Galaxy Project Code of Conduct


The Galaxy Community is dedicated to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment in any form.

This Code of Conduct outlines the behaviours deemed acceptable and unacceptable to the global Galaxy community and applies to all public Galaxy spaces, including but not limited to events, GitHub, Gitter, Matrix, Slack, Twitter and the Galaxy mailing lists, both online and off.

Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the Galaxy CoC Committee. Some Galaxy Community spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Our principles

The Galaxy Community strives to:

  • Be friendly and patient.
  • Be welcoming: We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, color, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.
  • Be considerate: Your work will be used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we're a world-wide community, so you might not be communicating in someone else's primary language.
  • Be respectful: Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.
  • Try to understand why we disagree: Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Remember that we’re different. Diversity contributes to the strength of our community, which is composed of people from a wide range of backgrounds. Different people have different perspectives on issues. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. Don’t forget that it is human to err, and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, focus on helping to resolve issues and learning from mistakes.
  • Be careful in the words that we choose: Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants. Harassment and other exclusionary behavior aren't acceptable. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

    • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
    • Unwelcome comments or jokes, to an audience or personally, regarding another person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, religion, parenting, drugs, and employment.
    • Mocking or insulting another person’s intellect, work, perspective, or question/comment.
    • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
    • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
    • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (e.g., textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop.
    • Threats of violence.
    • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
    • Deliberate intimidation.
    • Stalking or following.
    • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
    • Sustained disruption of discussion.
    • Unwelcome sexual attention.
    • Patterns of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
    • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
    • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent, except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
    • Malicious publication of otherwise private communication, or private personal information (“doxing” or “outing”).

The Galaxy Community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. The Galaxy CoC Committee reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’.
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial.
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions.


If you are being harassed by a member of the Galaxy Community, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please send a report via this form that will be forwarded to the Galaxy CoC Committee. Alternatively, you can email the Code of Conduct Committee. If you are uncomfortable reporting to the Code of Conduct Committee as a group, you can contact any individual Committee member via email. If the person who is harassing you is on the Committee, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can.

To protect volunteers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made with the deliberate intention of deceiving or misleading the committee.

This code of conduct applies to Galaxy Community spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member of Galaxy Community outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by Galaxy Community members seriously. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time. The abuse team reserves the right to exclude people from the Galaxy Community based on their past behavior, including behavior outside Galaxy Community spaces and behavior towards people who are not in the Galaxy Community.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of Galaxy Community members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the Galaxy CoC Committee may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Galaxy Community spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Galaxy Community members or the general public. If the harasser is directly funded through the Galaxy project, the harasser may be subject to additional oversight at their home institution.

The Galaxy CoC Committee

Member Pronouns Language Location Joined the project (year) Relevant information
Assunta DeSanto she/her EN US 2020 Member of the Galaxy Working Groups: Backend, User Interface / User Experience, GOATS
Michelle Savage she/her EN US 2022 Ombudsperson in the Bioconductor Community CoC Committee, member of the GOATS Galaxy Working Group
Frederik Coppens he/him NL, EN, FR BE 2015 Member of the Galaxy Executive Board
Helena Rasche she/they EN NL 2013 LGBTQ+ 🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍🌈, not funded by the Galaxy project, member of the GOATS Galaxy Working Group
Ross Lazarus he/him EN AU 2006 Retired, not funded by the Galaxy project, member of the Galaxy Executive Board

The Galaxy Code of Conduct Committee has appointed an Ombudsperson from the Bioconductor community to provide independent and impartial oversight and to resolve conflicts. This person can be contacted in case you believe that other avenues of reporting may be biased.

Member Pronouns Language Location Relevant information
Laurent Gatto he/him FR, EN BE Ombudsperson, member of the Bioconductor CoC Committee

Attribution & Acknowledgements

This CoC is based on the Geek Feminism Code of Conduct and the Open Code of Conduct from the TODOGroup.

Historical note

From 2015 through 2021 the Galaxy Project Code of Conduct resided in the main Galaxy repository on GitHub, and updates to it were coordinated by the Committers Group for that repo.

That code of conduct served us reasonably well over the years, but it is time for a refresh. Since 2015, the world has become much more aware of the need for codes of conduct, and best practices for creating and enforcing them have moved forward significantly.

As a result it is past time to update both our code of conduct and our process for maintaining it. The first step in that was to move the Code of Conduct to the Galaxy Community Hub, to make it more visible and to reflect that it is a document for the whole community.

The Galaxy Outreach, Training and Support Working Group has worked on a first draft of a new Code and new processes. The final Code and processes were adopted after being discussed, revised, and approved by the community.

Former members of the CoC Committee

Member Pronouns Language Location Joined the project (year) Relevant information
Beatriz Serrano Solano she/her ES, EN DE 2020 Ombudsperson in the Bioconductor Community CoC Committee, member of the GOATS Galaxy Working Group