Overview of Principles
The principles of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) to guide exhibiting and technology track presentation at official conferences have been organized into the following categories: General Principles that apply to most situations; Special Guidelines that deal with specific issues and concerns; Organizational Review that outlines processes as well as the roles and responsibilities of specific bodies and officers of the society. These guidelines should be reviewed over time to assure their continued relevance to the policies and operations of ISCB and to our scientific environment.
ISCB's vision and values statement provides guidance for third-party exhibiting and technology track presenters. Exhibitor and technology track presentation relations that are not consistent with the society's mission provide a risk to ISCB’s ability to provide representation and leadership in the field.
- The proposed activity must be consistent with ISCB’s vision and values
ISCB's vision and values ultimately must determine whether a proposed exhibitor or technology track presenter relationship is appropriate for ISCB. ISCB should avoid relationships with organizations or industries whose principles, policies or actions obviously conflict with ISCB’s vision and values, as documented in ISCB’s relevant statements. For example, relationships with producers of products that harm the public health (e.g., tobacco) provide risks of addiction (e.g., alcohol, gambling) or violate ethical standards (e.g., pornography) are not appropriate for ISCB. The latter category also includes organizations that do not respectfully handle animals and human subjects.
ISCB reserves the right (even after an application is received) to refuse applications not meeting standards required or expected, as well as the right to curtail or to close exhibits or end technology track presentations that reflect unfavorably on the character of the meeting and the Society.
- The relationship must preserve or promote trust in ISCB and in the professional computational biology community.
To be effective, professionalism requires the public's trust. Corporate relationships that could undermine the public's trust in ISCB or the related profession are not acceptable.
No relationship should raise questions about the scientific content of ISCB’s conferences, ISCB's advocacy on issues pertaining to computational biology or the truthfulness of its public statements.
- The relationship must maintain ISCB's integrity with respect to issues in computational biology.
ISCB accepts funds or royalties from external organizations only if acceptance does not pose a conflict of interest and in no way impacts the objectivity of the society, its members, activities, programs, or employees. For example, relationships requiring exclusivity with manufacturers of information technology, biotechnology, or health-related products marketed to the public could impair ISCB’s objectivity. ISCB's objectivity with respect to scientific issues relevant to the theme of the society issues should not be biased by external relationships.
The following guidelines address a number of special situations regarding external funding.
- Relationships must not permit or encourage undue influence by the corporate partner on ISCB.
ISCB encourages corporate relationships that help the society understand the industrial sector and its goals and interest. As such, we encourage membership of corporate representatives in ISCB’s Innovation Forum. However, an ISCB corporate relationship must not permit undue influence by the corporate partner on ISCB policies, priorities, and actions.
- Participation in a exhibition and technology track program does not imply ISCB's endorsement of an entity or its policies.
Participation in a conference exhibition and/or technology track of an ISCB program does not imply ISCB’s approval of that corporation's general policies, nor does it imply that ISCB will exert any influence to advance the corporation's interests outside the substance of the arrangement itself. ISCB's name and logo should not be used in a manner that would express or imply an ISCB endorsement of the corporation or its policies.
Reviewing of proposals: Every proposal for an external exhibitor or technology track relationship is screened by the ISCB staff. It is the authority and the responsibility of the ISCB staff to conservatively identify proposals that might conflict with the guidelines. Those proposals are given to review by the Fundraising Committee.
Decision on proposals: The staff has the authority to make decisions on proposals of those exhibitors and technology track presenters who have participated in the past. For any other proposal, the Fundraising Committee prepares a suggestion for a decision on the proposal, which it hands over to the Executive Committee for discussion subsequent to handing it over to the Board of Directors for discussion and decision.
Reporting of affiliations: It is important for ISCB to have an orderly reporting process to the ISCB membership. All ISCB corporate arrangements will be summarized annually as part of the material for the annual in-person meeting of the Board of Directors and communicated to the ISCB membership at the ISCB Town Hall (Open Business Meeting) of ISMB and will be included as part of the ISCB Annual Report.