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About EGU Best practices for EGU committees, groups, and Early Career Scientists

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Best practices for EGU committees, groups, and Early Career Scientists

2 November 2020

Table of contents

  1. Best practices for EGU committees, groups, and Early Career Scientists
    1. Publications Committee
    2. Outreach Committee
    3. Topical Events Committee
    4. Education Committee
    5. Programme Committee
    6. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Group
    7. Early Career Scientists network

4. Best practices for EGU committees, groups, and Early Career Scientists

4.1. Publications Committee

Objectives

The main objective of the Publications Committee is to support the scientific mission of the Union by facilitating timely scientific publications according to the highest scientific and ethical standards. Specific objectives include ensuring the efficient operation of existing EGU journals and other scientific publishing outlets of the EGU (book series, web servers, etc.) and coordinating the proposal of new journals and other publication outlets.

Membership and terms of office

The Publications Committee consists of a chair and the chief/executive editors of the EGU journals. Representatives of the EGU Executive Board (president, vice-president, treasurer, general secretary, executive secretary) and of the publisher(s) (one per company) are ex-officio members.

The chair is suggested by the Publications Committee to the EGU President for approval by the Council. The Council appoints the Publications Committee Chair for a term of three years. Re-appointments are possible, but the number of consecutive terms is limited to two. The EGU executive secretary notifies the appointed chair on behalf of the EGU.

Members of the Publications Committee are the chief/executive editors, who are appointed by the Council. Nominations of chief/executive editors are made by the journals to the Publications Committee. The Publications Committee evaluates the nominations and proposes suitable candidates to the Council for final approval for a term of five years. Re-appointments as well as shortenings of terms are possible subject to publication performance, re-evaluation by the Publications Committee, and approval by the Council. The EGU executive secretary notifies the appointed/dismissed chief/executive editors on behalf of the EGU.

Authorities and duties

The tasks and responsibilities of the Publications Committee comprise the coordination of existing and new publications, the nomination of chief/executive editors for approval by the Council, and the discussion of publication budgets and service charges. Adjustment of service charges and the provision of financial support for individual publications are proposed by the Publications Committee for approval by the Council.

Practices and procedures

The Publications Committee typically conducts in-person meetings at least twice a year. During these meetings, the chief/executive editors report on the status of each EGU journal, exchange information and best practices related to journal management, and discuss any issues that have arisen. The publisher reports on the financial health of the journals and technical aspects related to the editorial system. In addition to the in-person meetings, the Publications Committee interacts frequently via its dedicated EGU forum.

To address specific tasks or issues raised during the Committee’s meetings, task teams consisting of a subset of the committee can be formed. These task teams typically produce a detailed proposal to address the issue at hand, which is then presented to the entire committee for discussion.

The Publications Committee reports, via its chair, to the Council. This includes written reports after in-person meetings of the committee and more informal reports during meetings and teleconferences.

Editorial boards

Each EGU journal is governed by an editorial board, which is responsible for the efficient operation of the journal and for maintaining high scientific and ethical standards. Each editorial board consists of two or more chief/executive editors and a much larger number of topical/associate editors who are appointed by the chief/executive editors for a term of three years. Re-appointments as well as shortenings of terms are possible subject to publication and editor performance. The chief/executive editors inform the EGU executive secretary and publisher of changes in editorial board membership. Any member of the scientific community can be nominated or self-nominate for membership on an editorial board.

4.2. Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee coordinates the outreach activities of the EGU. The scope of these activities includes, but is not limited to, those stated in by-laws 1.5 and 1.6 of the Union, and is defined as follows:

Target groups

Membership and nomination

The Outreach Committee is constituted as follows:

Terms of office

The Outreach Committee Chair has a two-year term, renewable once. The terms of voting committee members are two years, renewable once. Past chairs of the committee can serve one two-year term as a committee member after their final term as chair.

Authority and duties of the committee and its members

The Outreach Committee monitors, coordinates, and facilitates the outreach activities of the Union. It takes instructions from, and reports to, the Council. The objectives and activities of the committee are defined by the committee in dialogue with Council and are to be approved by Council before relevant action is undertaken. To help the committee achieve its objectives, it can avail itself of a working budget, to be approved annually by the Council.

The committee chair is responsible for the proper and efficient management and functioning of the committee and its activities, providing support and supervision to the members of the committee, and representing the committee elsewhere. To help discharge these duties, the chair may appoint a deputy and a committee secretary and delegate responsibilities.

Appointed committee members have the responsibility to support the committee chair in their tasks. They may be charged with individual tasks and responsibilities, especially when these fall within their field of competence or expertise. They report to the committee.

Ex-officio committee members may advise and inform committee activities but are not normally expected to take on tasks other than those that fall within the remit of their principal office within the Union.

Committee decisions require a simple majority vote of the appointed members who are present. When the votes on each side of a decision are equally balanced, the vote of the chair prevails. A quorum of 50% of appointed membership votes is required for any committee decision to be valid. Voting is by show of hands, when the committee is in session, and by forum at other times. Ex-officio committee members do not have the right to vote on committee decisions. However, it is customary that the chair allows the ex-officio members to indicate their position on a decision in the same way as voting members of the committee.

Meetings

The EGU Outreach Committee meets at least twice per year, typically before the autumn session of the Council and during the General Assembly of the Union. The objective of these meetings is to monitor, coordinate, and facilitate ongoing outreach activities of the Union and to define and realise future outreach activities and initiatives. Further meetings of the committee or its task groups can be called as the need arises. Where possible, these additional meetings may be conducted using remote communication tools.

Reporting

The committee submits a written report to the EGU Council at least once per year. This report must contain an essential summary of the outreach activities undertaken in the current annual cycle and their outcomes, and a proposal for activities in the next annual cycle with the required financial, logistic, and administrative support. The report is to be submitted to the EGU general secretary in time for inclusion in the agenda of the autumn session of the EGU Council. In addition, oral reports are given at each Council meeting and a short, written report may be given if required.

4.3. Topical Events Committee

Objectives

In addition to the General Assembly, EGU can organise and/or support conferences and training schools. The EGU meetings programme is dedicated to the pursuit of progress in all areas of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences through the co-sponsoring of meetings. The Topical Events Committee oversees the meetings programme of the EGU apart from the General Assembly.

These events may receive support from the EGU, but the financial risk and responsibility lies with the main organiser of the conference, with the exception of the Galileo Conferences.

The portfolio of EGU meeting programme includes:

Proposals for financial support of events are sought by open calls. The deadlines for applications are at the end of February and 15 August for the Galileo Conferences and the Training Schools/Conference Series, respectively.

The Topical Events Committee reviews the proposals and presents them to the Council at the autumn Council meeting.

The Topical Events Committee approves the events within its budget approved by the Council.

Target groups

The EGU topical events are open to members of the Union as well as to other geoscientists who are not Union members. The applicants must be EGU members.

Membership and nomination

The Topical Events Committee is constituted as follows:

Terms of office

The committee chair has a two-year term, renewable once. The terms of voting committee members are two years, renewable once. Past chairs of the committee can serve one two-year term as a committee member after their final term as chair.

Authority and duties of the committee and its members

The Topical Events Committee coordinates the meetings programme of the EGU apart from the General Assembly. The committee reviews the events in the Conference series and the Training schools series every four years. It suggests removing existing events in the series and including new ones based on proposals from the EGU membership.

Galileo Conferences, co-sponsored training schools, and new conferences and Training schools series are selected based on an open call on the EGU website. Proposals are then assigned to committee members who seek at least two reviews for each proposal. Based on the reviews, the committee members rank the proposals assigned to them. Based on the rankings, the committee chair then prepares a list of the proposals to be funded and circulates it for consultation to the committee members. The number of funded proposals depends on the budget approved annually by Council in autumn. After possible consolidation by the committee, the committee chair forwards the final list of proposals to be funded to the EGU office for implementation. The Committee can coordinate other meetings when instructed by the EGU Council.

The Topical Events Committee takes instructions from, and reports to, the EGU Council. The objectives and activities of the committee are defined by the committee, in dialogue with Council, and are to be approved by Council before relevant action is undertaken.

The committee chair is responsible for the proper and efficient management and functioning of the committee and its activities, providing support and supervision to the members of the committee, and representing the committee elsewhere. To help discharge these duties, the chair appoints a deputy and may appoint a Committee secretary and delegate responsibilities.

Appointed committee members have the responsibility to support the committee chair in their tasks. They may be charged with individual tasks and responsibilities, especially when these fall within their field of competence or expertise. They report to the committee.

Ex-officio committee members may advise and inform committee activities but are not normally expected to take on tasks other than those that fall within the remit of their principal office within the Union.

Committee decisions require a simple majority vote of the present appointed members. When the votes on each side of a decision are equally balanced, the vote of the chair prevails. A quorum of 50% of appointed membership votes is required for any committee decision to be valid. Voting is by show of hands, when the Committee is in session, and by forum at other times. Ex-officio committee members do not have the right to vote on committee decisions. However, it is customary that the chair allows the ex-officio members to indicate their position on a decision in the same way as voting members of the committee.

Meetings

The Committee meets at least twice per year. The objective of these meetings is to monitor, coordinate, and facilitate events in the EGU meetings programme. Further meetings of the committee or its working parties can be called as the need arises. If feasible, these additional meetings may be conducted by remote communication tools.

Reporting

The committee submits a written report to the EGU Council at least once per year. This report must contain an essential summary of the meeting programme and other activities undertaken in the current annual cycle and their outcomes, and a proposal for the meeting programme and other activities in the next annual cycle with the required financial (budget), logistic, and administrative support. The report is to be submitted to the EGU general secretary in time for inclusion in the agenda of the autumn session of the EGU Council. In addition, oral reports are given at each Council meeting, and a short, written report may be given if required.

4.4. Education Committee

Objectives

The Education Committee organises the educational activities of the EGU. The scope of these activities includes, but is not limited to, those stated in by-laws 1.5 and 1.6 of the Union, and is defined as follows:

Target groups

Educators across Europe and beyond, particularly:

Membership and nomination

The Education Committee is to be constituted as follows:

Terms of office

The committee chair has a two-year term, renewable twice. The term of committee members is two years.

Authority and duties of the committee and its members

The Education Committee monitors, organises, and facilitates the educational activities of the Union. It takes instructions from, and reports to, the EGU Council. The objectives and activities of the committee are defined by the committee, in dialogue with Council, and are approved by Council before relevant action is undertaken. To help the committee achieve its objectives, it can avail itself of a working budget, to be approved annually by the EGU Council.

The committee chair is responsible for the proper and efficient management and functioning of the committee and its activities, providing support and supervision to the members of the committee, and representing the committee elsewhere. To help discharge these duties, the chair may appoint a deputy and a committee secretary and delegate responsibilities.

Appointed and co-opted committee members have the responsibility to support the committee chair in their tasks. They may be charged with individual tasks and responsibilities, especially when these fall within their field of competence or expertise. They report to the committee.

Committee decisions require a simple majority vote of the appointed members who are present. When the votes on each side of a decision are equally balanced, the vote of the chair prevails. Voting is by show of hands or by secret ballot, when the group meets either in-person or virtually, and by forum at other times. Ex-officio members do not have the right to vote on committee decisions. However, it is customary that the chair allows the ex-officio members to indicate their position on a decision in the same way as voting members of the committee.

Ex-officio committee members may advise and inform committee activities but are not normally expected to take on tasks other than those that fall within the remit of their principal office within the Union.

The committee maintains the education pages of the EGU website with the support of EGU office staff. It uploads information relating to each GIFT workshop to make this available widely. Further relevant information is uploaded as appropriate.

Meetings

The Committee normally meets at least twice per year, usually before the autumn session of the EGU Council and during the General Assembly of the Union. The objective of these meetings is to monitor, coordinate, and facilitate the ongoing educational activities of the Union and to define and realise future educational activities and initiatives. Further meetings of the committee or its working parties can be called as the need arises. Where possible, these additional meetings may be conducted remotely.

Reporting

The Committee submits a written report to the EGU Council annually. This report contains a summary of the ongoing educational proposals for future activities with the required financial, logistic, and administrative support. The report is submitted to the EGU general secretary for inclusion in the agenda of the autumn session of the EGU Council. In addition, oral reports are given at each Council meeting, and a short, written report may be given if required.

4.5. Programme Committee

Objectives

The Programme Committee coordinates the annual EGU General Assembly according to EGU’s by-laws. In doing so, the committee aims to:

The logistical aspects of the organisation of the General Assembly are handled by the meeting organiser. The Programme Committee takes care of the scientific organisation of the General Assembly, including:

The Programme Committee Chair ensures close communication on all matters relevant to the General Assembly with the meeting organiser, pertinent EGU officers, and EGU office staff.

Membership and terms of office

The Programme Committee has the following composition:

Programme Committee Officer positions can be created or discontinued by Council decision.

The Copernicus Managing Director and the Copernicus Meetings Conference Manager are invited to Programme Committee meetings.

Meetings

The committee meets in autumn (session programme building), in late winter (session scheduling), and at the feedback meeting typically held on the last afternoon at in-person General Assemblies. During the remainder of the year, the committee communicates through the EGU Programme Committee forum. Voting in the committee is by show of hands or secret ballot during in-person or virtual meetings, and by forum voting during the rest of the year.

4.6. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Group

Objectives

The main objective of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Group (EDI Group) is to support the scientific mission of the EGU by promoting and supporting equality, diversity, and inclusion of opportunities in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The EDI Group works with particular focus on EGU activities.

The scope of these activities includes, but is not limited to, those stated in the by-laws of the Union.

The tasks and responsibilities of the EDI Group comprise the coordination of existing and new activities defined as follows:

The EDI Group works with the EGU Council as an advisory entity. It is responsible for providing suggestions, recommendations, and reviews to EGU Council.

Membership and terms of office

The EDI Group is constituted as follows:

The EDI Group membership should reflect diverse backgrounds to ensure wide range of views.

Members of the EDI Group are either nominated or self-nominated through a motivation letter sent to the EDI Group Chair. The EDI Group evaluates the nominations and proposes suitable candidates to the Council for final approval. Re-appointments, as well as shortenings of terms, are possible, subject to approval by the Council.

Authority and duties of the group and its members

The EDI Group monitors, coordinates, and facilitates equality, diversity, and inclusion activities of the Union. It follows guidance from, and reports to, the EGU Council. The objectives and activities of the EDI Group are defined in dialogue with Council and are to be approved by Council before new actions are undertaken.

The EDI Group Chair is responsible for the proper and efficient management and functioning of the group and its activities, providing support and supervision to the members, and representing the group elsewhere. To help discharge these duties, the chair may suggest to Council to appoint a deputy and a group secretary and delegate responsibilities.

Appointed group members have the responsibility to support the EDI Group Chair in their tasks. They may be charged with individual tasks and responsibilities, especially when these fall within their field of competence and interest. They report to the EDI Group.

Ex-officio members may advise and inform activities but are not normally expected to take on tasks other than those that fall within the remit of their responsibilities.

EDI Group decisions require a simple majority vote of the appointed members who are present. When the votes on each side of a decision are equally balanced, the vote of the chair prevails. Voting is by show of hands or secret ballot, when the group is meeting in person, and by email at other times. Ex-officio members do not have the right to vote on group decisions. However, it is customary that the chair allows the ex-officio members to indicate their position on a decision in the same way as voting members of the group.

Meetings

The EDI Group typically conducts in-person meetings at least once a year, generally during the General Assembly. The objective of these meetings is to monitor, coordinate, and facilitate the ongoing activities and to define and realise future activities and initiatives. Further meetings of the EDI Group or its task forces can be called as the need arises. Where possible, these additional meetings may be conducted using remote communication tools.

Reporting

The EDI Group submits a written report to the EGU Council at least once per year. This report must contain an essential summary of the activities undertaken in the current annual cycle and their outcomes. A proposal for activities in the next annual cycle is also included, with special details regarding any activity that may entail financial, logistic, and administrative support. In addition, oral reports are given by the chair at Council meetings when invited and a short, written report may be given if required.

4.7. Early Career Scientists network

Objectives

To foster collaboration and participation in the EGU Early Career Scientists (ECS) network in order to create a broad, open, and inclusive ECS community.

Membership and target group

ECS members are represented within the EGU by ECS representatives, both at the division and at the Union levels. While the division ECS representatives gather feedback from early career researchers in their divisions, the Union-level ECS Representative and their deputy gather information from ECS division representatives and take it to the Programme Committee and Council, ensuring the needs of ECS are met at the General Assembly and throughout the year.

The Union-level ECS Representative participates in the Programme Committee and Council meetings as an ex-officio member. The Union-level ECS Representative is also a member of the EGU Outreach Committee and the EDI Group and serves as the Programme Group Co-chair for EGU Short Courses.

ECS representatives (i) serve as the voices of the ECS membership within EGU; (ii) connect ECS online and offline; and (iii) stimulate active participation of ECS within the EGU.

Terms of office

The ECS representatives at the division level serve a two-year term and are able to serve for a maximum of two terms. ECS representatives can operate in pairs, alternating a 1-year term as an ECS representative and deputy-ECS representative.

The Union-level ECS Representative serves a one-year term as the Deputy-Union-level ECS Representative and another year as the Union-level ECS Representative.

Attributes

Anyone that applies for, or is nominated to be, an ECS representative must be both an ECS (according to the official definition) and an EGU member. The Union-level ECS Representative is elected each year by the division ECS representatives.

Authority and duties of the ECS network and its members

ECS representatives should be aware of the EGU’s activities and how the Union functions as well as work to promote and develop the values and vision of the Union.

ECS representatives are the vital link between the Union and its ECS members. Their volunteer activities are geared toward creating and highlighting helpful resources and opportunities for ECS, as well as ensuring their needs are met both at the General Assembly and throughout the year. They can transfer relevant information and share their resources with the larger ECS community. They also organise events, commonly targeted at ECS, and report feedback to the EGU divisions and Council. They are responsible for coordinating and promoting ECS-related activities within each division, which can include, but are not limited to: organising events for ECS at the General Assembly; outreach to the ECS community and the wider public through social media or a division blog; sustaining and creating ECS-related events and resources and highlighting them on EGU ECS media; and establishing a mentoring programme for other ECS.

All ECS representatives help make the group’s long-term goals a reality, and many ECS representatives join task forces to implement strategic priorities, as outlined in their vision and strategy. These task forces provide a platform for increasing engagement and interaction between ECS representatives and give more transparency to ECS activities, with the goal of creating a more inclusive community.

Meetings

The ECS representatives typically meet quarterly online via remote communication tools and in-person twice per year: once during the planner workshop the weekend prior to the EGU General Assembly and once during summer for an organisational workshop. The Union-level ECS Representative is responsible for organising these meetings with the division ECS representatives so they are kept abreast of developments within EGU and can then report back to the ECS community in their respective divisions. All ECS representatives commit to preparing for, and attending, these meetings.

These meetings serve as a way to give important updates on EGU ECS-related news and activities, as well as to discuss how the representatives can best serve their community. ECS representatives also actively engage in discussion and project planning with each other through online EGU-hosted forums to sustain communication with ECS members of their division. Additionally, it is desirable that ECS representatives are able to participate in ECS-related events at the EGU General Assembly.

Reporting

The Union-level ECS Representative and their deputy submit, on the behalf of all ECS division representatives a written report to the EGU Council at least once per year. This report must contain a summary of the activities undertaken in the current annual cycle and their outcomes, and a proposal for activities in the next annual cycle with details of the necessary associated financial, logistic, and administrative support. The report is to be submitted to the EGU general secretary in time for inclusion in the agenda of the autumn session of the EGU Council. In addition, oral reports are given at each Council meeting.