Official announcement from the Open Science MOOC Steering Committee

Official announcement from the Open Science MOOC Steering Committee addressing organizational changes concerning our (former) steering committee member and OS MOOC founder Jon Tennant.

The Steering Committee (SC) of the Open Science MOOC (OS MOOC) convened in the week of 11-15th November 2019 to address the removal of Jon Tennant by the OpenCon Code of Conduct Committee from their community, as well as his own subsequent statement in response. At the time of these announcements, Jon Tennant was a member of the SC and the main contributor to the OS MOOC.

As a community, we respect the decision made by OpenCon, and the actions implemented based on their Code of Conduct (CoC). We are dedicated to offering a safe and welcoming space for everyone in our community and we are therefore committed to upholding high standards of conduct, especially with regard to our leadership responsibilities as the SC. Leadership positions bring inherent power dynamics with them that impact the community. The OS MOOC SC realizes this and therefore is taking steps to affirm the community’s spaces for unimpeded collaboration.

Based on the two statements referenced above, the timeline of the original OpenCon ban (Nov 2018) and its publication (Nov 2019), and after deliberation, we have decided to take immediate measures and commit to implementing long-term changes in our organizational structure to ensure a safe environment for all members and collaborators of the OS MOOC.

We did not receive any official incident reports pertaining to Jon Tennant. However, given the fact that he was previously part of the CoC committee, we understand this might have prevented such from reaching us. We have put in place corrective measures to improve our reporting protocol (see points 1, 2, 6, 7). Based on our amendments, we actively encourage reporting any behaviours by members of the SC or the broader OS MOOC community that might indicate potential CoC violations.

We will further consult with external experts and our community and might be taking additional steps. The SC further evaluates Jon Tennant’s possible long-term involvement in the project.

The OS MOOC SC is taking the following steps, effective immediately:

(1) Jon Tennant has volunteered to step down from the SC and relinquished control over the OS MOOC’s official communication channels until further notice. He is also permanently replaced as CoC contact point and sole lead instructor on Eliademy.

(2) Chris Hartgerink steps down from the SC in order to act instead as an interim external member of the OS MOOC CoC committee.

(3) Johanna Havemann and Lisa Hehnke are appointed as co-lead instructors on Eliademy and share all responsibilities regarding the operations of the OS MOOC on this platform until further notice.

(4) The CoC was updated and is now more prominent on the OS MOOC’s website as well as in all 10 module repositories on GitHub.

In addition, the OS MOOC SC commits to urgency on dealing with the following items below, and will address those allowing the necessary time to design and implement mid-term and long-term solutions. We hold ourselves accountable to provide monthly public updates on our website.

(5) We will restructure the inner operations of the OS MOOC and distribute its core responsibilities - including, but not limited to, managing all official communication channels - more broadly and aim to demonstrate enhanced transparency during this process.

(6) An external CoC referee detached from the SC activities will be appointed. In addition, we are seeking and will soon announce a public call for a second external, independent CoC expert to advise the SC impartially in future cases.

(7) We will create an additional email-address for all CoC-related questions, comments, and other inquiries that only the CoC committee will have access to. The members of the CoC committee will treat all communication via this channel as strictly confidential, unless they are explicitly allowed to disclose it.

(8) The OS MOOC’s CoC incident reporting protocol will be revised by the CoC committee in the interest of better protecting our members. This will be opened up for community feedback.

(9) We will consider adding an official module or submodule on Ethics in Open Science to the core curriculum of the OS MOOC and will seek community input on the content.

Regarding the above-mentioned solutions, we will provide regular open updates on the advancements in these issues via our blog.

For any feedback and comments on this statement, please contact at any given time. We will treat all communication from and to this account as confidential, unless both sides explicitly agree otherwise.

All current members of the SC (i.e. excluding Jon Tennant) were involved in developing this statement and signed it. Provided that any SC member(s) see(s) the need for further clarification, we will announce such in subsequent announcements.

Signatories in alphabetical order:

Julien Colomb (@j_colomb)

Valentina Goglio

Ivo Grigorov (@OAforClimate)

Chris Hartgerink (@chartgerink)

Ricardo Hartley (@ametodic0)

Johanna Havemann (@johave)

Lisa Hehnke (@DataPlanes)

Bianca Kramer (@MsPhelps)

Christopher Madan (@cMadan)

Paola Masuzzo (@pcmasuzzo)

Tobias Steiner (@cmplxtv_studies)

Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra (@etothczifra)

Rutger Vos (@rvosa)