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PAGES Code of Conduct

1. Introduction 

The PAGES (Past Global Changes) project is an international effort to coordinate and promote past global change research. PAGES is guided and formed by a diverse scientific community, and encourages international and interdisciplinary collaboration and seek to promote the involvement of early-career researchers and scientists from low- and middle-income countries.

PAGES is committed to advancing belonging, accessibility, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion across all its activities. This document presents the principles and code of conduct adopted by PAGES. The aim is to promote ethical integrity and an inclusive, constructive and positive approach to science within the broad scope of the PAGES activities. The standards set out in this document1 are intended to guide members, and participants in PAGES activities on the expected and required behaviour and conduct. They are guidelines and do not imply any legal obligation on the part of PAGES with respect to its members. 

PAGES encourages the reporting of any misconduct by following the guidelines outlined in the following sections of this document. The PAGES Director and the PAGES Person of Trust (designated among the PAGES Scientific Steering Committee) are reachable year-round to address any unresolved issue related to ethics and misconduct. Participants in PAGES activities dealing with misconduct reports are committed to strict confidentiality.

2. Code of conduct – general principles 

PAGES is committed to providing an ethically correct, equitable, safe, open, and respectful environment for scientific activities. PAGES encourages all scholars to pursue integrity, honesty, respect, courtesy, responsibility, rigour and equity in their professions. In particular: 

  • PAGES follows the Core Practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in their publications and encourages all scholars involved in PAGES activities to adopt these practices.
  • PAGES encourages the use of reporting methods that ensure verification and reproducibility by others. Making data available according to the FAIR and CARE data principles (findable, openly accessible and interoperable), is encouraged.
  • PAGES emphasises that author credit should only be given to those who have meaningfully contributed to research. PAGES encourages providing detailed information about individual contributions of all the people to the work (CRediT). 
  • PAGES values diversity and equality as essential values to ensure an ethically correct and respectful approach to scientific research. Discrimination, harassment, bullying, coercion, intimidation, censorship and plagiarism are considered unethical behaviors. 
  • People taking part in PAGES activities need to clearly distinguish professional, scientific-based comments from their personal opinions when publicly presenting their work and/or engaging in public discussions related to PAGES activities.
  • PAGES encourages members to take responsibility to act or intercede, where possible, to prevent misconduct. It also recommends that any case of misconduct be promptly reported. 

3. Misconduct in research 

Misconduct is defined as a violation –proven by evidence– of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in scientific research. Misconduct also includes the unethical and/or biased treatment of people in a professional setting and while participating in scientific activities. Misconduct includes actions such as discrimination, harassment, bullying, coercion, intimidation, censorship and plagiarism. Misconduct does not include errors of judgment; honest errors in the recording, selection, or analysis of data; or differences in opinions involving the interpretation of data and results. 

PAGES may undertake an investigation and decide to take action when misconduct is reported by any person and is directly connected to PAGES activities. PAGES may report these investigations to the research bodies and academic institutions to which the investigated member is affiliated. 

4. Code of conduct for attendees and organisers of PAGES  meetings 

PAGES is committed to providing a safe, open, accessible and respectful environment for participants at its meetings. In turn, PAGES expects professional and respectful conduct from attendees at all times. Discrimination, harassment, bullying, coercion, intimidation, censorship and plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated. 

4.1 Code of conduct for meeting organisers and conveners

PAGES strives to foster diversity among conveners, attendees and presenters at its meetings with respect to, among others, career stage, gender, geography, and scientific approaches, and encourages meeting organisers to keep this in mind during all their PAGES activities. 

PAGES meetings are organised in an open and non-biased manner. Favoritism of any kind—for example, in the selection of presentations—is unacceptable. 

4.2 Code of conduct for meeting attendees 

An open and respectful conduct, based on basic politeness, is expected of all meeting attendees. 

Presenters are asked to familiarise themselves with specific presenter guidelines for the meeting, if available. All authors on a presentation and/or abstract should have agreed to their co-authorship and have contributed to the work. 

Attendees at PAGES meetings should be aware that: 

  • It is prohibited to copy any presentation materials; 
  • It is prohibited to take photos or record scientific material shown in any type of presentation (e.g., oral or poster) unless the presenter authorises it; and 
  • PAGES follows the guidelines for consent related to pictures of a person in a public space established in the country where the activity is being held. PAGES recommends obtaining the permission of any person recorded if they appear in an identifiable way. 

4.3 Reporting violations 

Violations should be reported to the Meeting Person of Trust, if one is present at the relevant meeting. The website of each meeting specifies whether a Meeting Person of Trust is present and, if yes, how they can be reached. If the Meeting Person of Trust is not present, issues related to ethics and misconduct can be reported to the PAGES Person of Trust, or to the PAGES IPO, trough either the Meeting Person of Trust or directly to the PAGES Director. PAGES is committed to listening to and addressing  complaints and to confidentially guiding reporting persons through various options, including potential informal solutions. 

If the allegation received by PAGES also involves an activity that violates the code of law in the  relevant countries and/or the ethical codes of other institutions where the alleged incident occurred, PAGES will work with all appropriate authorities according to the laws in force to resolve the allegation. Such authorities include—but are not limited to—relevant institutions, civil and criminal courts, police and other enforcement bodies. 

PAGES reserves its right to sanction to any person who has committed any violation of the code of conduct with prohibition of participating in any activity organized by PAGES (ongoing or future).

The PAGES Code of Conduct benefitted from the following sources: