Group Compact

W. Jetz. Version: March 10, 2023

I. Core Group Values


● Treat each other with respect
● Appreciate our different cultural backgrounds
● Make an effort to learn from one another
● Respect each other’s time
● Be a team player, collaborate and share
● Celebrate success, reflect on accomplishments and celebrate those of others
● Recognize that success often needs some failure first
● Be positive, do your part to support a positive climate
● Ensure a healthy work - life balance for yourself, and support the same for others
● Support good scholarship
● Recognize and attribute the work of others


● Listen actively, be present
● Be respectful, kind, and empathetic
● Try to not interrupt
● Support open and direct communication
● Do not shy away from difficult conversations
● Ensure all voices are heard and encouraged to participate
● All ideas are worth sharing, listening to
● Speak up and proactively address conflict (or potential conflicts)
● Deliver and receive honest feedback with kindness and consideration
● Don’t repeat hearsay, stick to facts, and support others to do the same

II. Mission and Philosophy

Our group is dedicated to delivering the best-possible research, information, and training to support the understanding and conservation of biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. To this end, we work closely with a range of research, education, technology, and impact partners and support them, and conservation stakeholders and researchers broadly, with public products.

I put my full trust and provide my full support to all group members who join this mission and who are committed to our group compact and the formal parameters of their position (for which as group lead I am being held responsible for by the institution and funders). I am deeply dedicated to the future success of my mentees. A typical question I ask is ‘Where/what do you want to be professionally in 3-6 years?’, and whatever the answer drives my day to day guidance and career development support (and this can on occasion include difficult conversations). My approach is motivated by past success - of the past mentees who were keen to subsequently pursue a career in research, I have been able to support well over twenty to attain tenured/tenure-track faculty or academic research positions. And I have supported others to move on to new fellowships and successful careers in NGO, government, or industry, or to long-term employment with us here at the Center at Yale.

My style is honest and direct (my cultural heritage), and this might require adjustment and compromise on both sides, and it might not be the right fit for everyone. But I am deeply supportive of those who reciprocate the honesty and share our group values. A successful mentee-mentor relationship requires commitment from the mentee, mentor, and institution. The following commitments tailored for our group are inspired by material developed by AAMC for graduate students and postdocs, Yale University, and additional resources.

III. Commitments

My Commitment as Mentor of Academic Trainees and Staff

[Note: While the overarching mentorship for academic trainees falls to me as PI, we have in our group mentorship at several levels. Subgroup leads in particular might have a mentoring role for their groups, and group team members will be staff supervisors, academic day-to-day supervisors or mentors in some other form, and I see this part of the compact apply to us all.]

● I will demonstrate respect for all mentees as individuals without regard to gender, race, national origin, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. I will cultivate a culture of inclusivity among the entire group.

● I will provide an environment that is intellectually stimulating, emotionally supportive, safe, equitable, and free of harassment. I acknowledge that open communication is essential. I will strive to maintain a relationship with mentees that is based on trust and mutual respect.

● Throughout the mentee’s time in my group, I will be supportive, accessible, encouraging, and respectful. I will foster the mentee’s professional confidence and encourage intellectual development, critical thinking, curiosity, and creativity, while also being required to recognize expectations associated with the position funding. I will continue my interest and involvement as the mentee moves forward into a career.

● I will promote all ethical standards for conducting research as they relate to responsible conduct in research, authorship, peer-review guidelines, and data reporting, ownership, and sharing. I will clearly define expectations for the responsible conduct of research in my lab and make myself available to discuss ethical, safety, and any related concerns as they arise.

● I am committed to supporting the adherence to the ICMJE authorship guidelines in our lab group and specifically our jointly developed lab authorship guidelines.

● Academic mentees often arrive in the group with prior projects, or new projects or engagements outside the group arise. Both can represent important opportunities for career development and scientific impact. At the same time, as mentor I am responsible for supporting mentees’ mutually agreed career goals, and I am formally obligated to ensure that the use of salary funds meets contract requirements and addresses formally committed deliverables. I am happy to commit that all graduate students and postdocs are entitled to dedicate 10% of their work time (i.e. half day a week) to research or career development that is a non-lab, outside engagement, without any need to report in any form. That time commitment can be greater, but then requires coordination with me as mentor to ensure that all of us are able to manage and meet expectations, including that associated with the position funding. Note that for postdocs on independent fellowships there is flexibility, as the mentor is not obligated toward specific grant deliverables, and similarly so for graduate students on rotation in a different lab.

● I am committed to meeting one-on-one with graduate students and postdocs on a regular basis, usually biweekly unless vacation or travel intervene. I am also committed to timely manuscript feedback, aiming for a turnaround of 2-4 work weeks under usual circumstances. I will regularly review the mentees’ progress and provide timely feedback and goal-setting advice.

● I am committed to providing constructive support to address any problems. I have found that direct communication that takes all viewpoints and professional commitments into account is the most effective way to find a constructive solution. In this spirit, if you have questions or requests, I ask that you bring these up directly with me in a conversation. If you feel an issue still remains insufficiently addressed, clarify and flag the concern as such additionally in an email in writing. All communication will be treated as confidential, though be aware that I have a legal obligation to report sexual misconduct. If an issue remains unresolved or can’t be brought to me, bring it up with the group’s Managing Director (who will treat it in confidence) or consider suggesting the inclusion of a mediator from within or outside the group. If the issue still remains unresolved, contact the department graduate student or postdoc coordinator to set up a joint conversation that includes me or the Managing Director. If this does nor resolve the issue, Yale has many resources available to you, including:…. In any case, I am personally committed to supporting you through any of these processes and to ensuring there is no disadvantage arising to you from an attempt to resolve an issue.

● I support a healthy work-life balance for all members of the group and encourage all of us to maintain reasonable work hours, limit evening and weekend work expectations, and avail ourselves of vacation and personal time off as needed (while adhering to the university’s formal requirements). I will work with you to set realistic expectations that can be achieved without the need for regular overtime and limit communication outside of work hours. I will communicate anticipated crunch times when teams or individuals may be asked to work overtime as soon in advance as possible and make sure there is time for recovery between such crunches.

Your Commitment as Mentee (Postdoc, PhD Student, PGA)

● Members from our group come from a range of cultural backgrounds. Joining such a diverse setting might require adjustment by those arriving and understanding from those welcoming. We expect members to be accountable for their mistakes and ask all to be gracious and forgiving in their approach to each other.

● I acknowledge that I have the primary responsibility for the successful completion of my degree or postdoctoral research projects. I will maintain a high level of professionalism, self-motivation, initiative, engagement, scientific curiosity, and ethical standards, including complying with institutional and research group standards for contributing to an inclusive research environment.

● I will meet regularly with my research advisor to provide updates on the progress and results of my research, course work (graduate students), and professional and career development activities. I will be respectful of my research advisor’s time and provide sufficient time for the review of documents. I will strive to maintain a relationship with my mentor that is based on trust and mutual respect.

● I will be a good lab citizen. I will use group resources carefully and frugally. I agree to take part in shared group responsibilities such as committees, group-wide shared cleaning/maintenance and event support duties, other support work for non-manuscript group products (e.g. project websites, visualizations etc). I recognize these may take up to 10% of my work time. I understand that lab service is something I am expected to not only engage in when asked, but actively seek out and I will identify opportunities for myself to contribute.

● I will actively participate in group and sub-group meetings.

● I recognize the importance of in-person engagement to foster a vibrant research community and scholarly exchange. Unless I have made upfront arrangements that provide an exception, I commit to being present in the office during core hours on the great majority of workdays (outside holidays and sick days).

● I will be respectful of, tolerant of, and work collegially with all group personnel. I will also contribute actively to creating and maintaining an environment that is equitable, free of harassment, and positive. This includes refraining from spreading rumors about group members and a commitment to constructively addressing any issues through direct communication and engagement (also see Mentor commitment).

● I will engage with other lab members (particularly staff) who I ask for help on my research-related tasks as scientific colleagues, providing details on the academic and scientific context of my request.

● I will be an active contributing member to all team efforts and collaborations and will respect individual contributions. I will follow the lab authorship guidelines. I will lead or present at group meetings on a regular basis, adequately prepare for meetings and be available for reasonable requests of friendly review of group peers’ work.

● I will adhere to the lab’s open and reproducible science standard, including my commitment to providing detailed, documented, and organized code and data to support the maintenance of research I conduct while here. I will contribute to preparing these data for sharing and visualization and work with other team members to support this. I acknowledge that university intellectual policy regulations apply to the data and tools that I’ve developed here and will coordinate with my research advisor regarding the continued use of these after moving on from the group.

Authorship Guidelines

Version: May 14, 2020

I. Philosophy

Authorship practices have evolved over the past several decades as the scientific profession has become more globally connected, collaborative, and synthetic. The Jetz lab believes that the contemporary academic climate rewards collaboration and synthesis, and we strive to ensure that we are practicing science in the most modern and forward-looking manner possible. We regard clear coauthorship policies as a means for maintaining academic integrity (see Yale Guidance on Authorship in Scholarly or Scientific Publications) while also bolstering our ability to solicit the data, code, and general knowledge needed to productively collaborate (both inside and outside of the lab) and produce impactful science.

II. Guidelines for Determining Authorship

The Jetz lab follows publication guidelines established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):

1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

As of April 2020 most journals and academic societies have adopted the ICMJE guidelines. These guidelines serve two purposes. Guidelines 1 and 2 require that all authors have made important contributions to the project (#1) and were engaged with the writing process (#2), while guidelines 3 and 4 require that each author agrees with and supports the entirety of the final paper. Note that while these guidelines provide a useful framework for defining what constitutes authorship, it is our policy that all individuals who have been involved in a way that qualify for authorship under guideline #1 be offered the opportunity to participate further as coauthors. Any individual who has made substantial contributions to the project should be actively included in discussions of the manuscript (guideline #2) and given the opportunity to stand behind their work as it is represented in the paper (guidelines #3 and 4). Furthermore, we recognize in the detailed guidelines that follow that there are situations where drafting and revising a manuscript can rise to the level of substantial contribution to the work and thus simultaneously meet guidelines 1 and 2. These issues are discussed further in the draft detailed guidelines that are currently under development.

The above guidelines imply particular responsibility for the codesigners of a project (i.e., first author, last author/supervisor/mentor, potentially also others). It is the responsibility, first and foremost, of the first author, and subsequently, of the codesigners to identify and jointly agree upon all parties that have or will be invited to make a contribution significant enough to meet guideline #1. This process is to begin during the early stages of a project (i.e., after data and analytical needs are determined and before drafting for publication) and shall also include inspection of data contribution templates. Any subsequent invitation for coauthorship will be jointly discussed and agreed upon by the codesigners. In the event of disagreement among codesigners regarding coauthorship, further discussion must ensue until an agreement is reached. Ultimately, it is the first author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors meet the requirements for authorship. The first author will then communicate the decision to all coauthors. The codesigners will draft authorship order, then communicate and discuss with coauthors before making a final decision regarding authorship order. Codesigners and coauthors are expected to carefully develop and agree on the explicit statement of authorship contribution, and we will provide such statements of contribution even if not required by the journal.

Invitation to participate

Guideline #1 is a bar that must be met for invitation, but it should be significantly lower than the bar for earning final attribution as author (i.e., must also meet guidelines #2-4). If a contribution was deemed to be non-substantial, acknowledgement or a citation should be given to the individual contributor. In other cases, when the contribution is deemed non-substantial, the first author can offer an opportunity to contribute further and earn an invitation to authorship by meeting the criteria of guideline #1.

What is a substantial contribution?

In an effort to describe what substantial contribution means, we herein outline common types of contributions and assess if they meet criteria in guideline #1 and therefore the contributors should be granted invitation to participate under guidelines #2-4. For more details and examples in what constitutes a substantial contribution see our draft Detailed Author Guidelines, which are under development.

Recognizing the effort of individuals who contribute original scientific data to a study is often discussed in greater detail in other documents, including data sharing agreements, and use licenses. Please see our Data Sharing Guidelines here for more information. We follow the general principle that when the conclusions of the paper substantially rely on a dataset, the data contributor qualifies for authorship under guideline #1. In the event that the work has already been published or is in the form of an unsubmitted manuscript, a citation is the preferred way of acknowledgement.

The curation of primary data is essential for high quality analysis and should be recognized with acknowledgement, but generation of intermediate products, data processing and analysis, that provides a significant basis for the project meets the criteria in guideline #1. If the analysis builds off of significant prior work, then the developers of the prior work qualify for authorship under guideline #1 unless the work has already been published or in the form of unsubmitted manuscript, in which case a citation should be the preferred way of acknowledgement.

Any individual who significantly influenced the final structure and organization of a paper qualifies for authorship under guideline #1. Substantive text contributions of a paragraph or greater, and primary creation of one or more figures meet criteria in guideline #1. Proofreading and review alone (aka “friendly review”), small contributions to existing figures, and contributing ideas and suggestions does not meet criteria in guideline #1. While contributing ideas or suggestions alone may not warrant authorship, contributors of significant ideas should be approached with an opportunity to substantiate their idea, which could then meet criteria in guideline #1.

Open Science and Data Sharing Statement

I. Statement

Developing and sharing open and FAIR data and information products in support of biodiversity science and conservation while ensuring appropriate data attribution is at the heart of our group’s mission.  

Given the synthetic nature of this work, we are uncompromising in our dedication to following data licensing and ensuring full data attribution and acknowledgment. Much of our research therefore involves many formal data partners, and resulting research papers are often highly collaborative (see also our authorship commitment). We are also committed to supporting data transparency and to developing web tools that credit and link back to the original data providers, as in the species detail pages in Map of Life (e.g., here), or through efforts such as Wildlife Insights. We are also actively contributing to the development of new biodiversity data standards to facilitate the sharing of data and building digital tools to support their use (e.g. here; Guralnick et al.).  

We build a large range of robust information products that we share with the research and conservation community in a fully open way (see below). Our team works hard to ensure our own information is freely and easily available in our publications and through the Map of Life and all of our other partners.  

Software, computational tools, and analytic code are critical building blocks of the scientific enterprise and key elements in ensuring reproducibility of our work.  Therefore, whenever possible, we are committed to making the tools we build open source and available to the broader community. This can include depositing (well documented) analysis code alongside published manuscripts, releasing software tools as open source packages (e.g., on CRAN), or building and hosting web-based tools.

II. Recent Resources

Data Papers

Moura, M.R., Ceron K., Guedes J.J.M, Sica, Y.V., Hart, J., Dorman, W., del Pliego, P.G., Ranipeta, A., Catenazzi, A., Werneck, F.P., Toledo, L.F, Upham, N.S., Tonini, J.F.R., Colston, T.J., Guralnick, R.P., Bowie, R.C.K., Pyron, R.A., & Jetz, W. (2023) A phylogeny-informed characterization of global tetrapod traits addresses data gaps and biases. bioRxiv.

Grigoropoulou et al (in press): The global EPTO database: Worldwide occurrences of aquatic insects. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Pagad, S., … Jetz, W., Ranipeta, A., … Sica, Y., & McGeoch, M.A. (2022) Country Compendium of the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species. Nature Scientific Data.

Sandall, E., Pinkert, S., & Jetz, W. (2022) Country-level checklists and occurrences for the world’s Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). Journal of Biogeography.

Marsh, C., Sica, Y., … Jetz, W. (2022) Expert range maps of global mammal distributions harmonised to three taxonomic authorities. Journal of Biogeography.

Pinkert, S., Barve, V., Guralnick, R., & Jetz, W. (2022) Global geographical and latitudinal variation in butterfly species richness captured through a comprehensive country-level occurrence database. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Snethlage, M.A., Geschke, J., Ranipeta, A., Jetz, W., … Davnah Urbach. (2022) A hierarchical inventory of the world’s mountains for global comparative mountain science. Nature Scientific Data.

Karger, D.N., Wilson, A.M., Mahony, C., Zimmermann, N.E., & Jetz, W. (2021) Global daily 1 km land surface precipitation based on cloud cover-informed downscaling. Nature Scientific Data.
Li, R., Ranipeta, A., Wilshire, J., Malczyk, J., Duong, M., Guralnick, R., et al. (2021) A cloud-based toolbox for the versatile environmental annotation of biodiversity data. PLoS Biology.

Ellis-Soto, D, Merow, C, Amatulli, G, Parra, J.L., & Jetz, W. (2021) Continental-scale 1 km hummingbird diversity derived from fusing point records with lateral and elevational expert information. Ecography.

Colston, T.J., Kulkarni, P., Jetz, W. & Pyron, R.A. (2020) Phylogenetic and spatial distribution of evolutionary diversification, isolation, and threat in turtles and crocodilians (non-avian archosauromorphs). BMC Evolutionary Biology.

González-del-Pliego, P., Freckleton, R.P., Edwards, D.P., Koo, M.S., Scheffers, B.R., Pyron, R.A. & Jetz, W. (2019) Phylogenetic and Trait-Based Prediction of Extinction Risk for Data-Deficient Amphibians. Current Biology.

Jetz, W. & Pyron, R.A. (2018) The interplay of past diversification and evolutionary isolation with present imperilment across the amphibian tree of life. Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Tonini, J.F.R., Beard, K.H., Ferreira, R.B., Jetz, W. & Pyron, R.A. (2016) Fully-sampled phylogenies of squamates reveal evolutionary patterns in threat status. Biological Conservation.

Upham, N.S., Esselstyn, J.A. & Jetz, W. (2019) Inferring the mammal tree: Species-level sets of phylogenies for questions in ecology, evolution, and conservation. PLOS Biology.