Digital Technology Center Ethical Guidelines

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA has a "Code of Conduct" that applies to all University of Minnesota faculty, students, and staff. In addition to this code of conduct, the Digital Technology Center has a set of Ethical Guidelines that enumerates what constitutes unethical behavior and specifies the DTC's policies regarding harassment. These guidelines are as follows:

The facilities and resources of the Digital Technology Center are provided to support the research and scholarship of our principal investigators and their coworkers and students. The productive functioning of the systems and processes involved depends in part upon the cooperation of all users and participants. Any activities involving the computers, networks, printing devices, or other support facilities which disrupts their intended use or any activities that interfere with fair peer review or other administrative decisions is harmful to the Digital Technology Center and to the community of researchers and scholars. Intentional participation in such disruptive activities or negligence that leads to such disruption is unethical and will be considered grounds for disciplinary and legal actions and for restricting or prohibiting future access to the facilities and resources by the person or persons involved.

Such unethical behavior includes but is not limited to:

  1. disruption of networks;
  2. unauthorized usage or alteration of computers, computer systems, the computer network, software, programs, or data;
  3. unauthorized alteration or damage to computer or software documentation;
  4. causing resources to be wasted, including time of personnel, computer cycles, storage capacity, communications bandwidth, manuals, books, library materials, supplies, duplication, and printing resources, whether directly wasted by the user or wasted by responsible system people for detection, control, and eradication of infections;
  5. illegal copying of software, music and such, or running servers for the purpose of illegal distribution of software, music and such;
  6. compromised integrity of security systems, computer-based information, or the privacy of individuals;
  7. any attempt to sabotage the work of another person or any action which deprives another person of access to research opportunities or facilities that should have been available to that person;
  8. threats of disruptive behavior against persons, procedures, or facilities;
  9. posting obscene or other inappropriate material on the Internet.
  10. fabrication, falsification, misrepresentation, misappropriation, or plagiarism of research results or research proposals;
  11. conduct that corrupts the scientific record;
  12. failure to report conflict of interest;
  13. biased peer review or interference with a fair peer review by others.

Maintaining security is every user's responsibility. Users should keep passwords confidential.

All Digital Technology Center researchers are encouraged to adopt cooperative attitudes towards research and scholarship in their own work and to encourage these attitudes in their coworkers.

The Digital Technology Center strives, as do other departments within the University of Minnesota, to create and maintain a harassment-free workplace that is respectful to all persons coming into contact with the Digital technology Center. To this end, the Digital Technology Center prohibits and will not tolerate offensive and aggressive behavior in the workplace it provides to its faculty, researchers, and staff. The DTC defines offensive and aggressive behavior as follows:

Offensive behavior is defined by the Digital Technology Center as action or conduct that has the purpose of effect of interfering with any person’s work, academic or professional performance. Offensive behavior includes, but is not limited to, abusive language, verbal aggression, which includes defiance, discriminatory remarks, derogatory and disparaging comments, bullying, combativeness, put-downs, threats, and swearing and profane speech. Physical aggression is defined by the Institute to include, but is not limited to physically intimidating body language, interfering with the free movement of another person, hostility, overt or otherwise and unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature or otherwise.

In addition, the DTC does not tolerate sexual harassment in any form. The University of Minnesota defines sexual harassment as:

"Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic advancement, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual, (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment."

If a DTC researcher or staff member feels that an incident of sexual harassment has occurred, they should report it to their PI or supervisor or Assistant Director for Programs and Facilities.

This information is available in alternative formats upon request by individuals with disabilities. Please send email to

reviewed 2/20/2014