ASM Code of Ethics and Conduct

Dec. 13, 2021

Ethics Standards for Society Members

Guiding Principles

  1. ASM members aim to uphold and advance the integrity and dignity of the profession and practice of the microbial sciences.
  2. ASM members aspire to exemplify inclusive diversity with equity, access and accountability (IDEAA) in the microbial sciences.
  3. ASM members aspire to use their knowledge and skills for the advancement of human welfare.
  4. ASM members are expected to be honest, ethical, impartial and professional in their interactions with their trainees, supervisors, employees, employers, colleagues, clients, patients and the public.
  5. ASM members strive to increase the competence and prestige of the profession and practice of the microbial sciences by responsible action and by sharing the results of their research through academic and commercial endeavors, or public service.
  6. ASM members seek to maintain and expand their professional knowledge and skills.
  7. ASM members are obligated to discourage any use of microbiology contrary to the welfare of humankind, including the use of microbes as biological weapons or for bioterrorism. Bioterrorism violates the fundamental principles upon which the society was founded and is abhorrent to the ASM and its members. ASM members will call to the attention of the public or the appropriate authorities misuses of microbiology or of information derived from microbiology.

Rules of Conduct

  1. ASM members shall not commit scientific misconduct, defined as fabrication, falsification or plagiarism. However, scientific error or incorrect interpretation of research data that may occur as part of the scientific process does not constitute scientific misconduct.
  2.  ASM members shall avoid conflicts of interest, professional misconduct and potential abuse of privileged positions, including recognition of the potential power differential between mentors and trainees. ASM members shall make full disclosure of financial and other interests that might present a conflict in ASM activities.
  3. ASM members shall treat others equitably and respectfully without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, political affiliation, or any other personal characteristic protected from discrimination or harassment by law.
  4. ASM members shall abide by the ASM standards of publication that are contained within the ASM Journals Ethics Portal, including the journals ethical guidelines, policies and procedures. The ethical standards that pertain to publications and the events code of conduct for the society also apply to presentations made at annual ASM meetings, conferences and workshops. 
  5. ASM members shall abide by ASM Events Code of Conduct Policy at all ASM-affiliated events. 
  6. ASM members shall not engage in harassment of any person, including students, supervisees, employees, colleagues, research participants, and others. Harassment is defined as unwanted and unwelcome attention or other conduct that creates an environment where a reasonable person would feel unwelcome, intimidated, excluded, or abused. 
  7. ASM members shall take responsibility for reporting breaches of ASM’s Code of Ethics and Conduct to recommend appropriate responses, as defined in the Ethics Review Process
  8. Members shall not represent any position as being that of the ASM unless it has the approval of the appropriate unit of the ASM.  
  9. ASM members, by accepting membership in the society, agree to abide by this Code of Ethics. 
Please see ASM’s Policies and Procedures Manual for additional information, including ASM’s Ethics Review Processes.

If an ASM staff member is found to be in violation, the ASM Headquarters Employment Policies will be followed; this is distinct from the Ethics Review Process for ASM Members and Volunteers. Action regarding an ASM staff member may result in termination of employment.