IIIF Code of Conduct

All IIIF events and interactions are covered by the following Code of Conduct. Changes will be tracked within the document and its internal change log.

Community Norms and Expectations

The IIIF Code of Conduct covers our behavior as members of the IIIF Community in any forum, including the IIIF-Discuss email list, IIIF Slack team and channels, GitHub, remote and in-person meetings, or private correspondence related to IIIF. IIIF is an inclusive, friendly and safe community, committed to openness and transparency in all interactions and activities. To reflect these commitments, we agree to operate under the following community norms:

  • We are considerate. We are all in this together. As an open, community-driven initiative, our work in the IIIF community includes software developers, managers, domain experts, researchers, administrators, vendors, commercial firms, and other stakeholders from multiple sectors across the globe. We value the diverse perspectives and expertise of all IIIF stakeholders and strive to keep all in mind when making decisions.
  • We are respectful. Everyone can make a valuable contribution to IIIF, and all contributions are welcome. When we see an opportunity for improvement or encounter a misunderstanding, we ask for clarification when appropriate rather than making assumptions, and offer constructive solutions. IIIF participants are expected to help create safe, respectful environments where thoughtful discussion and problem-solving can take place. If disagreements arise, we proceed in a polite and professional manner, identifying shared goals and common ground for moving forward. When frustrated, we step back and look for good intentions, not reasons to be more frustrated.
  • We are inclusive. As an international community, we are sensitive to many different social and cultural norms around language and behavior, and we strive to conduct ourselves, online and in person, in ways that are unlikely to cause offense. IIIF members communicate primarily in English, recognizing that English is not the native language for many in the community. We therefore strive to express ourselves simply and clearly, remembering that unnecessary use of jargon and slang will be a barrier to understanding for many of our colleagues. We recognize that not everyone may want or be able to travel internationally for IIIF events, and we strive to provide opportunities for remote participation whenever possible.
  • We are collaborative. Collaboration is vital to the IIIF community. We work with our own institutional teams, with other teams in the community, and with collaborators outside of our community on related projects. We collaborate to reduce redundancy, to share knowledge, to improve our products, and to perfect our processes. We strive to do our work as transparently as possible and we welcome new collaborators with enthusiasm. We also follow community guidelines for how to collaborate, working with community and technical groups, and including workflows and documented practices for contributing. We say thank you and let people know when they have done good work. It is a small thing, but it means a lot. When someone makes a contribution, helps us with a problem, or otherwise goes out of their way to make our work easier, we thank them individually and provide opportunities in the IIIF newsletter for recognition and thanks.
  • We are respectful of each other’s time. Much of the work done in this community is by volunteers. The depth of experience in the community is a great resource, but not an infinite one. We make an effort to look for existing resources and work through issues on our own before we take them to the community for help, and when we get help, we try to give back as well. We also recognize that additional time and attention is required to address behavior that does not adhere to our code of conduct.
  • When we are unsure, we ask for help. Nobody knows everything, and nobody is expected to be perfect in the IIIF community. Everyone here was new once. Questions are highly encouraged on the IIIF-Discuss email list, in Slack, and directly to the IIIF Staff (admin@iiif.io), who can delegate as necessary. Questions add to the community’s base of knowledge and ability to communicate effectively. Questions will always be treated respectfully.
  • When we disagree, we consult others and explore perspectives through discussion and healthy debate. Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time and the IIIF community is no exception. IIIF conversations are often information-rich and intended to generate discussion and debate. We discuss ideas from a standpoint of mutual respect and reasoned argument. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively and with the help of the community and community processes. The IIIF-Discuss email list, IIIF Community Groups, IIIF Coordinating Committee, the Editorial group, and dedicated IIIF staff can all be consulted on the proper direction to resolve a given conflict. We acknowledge there are different approaches to implementation in specific contexts and the community relies on principles of openness, sharing, and collaboration above specific implementation decisions, as outlined in the IIIF Editorial Process and IIIF design patterns.
  • We notice, call attention to, and help resolve potential problems. Community members should feel empowered to be Active Bystanders to call out bad behavior and step in to help resolve issues without waiting to escalate to a higher power. Such resolutions should be reported to the IIIF Code of Conduct Team at iiif-conduct@googlegroups.com.


We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. The IIIF community is dedicated to providing a harassment-free collaboration experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, faith, or anything else. We do not tolerate harassment of community participants in any form. Sexual or discriminatory language and imagery is not appropriate for any venue, including event presentations, email lists, teleconferences, and in-person gatherings. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled at the discretion of the event of community coordinators, and their details provided to partner institutions.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Offensive verbal comments, insults, or jokes related to physical or intellectual ability, gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, etc.
  • Discriminatory images in public spaces, including but not limited to sexually explicit or violent material
  • Deliberate intimidation, violent threats or language directed against another person
  • Stalking, or unwanted following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other communication
  • Inappropriate or unwanted physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention
  • Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
  • Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop

As this document outlines, participants in the IIIF community seek to foster a positive and supportive environment. We pride ourselves on building a productive, happy, and flexible community that can welcome new ideas in a complex field and foster collaboration between groups that ultimately share the same needs, interests, and goals.

Individuals who violate these guidelines will be notified and asked to change their behavior. Repeated violations may result in loss of membership in project groups, revocation of special access to project resources, and/or loss of access to project communication channels (IIIF-Discuss email list, Slack, GitHub, and others). Repeat offenders may be asked to stop participating in the project or directed to filter their participation through another member of their institution (if applicable).

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the community organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, or immediate expulsion from the event or communication channel. Participants asked, by anyone, to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Reporting Guidelines

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the event organizing team and/or Code of Conduct Team immediately. If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to notify them.

The Code of Conduct Team can be contacted directly at iiif-conduct@googlegroups.com. You may also contact individual members of the team, who will facilitate a resolution of the issue as needed on a case by case basis.

At in-person events, Code of Conduct Team members may be identified by special badges and introductions at the beginning, and will help participants contact security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. For locally-hosted events at which members of the Code of Conduct Team might not be present, at least two representatives from the local organizing team will be identified as appropriate contacts for code of conduct violation reporting.

For verbal reports, the following information will be collected. In written reports, please include as much information as possible, especially:

  • Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up).
  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well.
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
  • Your account of what occurred. If there is a record available (e.g. a mailing list archive or messages in a Slack channel) please include a link or screenshot.
  • Any additional context you believe existed surrounding the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is or may be ongoing.
  • Any other information you believe we should have.

Once a report has been received you will receive an email acknowledging receipt, or a verbal confirmation that your report has been noted. Present/available members of the Code of Conduct Team will meet to discuss the incident and determine:

  • A narrative of what happened.
  • Whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation.
  • Who violated the code of conduct.
  • Whether this is an ongoing situation, or if there is a threat to anyone’s physical safety.
    • If determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to physical safety, the Code of Conduct Team’s immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an “official” response until they believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is physically safe.

Actions and next steps will be determined on a case by case basis. Once the Code of Conduct Team has a complete account of the events, they will make a decision as to how to respond. Responses may include:

  • Nothing (if determined that no violation occurred).
  • A private reprimand.
  • A public reprimand.
  • An imposed vacation (i.e. asking someone to “take a week off” from a mailing list or Slack).
  • A permanent or temporary ban from some or all IIIF spaces (mailing lists, Slack, events, etc.).
  • A request for a public or private apology.

Within one week, the person who filed a report will receive a notice of a resolution and course of action, or explanation of why the situation is not yet resolved. Feedback on the decision from the reporter may be taken into account, but it may or may not affect the final outcome.

Finally, the Code of Conduct Team will make a report on the situation to the IIIF Coordinating Committee. The Committee may choose to make a public report of the incident.

All correspondence and notes related to the incident will be kept in a private folder only accessible by IIIF Consortium staff, to document patterns that may emerge, even over longer timeframes. Correspondence may be anonymized for internal sharing as appropriate, for example, if a decision of the Code of Conduct Team is appealed.

In the event that a member of the Code of Conduct Team is involved in the incident, that member agrees to recuse themselves of any discussion, and the Code of Conduct Team will communicate about the reported issue outside of channels that include that member. If necessary, that member may be removed from the Code of Conduct Team.

IIIF Code of Conduct Team Selection Process

The Code of Conduct Team comprises all dedicated IIIF staff, plus a minimum of four representatives from different IIIF Consortium (IIIF-C) member institutions, and four individuals from across the IIIF community (not from IIIF-Consortium institutions). The team is composed based on a first-come, first-served volunteer approach, with rolling turnover as follows:

  • A message will go out to the IIIF-Discuss email list calling for individuals to serve for two years on the IIIF Code of Conduct Team. The call for volunteers will remain open for one month (4 weeks).
  • Individuals will express their willingness to volunteer via an online form, with timestamp.
    • If more than one individual from a single institution volunteers, the first volunteer will be selected.
    • If there are more than 4 volunteers from IIIF-C member institutions, the first 4 to respond will be selected.
    • If there are more than 4 volunteers from non-IIIF-C member institutions, the first 4 to respond will be selected.
    • If after one month there are less than the allotted amount of volunteers, IIIF staff will reach out to specific individuals to recruit.
  • Volunteer terms are expected to last for two years (24 months). Every 12 months, a new call for volunteers will aim to replace existing team members on a staggered rolling basis.
    • If a team member wishes to roll off before the end of their one-year term, they are asked to help find a volunteer replacement.

Code of Conduct Team members are expected to actively monitor violation reports and be willing and able to quickly meet to discuss violations, in order to determine a resolution in a timely manner. If a member of the Code of Conduct Team is the cause of a IIIF Code of Conduct complaint, they will be asked to step down from the team, and a replacement will be appointed by IIIF staff.

2017-2018 Code of Conduct Team members include:

  • Glen Robson (IIIF Technical Coordinator)
  • Ruth Bowler (The Walters Art Museum)
  • Karen Estlund (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Yong Liu (Hebei Academy of Social Sciences)
  • Katherine Lynch (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Sarah Lorenzon Ferreira (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Julien A. Raemy (HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Haute école de gestion de Genève)
  • Jack Reed (Stanford)
  • Emma Stanford (Bodleian Libraries)

For additional information on addressing conduct issues both virtually and at in-person events, see the Guidelines for Code of Conduct Team Members.

Appeal Process

To appeal a decision of the Code of Conduct Team, contact the IIIF Coordinating Committee at iiif-cocommittee@googlegroups.com with your appeal and the IIIF Coordinating Committee members will review the case. If there is a potential conflict of interest, parties will be asked to recuse themselves.


The IIIF Code of Conduct has been modeled on the Code of Conduct policies from Islandora, Samvera, DuraSpace, and the Digital Library Federation (DLF), as well as the CLIR/DLF Deepening Resolve statement. The Active Bystander model is based on Stanford University’s program, which is based on research being done at the University of New Hampshire, that encourages all members of the community to be Active Bystanders against sexual violence. The IIIF community has adopted relevant portions of the model.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Change Log

Date Description
2017-12-01 Removing Sheila from the list of members.
2017-09-28 Added 2017-2018 IIIF Code of Conduct Team member names
2017-08-01 Added community norms and expectations, reporting guidelines, conduct team selection process, appeal process, and acknowledgements
2015-12-01 First release