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PAGES working group guidelines

PAGES working groups (WGs) are temporary organizations that target specific aspects of PAGES’ scientific agenda by running activities that result in synthesis products. WGs tackle broad questions that cannot be answered by a single research team but require the integration of a wider international science community.


WGs benefit from their affiliation with PAGES (and in turn Future Earth) in a number of direct and indirect ways. PAGES WGs receive enhanced visibility, connection with a diverse range of scientific expertise, validation in the eyes of the community, access to the international PAGES network, wide dissemination of news and results through print and online publications, priority consideration of financial support for workshops from PAGES, and potential strengthening of outside funding proposals.


Please be familiar with PAGES data guidelines. All data produced and used in PAGES activities should be deposited with an archive of the ICSU-World Data System (WDS). Find a list of recommended WDS repositories for paleodata here. All working groups must identify a data liaison officer for data stewardship and archiving, to make sure data and metadata is collected according to the rules of the working group's chosen data repository, and to liaise with PAGES' Data Stewardship Integrative Activity.
PAGES working groups are able to apply for a Data Stewardship Scholarship to support their efforts in safely storing data collected as part of the group's activities.


PAGES WGs are managed by a leadership team that directs their goals and activities. The PAGES Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) oversees their objectives, is involved in key decisions, and reviews the progress based on brief annual reports. All working groups must have at least one designated SSC liaison (either chosen or allocated) and keep their liaison informed of the group's progress and plans.


No funding is provided for the setting-up and running of WGs. The only funding given to WGs is for meetings or workshops. Read the guidelines for funding official working group meetings here.

Work plan

PAGES working groups are expected to sustain a certain minimal level of activity. This involves creating an active community, communicating regularly, holding workshops, and generating group products. WGs should have clear goals and provide a timeline of the milestone events, products, and anticipated termination date. The work plan of a WG is typically broken down into three-year phases, each of which concludes with a major synthesis in the form of one or several groups of products. The aspired duration of a focused, efficient WG is therefore three years. More complex WGs can request to extend into a second phase with a new proposal to PAGES. Co-sponsoring of WGs by other organizations can be sought where appropriate.

Stakeholder engagement

WGs are encouraged to engage relevant stakeholders in their activities. The goal of increasing stakeholder engagement has been inspired through our relationship with Future Earth as it works to ensure knowledge is generated in partnership with society and the users of science. We define a stakeholder as any person or group who influences or is influenced by the research of the group. This may include people from policy development, government agencies, non-governmental organizations including business groups and non-profits, and other representatives in civil society. Depending on the objectives of the stakeholder relationship, involving stakeholders can occur in a number of ways and times throughout the group's lifespan e.g. at the planning (co-design), working and synthesis (co-production), or dissemination stages.

Involving stakeholders can provide relevance, value, breadth, and depth to research. Key benefits, among others, may include assisting with framing and designing the group's scientific questions and outcomes, better knowledge and data input, and making a tangible contribution to future risk management or policy development.

All products which use PMIP results must acknowledge PMIP.

For more information about engaging with stakeholders, click here.

Proposing new working groups

Proposals for new or revised PAGES working groups can be submitted using the online form. Applicants should consult and refer to PAGES' Science Structure and outline the work plan with a timeline, milestones, and products for each phase. Proposals are evaluated by the SSC at their annual meeting or at the bi-annual to bi-annual meetings of the Executive Committee.

If possible, applicants of new working groups should indicate at the outset how many ca. 3 year phases they envisage necessary for the working group. Within each phase, PAGES is flexible regarding the number of meetings or workshops each working group may require.

You must contact an SSC member to discuss your proposal well in advance of the final proposal submission.

Note: PAGES considers supporting scoping workshops intended to develop new working groups, under the Open Call category.


Specific guidelines

Advancing the science

WGs must:

- Engage in focused research that directly answers scientific questions prioritized in PAGES’ Science Structure.

- Be open to participation of interested colleagues and ensure international group composition. The Swiss Academy of Sciences’ guide for transboundary research partnerships gives useful advice for the successful involvement of international partners.

- Provide genuine avenues for participation by early-career scientists and scientists from developing countries where possible.

- Be familiar with PAGES Data guidelines and compile published data on the topic in an accessible format for submission to a public data repository.

- Have a work plan that includes a timeline with specific goals and aspired key products, e.g. synthesis paper, special journal issue, database, online tool, or new joint project.

- Work towards a conclusion date for the WG; typically after three years, alternatively after a follow-up phase if required by the work plan.

- Submit a new proposal to continue as a PAGES WG if the life of the project is likely to extend beyond the three-year phase; this might include the evolution of the group into a phase with a somewhat different focus or a merger with other existing groups.

Running the group

WGs must:

- Have dedicated leaders, ideally in the form of a team of 2-5 co-leaders. Leadership can rotate during the lifetime of the project.

- Identify early a data liaison person to submit data and metadata to a recommended repository, and liaise with PAGES' Data Stewardship Integrative Activity.

- Seek to involve interested stakeholders in the various phases (planning, activity, synthesis, dissemination) of the group.

- Maintain a webpage on the PAGES website, and ensure that the content is regularly updated. An external page may also be created.

- Publicly offer an opportunity for interested colleagues to stay informed e.g. a mailing list address on the website. PAGES can set up this WG email list if required.

- Communicate regularly to WG participants with updates on WG status and plans, via email, the WG website, listservers, circulars, or social media.

- Meet on a regular basis, either in person at specifically organized workshops or alongside other meetings, or virtually. WGs can apply for financial meeting support (under the working group category).

- Apply for WG workshop/meeting support at least six months before the event date.

- Advertise WG events at least three months in advance on the PAGES website to provide genuine opportunities for participation.

Carrying the flag

WGs must:

- Use PAGES logos and weblinks on all advertising for the WG.

- Clearly acknowledge "… Past Global Changes (PAGES) …" or "… the Past Global Changes (PAGES) project …" and the working group in all products. Only products containing a proper acknowledgment can be recognized as PAGES’ products.

The recommended acknowledgement is: "This study was undertaken by (name of working group), a working group of the Past Global Changes (PAGES) project, which in turn received support from the Swiss Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences."

- We recommend that you include a "Data availability" section in your paper. See here for an example.

- Inform the PAGES International Project Office when new WG products are released, so that we can keep track of the groups’ products and help advertise them.

- Provide a brief report once a year to the PAGES SSC by filling in the Annual Report Form sent by the International Project Office.

July 2021