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SEPM Ethics and Policies

Please review the SEPM Ethics and Policy Guidelines found below: 

SEPM Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct
SEPM Code of Conduct
SEPM Statement of Ethics in Research and Publication

SEPM Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct

This general Guideline of ethical conduct is based on the American Geoscience Institute Multi-Society Ethics Guidelines.

SEPM also has a detailed Code of Conduct which addresses all forms of harassment which are not acceptable behavior at any SEPM activity, including online or face to face events. All SEPM Members and attendees at SEPM activities must adhere to this Code of Conduct.

AGI Guidelines for Ethical Professional Conduct

Geoscientists play a critical role in ethical decision-making about stewardship of Earth, the use of its resources, and the interactions between humankind and the planet on which we live. The public must trust and have confidence in the work of individual geoscientists and the geosciences as a profession. The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) expects those in the profession to adhere to the highest ethical standards in all professional activities. Geoscientists should engage responsibly in the conduct and reporting of their work, acknowledging the uncertainties and limits of current understanding inherent in studies of natural systems. Geoscientists should respect the work of colleagues and those who use and rely upon the products of their work.

In day-to-day activities geoscientists should:

As a member of a professional and scientific community, geoscientists should:

SEPM Code of Conduct

The Society takes any form of harassment seriously and there may be significant consequences for any unacceptable behavior including but not limited to membership revocation, prohibition from future Society activities, and notification to other concerned parties.


SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) is an international Society dedicated to the dissemination of scientific information on sedimentology geology.

SEPM encourages open and respectful dialogue at all of the Society’s activities, including but not limited to:  conferences, field trips, short courses, online presence, social media platforms and its numerous publications.  SEPM promotes, provides, expects and endorses a professional and respectful atmosphere and values a diversity of views and opinions.
 The Society is dedicated to providing a harassment, intimidation, and discrimination-free experience for everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual or gender orientation, national origin, age, disability, appearance or genetic information. The Society does not tolerate harassment of individuals attending or participating in the Society’s activities in any form. Language, images, or harmful stereotypes invoking any, but not limited to, the categories listed above are not appropriate for any venue or media. 

At all SEPM activities, participants, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, SEPM staff, service providers, and others in attendance are expected to abide by this SEPM Code of Conduct, which may include participating or cooperating in an investigation of a violation or suspected violation of this Code of Conduct. 

Participants violating this policy may be sanctioned by the Society, including but not limited to, being expelled from an activity without reimbursement of any fees paid and/or barred from participating in future activities of the Society.  

Expected Behavior

All participants, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, SEPM staff, service providers, and others in involved in any SEPM activity are to:

Unacceptable Behavior 

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:

Alcohol consumption or use of other intoxicating substances is neither an excuse nor an invitation for violation of this Code of Conduct.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety or a criminal act is expected to contact the appropriate local authorities. Those witnessing a potential criminal act should also take actions necessary to maintain their own personal safety. 

If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior while attending an SEPM event, please immediately notify SEPM leadership (i.e., a SEPM Council member or SEPM staff, SEPM course instructor or SEPM trip leader) who is on-site in person so that immediate action may be taken. SEPM onsite leadership may take immediate action depending on the nature of the incident to ensure the safety or continuity of any SEPM activity.  

Please follow up by officially reporting on the behavior.  This can be done by e-mail or by phone.  Contact information can be found in the following links – SEPM Council and SEPM Staff . You may also email SEPM at It is very important that an official complaint report should be filed so that appropriate follow up can be done by SEPM.  If no official complaint is filed, SEPM cannot do any follow up on the incident.

If you are unsure whether the incident is a violation of this Code of Conduct, or whether the space where it happened is covered by this Code of Conduct, the Society encourages you to still report it to SEPM. The Society would much rather have a few extra reports than miss a report of an actual violation. The Society does not consider it a negative action when someone reports an incident even if SEPM finds the incident is not a violation of this Code of Conduct. Knowing about incidents that are not violations, or incidents that happen outside our spaces, can help us to improve the Code of Conduct or the processes surrounding it.

All reports will be kept as confidential as possible, subject to the need to disclose information in the investigation and the Society’s response process or as otherwise required by applicable law.  In your report please include:

What happens after you file a report?

If you have provided your contact information or the Society knows your contact information, you will receive an email from the SEPM acknowledging receipt of your report. 

To the extent possible, SEPM will review the report and any incident to which it has information even if a report has not been made to determine:

The Society appreciates your assistance in helping the Society provide a professional and respectful atmosphere at all activities associated with the Society.  If you have any questions about this Code of Conduct, please feel free to contact Dr. Howard Harper, SEPM Executive Director at or +1 918-808-6985

A PDF version of this Code is available for download here SEPM-CodeofConduct-Final-4-4-2019.pdf

SEPM Statement of Ethics in Research and Publication

The following principles of ethical and professional conduct apply to all persons who submit manuscripts or book proposals for review or publication by SEPM and to those persons who review or edit manuscripts for publications related to SEPM. General policy rules include:

  1. Author Inclusion and Exclusion
  2. Data and Copyright Issues
  3. Editor and Reviewer Roles
  4. Research Misconduct – Recognition and Guidelines for Action

Author Inclusion and Exclusion

General Rule: Recognition of authorship should indicate a substantive contribution to the intellectual content of the publication, and all substantive contributors should have the option of being listed as coauthors. Author order in the byline is a collective decision of the authors or study group. The authors should resolve disagreements about author order before the article is submitted for publication.

1. Individuals will claim authorship of a paper only if they have made a substantive contribution. Authorship may legitimately be claimed if persons:

2. Authors will not add or delete authors from a manuscript submitted for publication without consent of those authors. This consent must be forwarded to the publication editors.

3. All authors who have contributed intellectual content must have read and agreed to the content of the submitted manuscript or book proposal, as well as any subsequent versions. Authors may not include as coauthor(s) on publications any individual who has not read and agreed to the content of the all versions of the manuscript up to and including the final version.

Data and Copyright Issues

General Rule: SEPM does not publish articles as original material if the underlying ideas have beenpreviously published. The readers, reviewers, and editors of SEPM publications expect that manuscripts or book proposals submitted for publication:

  1. Are the work of the author(s)
  2. Represent original work
  3. Have not been plagiarized - i.e., taken from another source or author without explicit acknowledgement or permission - including self-plagiarism

4. Authors will not submit for publication any manuscript or book proposal containing data they are not authorized to use.

SEPM assumes the principal investigator(s) of a research project retain the right to control use of resulting unpublished data unless otherwise specified by contract or explicit agreement. A copy of all such agreements must be forwarded to the editors upon submission of the manuscript. Submission of a manuscript by a corporate employee will be presumed to indicate that the employee's company has consented to release of such material for external publication by the company.

5. Authors will not present research data, methods, results, or interpretation as new if they have been published or submitted elsewhere.

The corresponding author must include in the cover letter a statement to the SEPM editor about all submissions and previous materials that might be considered to be redundant or duplicate publication of similar work. This statement will indicate if the manuscript includes materials on which the authors have previously published, have submitted a related report to another publication, or have distributed the materials on the Internet. Copies of the related material should be submitted to the relevant SEPM editor to assist with the editorial decision of the manuscript, accompanied by a cover letter that explains in detail how the submitted manuscript overlaps with and differs from other submitted or published work––including Internet resources.

6. Authors will not submit a manuscript or book proposal for publication while a comparable manuscript or proposal is under review for possible publication elsewhere.

It is the responsibility of the authors to inform the publication editors of any other submitted manuscripts or book proposals that may compromise this rule.

7. When using ideas or results of other persons in manuscripts submitted for publication, authors will give full attribution of sources. If the ideas or results have not been published, they may not be used without permission of the original researcher. Illustrations or tables from other publications or manuscripts may be used only with permission of the copyright owner.

Authors frequently wish to reuse previously published images and other copyrighted material. It is each author' s responsibility to follow journal or publisher guidelines to reuse any copyrighted material and provide proper attribution. This aspect includes the author's own work even if the copyright was transferred to a publisher or journal. Authors should contact the journal or publisher of the source material or consult the permissions information page that can be found on many of their web sites. Permission should be granted in writing and the authors should retain this documentation. The SEPM editor should receive a copy of this notification with the initial submission.

8. Authors submitting manuscripts for publication will promptly report to editors any errors in research results or interpretations discovered after submission or publication.

Editor and Reviewer Roles

General Rule: Progress in science relies heavily on effective communication of trusted information. Review by objective, impartial, and competent reviewers represents the fundamental basis for maintaining this trust. As such, editors and reviewers play important roles in SEPM’s mission and have special responsibilities.

9. Editors or reviewers will treat manuscripts under review as confidential, recognizing them as the intellectual property of the author(s).

10. Scientists will not serve as editors or reviewers of a manuscript if present or past connections with he author or the author’s institution may prevent objective evaluation of the work.

11. Scientists will not purposely delay publication of another person’s manuscript to gain advantage over that person.

Questions about our SEPM ethics, guidelines and policies? Please contact our executive director for more information. 

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