Code of Conduct


Last updated in consultation with the CanCOVID Intersectoral Advisory Committee: June 21, 2021

Members of the CanCOVID network are individuals with an interest in contributing or sharing the best available evidence to inform Canada’s pandemic response, in their roles as researchers, industry representatives, patients, decision makers and/or healthcare professionals. Applications to register as an individual member must include the completion of a limited number of required fields to enable identification of people and affiliated organizations; we do not permit anonymous or organizational membership. When participating in any CanCOVID activities, our members are expected to participate in a respectful and proactive manner that contributes to the benefit and well-being of our communities.

CanCOVID is committed to open science and academic freedom in advancing knowledge in accordance with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada[1], which recognizes the value of reasoned discourse, rigorous research and peer review. This commitment comes with responsibilities to ensure respect for others and that this freedom is exercised in a reasonable way, including the management of inappropriate claims or interpretations of academic freedom. CanCOVID expects its members to be guided by evidence, be open to submitting scientific claims to rigorous and public review by experts, and to be grounded in the best available evidence.

CanCOVID uses an online Slack-based collaboration platform intended to connect and coordinate the COVID‑19 research community across Canada to share ideas, data, and resources, and to support institutions in the pandemic and post-pandemic response.

Participating in this platform implies consent to abide by this Code of Conduct in all aspects of engaging with the platform. We may make changes to this Code of Conduct at the sole and absolute discretion of CanCOVID. We will notify you of changes by updating the “Last Updated” date of this page and changes will be effective immediately upon posting of the updated Code of Conduct. We encourage you to periodically review this Code of Conduct to stay informed of updates.

Activity within the platform shall not be anonymous; all participants shall be identified clearly by their professional name and affiliation(s). The security of any sensitive data between participants must be respected, and only shared through approved secure protocols under the authority of a valid Data Sharing Agreement or equivalent agreement. All participants must abide by standard research ethics and scientific integrity policies such as the Tri-Agency Framework for the Responsible Conduct of Research, including giving proper credit where it is due. Respecting limits (such as on confidentiality and further distribution) defined by researchers supplying information is expected.

CanCOVID Slack members will recognize that a diverse and inclusive environment has the greatest potential to generate the best results. Diversity and inclusivity will be actively encouraged at all levels within the platform structure from individual channel membership to the leadership of the platform.

As the platform will have participants from diverse backgrounds, the environment should be one of mutual human respect. Harassment is specifically prohibited. Harassment is understood as any behaviour that is known, or ought reasonably to be known, to threaten or offend another person or group of people. It includes verbal comments, and other forms of conduct, directed against a person or group because of their gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical disability, or ethnicity. For example, this prohibits, among other things, deliberate intimidation, or disruption of open communication.

Community members will recognize that incoherent, unorganized, non-evidence-based, or alarmist messages to the public or the media can be damaging. Research results should not be broadcast before being confirmed, vetted, and shared appropriately. If early results with public health policy implications are being shared their provisional nature should be clearly identified.

Marketing or business promotion efforts, including efforts to raise capital, are inconsistent with the spirit of CanCOVID and are forbidden. Sharing or using member information including names and email addresses outside of the platform is forbidden without explicit permission from the respective individuals.

CanCOVID reserves the right to remove any comments or posts that it deems inappropriate. An inappropriate comment includes but is not limited to:

Members asked to stop any inappropriate behaviour are expected to comply immediately. The moderators and platform administrators have the right to remove members who do not comply with this Code of Conduct, or if they demonstrate disrespectful and unethical interactions with their colleagues or our staff members.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, witness violations of this Code of Conduct or have any other concerns, please bring this to the attention of the members of the CanCOVID Team via a direct message, to our moderators, or via email at

We thank you in advance for your compliance with these expectations, and we look forward to engaging with you through the various activities of CanCOVID.

[1] Universities Canada. 2011.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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