SYMPOSIA OF THE SOCIETY FOR INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY
The symposia of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) fulfill two vital roles. First, they provide a forum for researchers to share results and ideas, engage in heuristic discussions, forge collaborations, and anticipate future directions of fruitful research. This is an ephemeral role available only to the participants of the symposium. Second, of equal importance, symposia permanently document their activities in a central location accessible to the scientific community at large. This mechanism extends the benefits of a symposium to a wider audience and brings researchers and teachers abreast of the latest developments in disciplines outside of their own specialty. The latter goal is best achieved by publishing all papers of the symposium in one place, Integrative and Comparative Biology (ICB).
SICB symposium participants receive financial support for participation, and there are obligations attendant upon such support. These responsibilities involve two important aspects of the symposia, and symposium participation implies acceptance of both of these responsibilities.
(1) authors must deliver an oral presentation at the symposium at the annual meeting and engage in discussion with other participants;
(2) authors must prepare a manuscript for publication in Integrative and Comparative Biology along with the other papers from that symposium.
ICB FIRST RIGHT-OF-REFUSAL POLICY
Papers presented orally at SICB symposia must be submitted to ICB for consideration for publication. Only if a paper is rejected by ICB are the authors free to submit it elsewhere (but see below for approved exceptions). This policy is implemented by:
(1) informing potential ICB authors about the policy of first-right-of-refusal;
(2) asking symposium participants to sign a statement that s/he has read and understood this policy and agrees to abide by it;
(3) reimbursing the author only upon the editor’s verification to the SICB Executive Director that a paper has been submitted.
Under some circumstances, valuable symposium contributions can be made that do not require publication in ICB. Authors should explain such extenuating circumstances to the Editor and Editorial Board on the form at the end of this page. In an exemption is granted, authors will receive financial support in the same manner as other symposium participants.
The first-right-of-refusal policy cannot be waived merely because an author would like to publish elsewhere (e.g., in a journal from another discipline). Indeed, we encourage symposium participants to consider that well-cited contributions to ICB often take the form of reviews and/or opinion pieces, which align with but do not mirror the material presented by the speaker in the symposium. Also, if a waiver is granted because results in the symposium paper were practically the same as an already published article, the author could ask the symposium organizers to summarize the work in the introductory paper for the symposium.
TIMING OF MANUSCRIPTS SUBMISSION
It is expected that an author presenting a paper at the annual meeting in early January will have the paper complete by the time of the meeting. However, as discussions at the meeting may stimulate new ideas, authors are allowed time after the meeting to revise their papers; the deadline for receipt of manuscripts by the editorial office is 31 January. Papers meeting that deadline are allowed one color figure or composite figure free of charge. Papers that are late, for whatever reason, lose that entitlement. Late papers, however, can be accepted, but tardiness carries several disadvantages.
(1) Publication of the entire symposia may be delayed. As soon as a paper has been received, reviewed, revised, and edited, it is published as a citable paper online. The hardcopy papers are not published in ICB, however, until ALL papers from that symposium are processed.
(2) A late author is identifiable by her/his colleagues because papers go online as soon as they are accepted.
(3) Reimbursement for symposium participation may be delayed. Once a paper has been received, the editor notifies the SICB Executive Director and only then is the author sent a check from SICB.
(4) A late paper may be rejected because of inadequate time for review and revision. There is, of course, an ultimate deadline beyond which a paper cannot be processed at all because of the publication schedule of Oxford Press. Symposia are not carried over to a following year.
JUSTIFICATION FOR TIMELINESS IN MANUSCRIPT PROCESSING
Every year, we have great difficulty in getting out issues on time. By the first issue, most symposia are incomplete, often each held up by only one paper. The later manuscripts are submitted, the more difficult it is to find referees (i.e., during summer); many are in the field or otherwise engaged, and even when referees are identified, it often takes quite a while to receive reviews. Subsequently, in the event that no symposium is complete at the time an issue of ICB must be processed, we pick the most complete symposium and send it to press, rejecting all papers in that symposium that are still pending. This approach helps keep symposia papers fresh and it enables us to comply with listing policies in PubMed. PubMed requires adherence to a REGULAR publication schedule, thus ICB’s first issue must appear in July each year and then again every month thereafter through the year. Late papers disrupt this schedule and jeopardize our standing with PubMed. Also, SICB has contracted an annual page allotment from Oxford Press. So far, Oxford Press has generously allowed page overruns. However, overruns cannot occur indefinitely. If overruns occur, the editor and editorial board may need to eliminate symposia and/or papers from consideration. Tardiness and completeness of coverage will be important criteria for these decisions.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ACCEPTANCE OF CONDITIONS FOR PARTICIPATION IN A SICB SYMPOSIUM
______ I have read and I understand the policy regarding SICB symposia, including the first right of refusal, and I will submit my paper to ICB. I further understand that I forfeit my financial support from SICB for attendance at the symposium if I fail to provide a manuscript in a timely fashion.
______ I have read and I understand the policy regarding SICB symposia, including first right of refusal, but request exemption from the policy. I understand granting such an exemption requires approval by the symposium organizer and by the Editorial Board of ICB.
Grounds for requesting exemption: _______________________________