Protocols for Ethics Violation Reporting

Alligatoroid skull,  Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, photo credit: C. A. Brochu

Protocols for Ethics Violation Reporting

Reporting an Allegation of Code of Conduct Violation
If you witness or experience prohibited behavior, SVP provides several ways that you can submit a report. Allegations of misconduct must be submitted in writing (see “What to include in a report”) via one of the following:

  1. Anonymous or non-anonymous reports may be submitted through the NAVEX Platform accessible here.
  2. Non-anonymous reports may be submitted to the Ethics Committee using safesvp@vertpaleo.org.
  3. Non-anonymous reports may also be submitted in writing to:

Chair of Ethics Committee
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
7918 Jones Branch Drive, Suite 300
McLean, VA 22102 USA

What to Include in an Allegation Report:
All allegations must be made in writing in one of the three ways described in the previous section. Allegation reports must contain the following:

  1. Unless this is an anonymous report via the NAVEX Platform, the name and affiliation of the individual(s) submitting the allegation.
  2. Name(s) of individuals alleged to have engaged in the prohibited behavior(s), if known, or as much identifying information as possible.
  3. If there is a victim (and if this is not an anonymous report by the victim), then include the name of the victim(s) and affiliation when possible.
  4. Description of the allegation that includes the date(s) and circumstances of the alleged ethics violation. This should include the type of prohibited behavior(s) as defined in the Code of Ethics that is being alleged. Include names and affiliations of witnesses, when possible.
  5. Any documentation or other relevant items with a description of how each item relates to the allegation.
  6. A statement of any real or perceived conflicts of interest related to any party named in the allegation (e.g., reporters, victims, alleged perpetrators, witnesses) and any members of the Ethics Committee or Executive Committee to ensure a fair and unbiased process.

Allegations may be returned if they do not contain the above information.

What if you need immediate help during an SVP event?
If you witness a crime or behavior that is an immediate threat to public safety, make sure you are safe and then call emergency services (e.g., 911 in the USA).

If you are experiencing or witness prohibited behavior that is not an immediate threat to public safety during an SVP event (meeting, fieldtrip, symposium, online event, etc.), but you need to report DURING the event to stop the observed behavior, please alert the leader of that event immediately (e.g., fieldtrip leader, online event organizer) and, as soon as possible, contact the Vice President/Chair of the Ethics Committee Margaret Lewis (Margaret.Lewis@stockton.edu) or email safesvp@vertpaleo.org. Once you are able, please submit an official written report documenting what happened using one of the above three listed methods of reporting and including “What to Include in an Allegation Report”.

Required Reporters
Society members acting in leadership positions, whether elected (Ex Comm members), appointed (e.g., committee members) or temporary (e.g., fieldtrip leaders, symposium organizers), are required to report any incidents of prohibited behavior that they observe directly or that are reported to them. They must document the incident and any action(s) taken. This report will be submitted to the Ethics Committee to determine whether or not actions taken were appropriate and whether there is need for additional sanctions.