall agree to abide by the ABS Code of Ethics and Member Conduct Attendees shall:

  • Treat all program leaders, participants, attendees, staff, and vendors with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Neither harass nor request or accept inappropriate favor from students, employees, or colleagues.
  • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals - e.g., shall avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, ABS staff and suppliers/vendors.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting/event venue. Event attendees found to be in violation may be asked to leave the event and associated hotel accommodations, without warning or refund and at cost to the attendee, and may face additional consequences as further detailed in the “Procedures for Reviewing Reported Violations of the Code of Ethics and Member Conduct.”

Unacceptable Behavior by ABS Society Members includes:

  • Harassment, intimidation or discrimination in any form, as further defined below.
  • Physical or verbal abuse.
  • Disruption of any aspect of an ABS sponsored event.
  • Disrespectful depiction of others

Harassing Behaviors that are prohibited and which may result in disciplinary action include:

  • Harassment in any form, including sexual harassment, denigrating jokes, stereotyping, or a recurring pattern of microinvalidations, microassaults, microaggressions, and microinsults (see Section 12);
  • Physical abuse or intimidation, including disregard for another’s safety;
  • Verbal or written abuse or intimidation (in-person or remotely), including but not limited to: harmful or negative comments related to race, color, national or ethnic origin, immigration status, religion, age, marital status, parental status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic background, level of education, disability, or veteran status;
  • Violating the previously communicated (verbally or nonverbally) physical, emotional, and sexual boundaries of others through the continuation of otherwise prohibited behaviors, or through verbal or written comments founded on any personal aspect of another individual;
  • Photographing, recording, or video-taping of others and/or the dissemination or distribution of photographs, recordings and video-tapings of others without their consent.
  • Display or distribution of images or recordings not directly related to scientific research involving provocative behavior, bigotry, nudity, sexual activities, or physical force against oneself, another person, or a community;
  • Intentional, unwelcomed physical behaviors (in-person or remotely), including but not limited to: stalking, physical contact, and aggressive or intimidating displays and/or body language;
  • Threats (implied or real) of physical, emotional, professional, or financial harm;

Any other behaviors that may reasonably be assumed to have the effect of creating, contributing to, or maintaining an environment that is hostile toward or damaging to a person or group.

Any member of the Animal Behavior Society or anyone associated with an Animal Behavior Society Sponsored event can report a case of alleged misconduct to the following email: [email protected] or in person or by email to any member of the Executive Committee.

Procedures for reviewing cases of alleged misconduct by Members of the Animal Behavior Society will follow those outlined in the current version of our “Procedures for Reviewing Violations of the Animal Behavior Society Code of Ethics” policy, which also includes a section discussing the “Procedure for Revoking Awards and Removing Membership, and a listing of the current members of the Executive Committee.