1. Purpose, nature and frequency
1.1 The Society's Annual Symposium should be the most prestigious event in the Conference Calendar. Symposia are intended to cover, in some depth, a selected topic in the forefront of research in some aspect of the cellular and molecular life sciences, which, while it may be a novel or emerging field, has achieved a high profile through experimental exposure, for example, in primary research papers in highly reputable journals, and for which it would be timely to bring together recognized experts for a state-of-the-art meeting.
1.2 The Symposium should be suitable for publication as a stand-alone issue of Biochemical Society Transactions (which will be given an ISBN number and made available for sale as a single issue) and as an individual online volume in the Biochemical Society Symposia series, which will enhance and promote the reputation of the Society’s publications, and satisfy the contributors who will each receive a complimentary copy of the relevant issue of Biochemical Society Transactions and 25 offprints of their article.
1.3 There will be one Symposium held each year in December. If suitable topics are presented, the possibility of further Symposia in a particular year may be considered and agreed in consultation between the Honorary Meetings Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, Chair of Portland Press Limited, the Honorary Editor of Biochemical Society Transactions and the Managing Director of Portland Press Limited. However, the proposal for a second Symposium should be made not less than 18 months before the year in question.
1.4 Symposia will normally comprise approximately 16 invited speakers (not including Elevated Oral Communications) over a period of 3 days.
1.5 Symposia will normally be held as an independent event
1.6 The available budget for Symposia is £12,000, although additional funds may be sought from sponsorship or from other funds at the disposal of the Honorary Meetings Secretary.
2. Choice of topic and Organizer
2.1 Each year the Honorary Meetings Secretary will publish, in the December issue of The Biochemist, and in the December email to members, an invitation to submit topics for a Society Symposium to be held two years hence. The invitation will request that proposals are directed to an appropriate Theme Panel or the Honorary Meetings Secretary. The announcement in The Biochemist will take the form of an advertisement and provide a URL to the information to be included in proposals.
2.2 At the same time as the general invitation is made in The Biochemist, the Honorary Meetings Secretary will write to Theme Panel Chairs inviting them to submit proposals. The Honorary Meetings Secretary will also consult with the Honorary Editor of Biochemical Society Transactions and the appropriate Editorial staff of Portland Press Limited regarding possible topics and Organizers, which might be proposed to Theme Panel Chairs.
2.3 Proposals should include:
2.3.1 The name of the proposed Organizer(s) and, if this is not the proposer, his or her agreement in principle (in writing).
2.3.2 An indication of why a Symposium on the topic is thought to be timely.
2.3.3 An outline of the proposed programme together with proposed speakers.
2.3.4 An assessment of the implications for other planned Focused Meetings, Harden Conferences, Hot Topic Meetings, and other national and international meetings or publications which, on the basis of available information at the time, might overlap with the proposed topic.
2.3.4 A commitment on the part of the Organizer(s) to ensure that speakers are made aware of the need to submit a manuscript when they are approached informally (see 3.2). Target for submissions is a minimum of 90%.
2.4 Copies of proposals will be passed to the Managing Director of Portland Press Limited and the Conference Office as they are received.
2.5 The Conference Office and the relevant Editorial Office staff of Portland Press Limited will advise and assist Proposers in the preparation of the necessary documentation.
2.6 Outline proposals for a Symposium will normally be presented to the Meetings Board at least 18 months before the proposed date of the event, e.g. a meeting in June 2012 would consider topics for a Symposium to be held in December 2013. However, if necessary, consideration will be carried out by email correspondence.
2.7 At the Meetings Board, a representative of Portland Press Limited will give an opinion on the viability of the proposals from a publishing point of view.
2.8 The Meetings Board may either recommend a preferred topic to go forward for approval or endorse more than one topic.
2.9 The proposal(s), together with an assessment from Portland Press Limited, will be submitted for final selection and approval to the Honorary Meetings Secretary, the Honorary Editor of Biochemical Society Transactions, the Honorary Treasurer, the Chair of Portland Press Limited and the Managing Director of Portland Press Limited. Where there is more than one proposal, the sales potential of the resulting online publication will be considered, as well as the scientific interest of the topic and the reputation of the Organizers and the contributors.
3.1 The venue for the Symposium will be selected by the Meetings Board.
3.2 The Organizer(s) will make informal approaches to speakers to determine their agreement to participate, in principle, before a formal invitation is issued. If requested the Conference Office will assist.
3.3 The formal invitation to participate will be issued on behalf of the Society (in the name of the Honorary Meetings Secretary), at least 12 months before the Symposium. It will be signed by the Honorary Meetings Secretary but issued by the Conference Office.
3.4 The invitation will include:
3.4.1 A statement that the production of a manuscript at or before the meeting is a condition of participation.
3.4.2 A statement that travel expenses will only be paid on receipt of manuscript.
3.5 The Conference Office will make all organizational arrangements relating to venue, speakers' expenses, accommodation, etc. and will be responsible for all physical arrangements made including:
3.5.1 Meals and accommodation.
3.5.2 Travel expenses.
3.5.3 Lecture theatre expenses including provision of audio-visual services.
3.5.4 Provision of information about the meeting and contact point for all aspects, except those relating to publication.
3.5.5 Provision of details of accepted speakers and their contact details to the Editorial Office via Sirius.
3.6 At least three months before the meeting the Conference Office will request an abstract of each contribution for mounting on the internet and inclusion in the programme book of the meeting.
3.7 The Portland Press Limited Editorial Office will circulate Instructions to Authors approximately six months before the meeting, and will issue reminders at three months and six weeks before if required.
3.8 In addition to the reminder at three months, the Editorial Staff will send a complete set of abstracts to all the contributors for their information and assistance in the preparation of their manuscript.
4.1 The prime responsibility for securing manuscripts rests with the Symposium Organizer(s). The Portland Press Limited Editorial Office will assist the Organizer(s), as far as practicable, to chase speakers to meet deadlines.
4.2 The Organizer(s) is responsible for the scientific veracity of the manuscripts. The Editorial Office will copyedit the articles and send proofs to the contributors for checking before publication.
4.3 The Portland Press Limited Editorial Office will arrange all matters relating to production online and in print.
4.4 If it does not prove possible to secure at least 90% of speaker manuscripts, the final decision on whether or not to publish will be taken by the Honorary Editor of Biochemical Society Transactions and the Chair of Portland Press Limited.
5.1 The Honorary Meetings Secretary will be available to advise on, and if necessary, adjudicate on matters relating to the meeting. Similarly, the Honorary Editor of Biochemical Society Transactions, in conjunction with the Managing Director of Portland Press Limited, will, to the extent necessary, determine any matters relating to publication.