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ADHO Enacts Expanded Code of Conduct

In December 2023, ADHO published a new Code of Conduct document, which was unanimously approved by the members of the Constituent Organization Board (COB) and enacted immediately thereafter. This greatly expanded and enhanced Code is the work of many members of the ADHO community, over a number of years. It grows from the ADHO Conference Code of Conduct, which was enacted in 2018 and itself was informed by the work of many in the digital humanities and adjacent fields. At its heart, the Code is an active representation of ADHO’s shared values:

  • To further, support, and promote digital humanities research and education.
  • To serve as a community-based advisory force for the digital humanities.
  • To encourage excellence in digital humanities research, publication, partnership, and education.

We understand that we cannot hold to these values if we don’t act as an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming community committed to challenging and changing systems that promote, perpetuate, or tolerate injustice and inequalities. 

While the original Code of Conduct was designed to address experience at the annual ADHO international conferences, leadership realized that participation in ADHO-organized and -sponsored events and initiatives extends throughout the year, across borders and media. In drafting the expanded code, we had to identify what forms of participation should – or even could – be agreed to, especially in consideration that ours is a representative professional group, that our ability to enforce a code is limited to our professional context by volunteers from many countries who are products of own own professional environments.

It is nevertheless incumbent upon us to do the best we can. Therefore, in addition to expanding the scope of the Code of Conduct, we have articulated regulations that apply to all ADHO activities, established a complaints procedure, and identified ‘trusted individuals’ who will participate in the facilitation of this procedure. The first group of individuals will serve a shortened term – through the DH2024 conference in August 2024. The trusted individuals representing the COB and EB will be announced in January. One member from among the DH2024 Local Organizers will join the group prior to the conference.

We consider the Code of Conduct to be a living document that is maintained in line with our lived experience. We publish it in the hope that it will not be necessary, but in acknowledgement that in order to ensure that our experiences are safe, respectful, and collegial, there must be stated expectations, guidelines, and processes in place.

Christof Schöch, COB President
Diane Jakacki, EB Chair