Map of Europe

Network Policies

On this page, you can find all policies adopted by the OPINION network, concerning the following topics:

Membership - Meetings - Reimbursement - Grants - Science Communication Plan - Publications - Communications - Review


  1. Working Group membership applications shall be approved generously, as long as the applicant’s contribution to the Working Group is made clear.

  2. Participants can be full members of up to two Working Groups, but can follow the communications of as many Working Groups as they wish.

  3. After the initial Management Committee meeting, Working Groups advise the Core Group on the approval of new Working Group memberships.

  4. Working Groups can decide to advance less generous rules for approval in order to:
    a. safeguard membership diversity or
    b. safeguard their ability to achieve Working Group objectives.
    Any restrictions must respect inclusiveness and fairness principles.

  5. Working Group membership entails a commitment to active participation.
    Working Groups can request the removal of members who have persistently violated this requirement over the past grant period.
    Any termination of Working Group membership remains subject to Core Group validation.


  1. Physical network-wide meetings shall be held in conjunction with other events (e.g., Management Committee meetings, Conferences) as much as possible.

  2. Physical Working Group meetings shall be held in conjunction with network-wide meetings as much as possible.

  3. Online Working Group meetings are at the discretion of the Working Group.

  4. WGs can lay down criteria or create tasks that need to be met for participants to be invited to a Working Group meeting.

  5. Physical meetings shall be announced at least 6 weeks in advance; Online meetings shall be announced at least 3 weeks in advance.

  6. MC Members who cannot attend a physical MC meeting shall nominate a substitute only if their country would otherwise not be represented.


  1. By default, all participants invited to Working Group or Management Committee meetings shall be reimbursed fully, in accordance with COST rules.

  2. If budget constraints require, the Core Group can decide to:
    a. lower the default reimbursement rate, in order to maintain full reimbursement for junior and ITC participants;
    b. limit full reimbursement to only one MC member per country;
    c. only partly reimburse guests.
    This should be announced at least 4 weeks prior to affected meetings.

Please consider not flying if that is a realistic option.

COST rules concerning most economic means of travel continue to apply.


  1. Grants can be issued to both members and non-members of the network. Priority shall be given to activities that involve junior members as well as ITC members and institutions.

Science Communication Plan

OPINION has adopted a Science Communication Plan that determines the objectives, strategies, and means of the network's outreach activities. The current Science Communication Plan can be downloaded here.


  1. Joint publications based in the work of the Working Groups (“centripetal”):
    a. Lead authorship is credited to leading contributors.
    b. Authorship requires an active contribution (e.g., writing, data collection, …) without which the publication could not have taken its overall shape. Participation in discussions does not constitute a claim to authorship.
    c. For all publications that arise from the joint work of the Working Groups (“centripetal”), all Working Group members are to be invited to participate and earn authorship if they wish.
    d. Any Working Group members who are not authors but participated in the joint discussions are to be acknowledged by name in a footnote or acknowledgement.

  2. Publications based on collaborations that grow out of the network (“centrifugal”):
    In accordance with COST adoption rules, OPINION will recognize as network publication any publications that…
    a. involve at least three authors based at different institutions who are members of the network
    b. are thematically relevant to OPINION and endorsed as such by any Working Group
    c. provided that the authors wish the publication to be included as such.

Any publications of the above mentioned types are eligible for support (e.g., for copy editing, translation, open access fees) by the network, subject to available funding.


  1. All communications:
    a. by the Core Group, addressed to the entire network
    b. by the Working Group leadership, addressed to all Working Group members
    shall be made publicly available, in a manner that enables potential collaborators beyond the network to contribute, via the web page.
    This does not include instructions for joining meetings.


  1. The above policies shall be reviewed at the first MC meeting after the completion of each grant period, and updated if needed.

  2. The Management Committee shall discuss and vote upon any policy revisions proposed by any 2 Core Group members, any Working Group leadership, or Management Committee members from 5+ countries.

  3. All network members shall be informed promptly about adopted policies; current policies shall also be made publicly available via the web page.

  4. Unless decided otherwise, policies come into effect 30 days after notification.