Events Code of Conduct

Creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive community of bibliographical researchers that encourages participation by all those interested in bibliographical studies is a fundamental value of the BSA. We expect members to treat others with respect and trust and to conduct research with integrity – for example, citing sources and recognizing the contributions of others.

As a learned society, the BSA expects appropriate professional conduct of its members and participants when they convene at Annual Meetings and events sponsored or co-sponsored throughout the year and as they exchange scholarly research in BSA publications.

This code aims to establish standards of behavior that protect all participants from abuse of any kind.  Participants, who include, but are not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, BSA staff, service providers, and others, are required to abide by this BSA Events Code of Conduct, which applies to:

  • All events sponsored or co-sponsored by the BSA at the BSA Annual Meeting

  • All venues of the BSA Annual Meeting including online-only or hybrid events, ancillary events, official and unofficial social gatherings, and interactions online and on social media

  • Any event, including virtual or online-only event, that is operated, sponsored or affiliated with BSA, including regional and international meetings

  • BSA Board and committee meetings

  • BSA programmatic activities

Anyone who violates this policy will be subject to consequences for unacceptable behavior, as described below.

Expected behavior ↑

  • Treat with respect and consideration all participants, attendees, BSA staff, and vendors, valuing a diver­sity of views and opinions.

  • Be collegial and collaborative.

  • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.

  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other participants.

  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert BSA staff immediately if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.

  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, BSA-contracted facility, or any other venue.

  • Be respectful of all members of the public sharing the meeting venue.

  • Exercise good judgment when using social media to communicate and foster exchange.

Unacceptable behavior ↑

Unacceptable behaviors that warrant further action include, but are not limited to:

  • Intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions by any participant, at all BSA activities and in one-on-one communications, including online communications, carried out in the context of BSA activities

  • Harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments or visual images related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, age, appearance, or any other personal characteristic

  • Inappropriate or gratuitous use of still or moving images (e.g., ones that are sexually suggestive or racially stereotyped) in presentations

  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following in person or online

  • Photography or recording without prior permission

  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events

  • Unwelcome and uninvited attention or contact in person or online

  • Physical assault (including unwelcome touching or groping)

  • Real or implied threat of physical harm

  • Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm

In compliance with established citation and copyright guidelines in handling the intellectual property of others, including all abstracts, papers, and talks presented at BSA activities, participants (both presenters and audience members) may not:

  • Cite unpublished work heard or read at a BSA activity, including seminar abstracts, without prior permission

  • Recirculate unpublished work heard or read at a BSA activity, including seminar abstracts, without prior consent

  • Post audio or video recordings of event presentations to social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) without permissions of presenters

  • Fail to comply with presenters’ requests that their work or comments not be shared on social media, including but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or similar sites

Retaliation against anyone making a complaint or assisting with the investigation of a complaint is a violation of this policy.

Falsely reporting a violation of this policy is a violation of this policy.

BSA staff (or their designee) or security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund.

When to involve emergency services, police, or venue security ↑

Police or venue security should be notified ONLY in the following circumstances:

  • BSA staff (or their designee) has been informed of an imminent or emergent threat to the safety of participants, such as an active shooter, or a bomb threat; OR

  • The target has explicitly requested that police or security be notified.

Emergency services (but not the police) should be contacted if a participant has suffered a serious injury requiring immediate medical attention.

Reporting unacceptable behavior ↑

Any person who is subjected to, or notices that someone else is being subjected to, behavior that violates this code of conduct may contact the BSA President, Executive Director, or BSA representative at the venue.

The BSA also retains a consultant to serve as a confidential resource on violations of this code of conduct. Any person who is subjected to, or notices that someone else is being subjected to, behavior that violates this code of conduct may report the incident to Paula Brantner, the Society’s Accountability Officer, by completing this form, by reaching out to her by email at, or by phone at 202-688-7297.

All complaints will be treated seriously and responded to promptly.

All reports are kept confidential to the extent possible. Anonymous reports will be accepted.

Adjudication procedures ↑

The full text of the Professional Conduct Policy, including policies and procedures for making formal complaints and their review, is available via the link below.