(Updated October 2019)
ARTICLE 1. Name.
The name of the organization shall be the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, hereafter called “the Society.” The Society shall be an international organization.
ARTICLE 2. Purpose.
The purposes of the Society are to provide facilities for association and conference among molecular evolutionists and to further the goals of molecular evolutionary biology and its practitioners, including the publication of the two journals, Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE), and Genome Biology and Evolution (GBE).
ARTICLE 3. Membership.
All individuals actively interested in any field of molecular evolutionary biology shall be eligible for active membership. One becomes an active member when the dues are accepted or when they accept an invitation by the Society.
ARTICLE 4. Officers and Council.
a. Composition. The officers of the organization shall be the Immediate Past President, the President, the President-elect, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. A full council will also have six elected councilors. The officers and the councilors shall constitute the Council. The Editors in Chief (EiCs) of MBE and GBE will also serve on the Council as ex officio non-voting members.
b. Eligibility. All members of the society shall be eligible to be officers or council members, with the following provisos.
i) EiCs are ex officio members of council, and are not eligible to be officers or councilors while serving as EiCs.
ii) A voting council member whose third and final year on Council ended in the past calendar year is not eligible to be reelected to the Council during the current calendar year.
iii) An individual may not be elected to the same Council position more than once.
c. Nominations. The President shall appoint a Nominating Committee and its chair by the end of December each year to propose candidates for the following year’s election of Council members who will begin their duties January 1 of the year after the election. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three to five active Society members who are not members of the Council. The Secretary shall be an ex officio, non-voting member of the Committee. Once the Nominating Committee is formed, the Secretary shall inform the entire Society membership of its composition and invite suggestions for nominees. Two candidates shall be put forward for each office to be filled. The candidates for Councilors shall be presented in a single list in alphabetical order. The Committee shall do their best to ensure that the list of candidates reflects the diversity of SMBE members. The Nominating Committee may put forward a single name for the offices of Treasurer and/or Secretary, in which case, this action must be approved by the Council. Candidates for all offices must be Society members at the time of the election.
d. Election of Officers shall be by a simple majority of those voting. Election of Councilors shall be by plurality of those voting, where members are permitted to vote for any number of candidates up to and including the number of Councilor positions being filled. Ties are to be resolved by the Council. Elections shall be held by electronic ballot.
e. Terms of Officers, Councilors, and Editors in Chief (EiCs). The terms of the officers shall be three years. A person elected for Presidency shall serve as President-elect, President, and Past-President for the first, second, and third year, respectively. Councilors will each serve 3-year staggered terms so that two new councilors are elected annually. The terms of the Secretary and the Treasurer shall be staggered. Terms shall begin on January 1, except for the EiCs, who shall assume their duties so as to be responsible for the next volumes of their respective journals. An overlap period between out-going and in-coming EiCs, Secretary, and Treasurer may be negotiated with terms mutually agreed upon and approved by Council. During any overlap period, final decisions on matters concerning each position will be determined by the individual actually serving at that time (defined by the start dates indicated above). The EiCs of MBE and of GBE shall be appointed by the Council. The terms of the EiCs shall be up to five years, may be staggered in time, and may be terminated by the Council after consultation with members of their respective Editorial Boards. Limiting EiCs to one term is encouraged, and EiCs shall not serve more than two terms on any SMBE journals.
f. Vacancies. Vacancies on the Council shall be filled by appointment by the Council, except: in the event of a vacancy in the Office of President, the President-elect shall become the President for the remainder of the unexpired term as well as for the subsequent term. In the event of vacancy of any other office, the Council shall appoint an active member to serve for the remainder of the year, and the office shall be filled at the next annual election.
i) President. The President shall preside at the meetings of the Society and the Council. With the advice of the Council, the President shall establish committees and appoint representatives as needed. With the exception of the Nominating Committee, Committees shall consist of a maximum of one Council member and at least two Society members not on Council. Individuals not members of the Society may be asked to join committees and may be offered a one one-year gratis membership.
ii) President-elect. The President-elect shall preside in the absence of the President. The President-elect shall direct the planning of annual meetings in accordance with rules established by the Council.
iii) Past-president. The Past President shall Chair the Fitch Committee to choose participants in the Fitch Symposium. This committee or another appointed by the Past-president shall also take responsibility for awarding travel grants and promoting participation at annual meetings of younger scientists and under-represented groups.
iv) Secretary. The Secretary shall: (1) keep the records of the Society; (2) send to all members the date and place of the annual meeting, a call for contributions to be presented at that meeting, and a call for suggestions for nomination for all offices to be filled by election; (3) At least six weeks before the annual meeting, send all members a ballot bearing the names of nominees for office; (4) prepare minutes of the annual meeting and publish an annual report to the members concerning actions of the Council and activities of the Society and its Committees and representatives; (5) deposit those records of the Society no longer needed on an electronic archive; in addition to Society records such as all formal reports, minutes of Council and Society meetings, and materials relating to the annual meetings, other material deemed of historical value may be deposited in the archive only with approval of Council; and (6) be responsible for maintaining the Society web site and social media.
v) Treasurer. The Treasurer shall: (1) have charge of all funds of the Society and be responsible for their investment; (2) be bonded in an appropriate amount fixed by the Council; and (3) prepare an annual statement to the members of the financial status of the Society. This annual statement shall be reviewed by two auditors appointed by the President before the annual meeting of the Society.
vi) Councilors. Elected councilors shall participate in all matters of the Council and attend annual meetings of the Society.
vii) Editors in Chief. Each EiC shall carry out policy decisions of the Council, report directly to the Council, and be authorized to act for his/her respective Editorial Boards in arriving at Editorial decisions and conducting routine business. Editorial Board meetings may be held by electronic means. Each of the Editors shall submit an annual report to the Society regarding the operation of their respective journals. EiCs shall also serve as non-voting ex officio members of the Council.
ARTICLE 5. Meetings.
Meetings of the Council may be called by the president or any three other members of the Council. Meetings of the Council may be by electronic means or teleconference, electronic meetings should occur over reasonable periods of time to allow full participation, and all Council members shall be made aware of the meeting in a timely fashion.
The time and place of the Annual Meeting of the Society shall be determined by the Council at the recommendation of the President-Elect. The registration fee shall be set by the organizing Committee in consultation with the Council to allow a lower fee for members than for non-members.
A Society Business Meeting shall coincide with the annual meeting. At the business meeting, the President shall present an annual report of the Society, including the financial status and the next annual meeting. Each EiC shall present a report concerning the publications of the Society journals. At the business meeting, the President shall also solicit recommendations concerning any Society activities to be considered by the Council.
ARTICLE 6. Quorum.
Two thirds of the Council shall constitute a quorum for Council meetings; in the case of electronic meetings, two-thirds of Council must respond within a reasonable time period set by the President in order to be considered a quorum. A quorum of the membership shall be those attending a duly called meeting or responding to a polling of members within a reasonable time period set by the President.
ARTICLE 7. Voting.
Actions of the Council at a duly constituted Council meeting require a majority of those present to approve. A Council meeting is duly constituted if properly called and a quorum is present.
Actions of the membership at the annual meeting also require a majority, but are not binding on the Council excepting demands for polling of the membership on any issue. Actions taken by a majority of the voting members in a polling are binding on the Council except for contradictions of or amendments to these by-laws (see article 11).
ARTICLE 8. Finances.
a. Budget. The Council shall be responsible for determining the budget. Expenditures in accord with the budget are to be jointly authorized by the President and Treasurer.
b. Dues. Annual dues shall be determined by the Council and will normally include a subscription to the society’s journals, although Society membership without a subscription shall be an option. Graduate students who provide evidence of their status are entitled to active membership at reduced cost. Postdoctoral Fellows are also entitled to active membership at a reduced cost. Payment shall be due January 1. New members shall be billed for dues from the previous January 1, and shall receive MBE for the entire year. Members who have not paid their dues by January 1 are past due shall not be considered active, voting members and shall not receive any benefits of membership until their dues are paid.
ARTICLE 9. Publications.
a. Journals. The Society shall publish 1) Molecular Biology and Evolution [MBE] and 2) Genome Biology and Evolution [GBE] as its official journals. Publication in the journals shall be open to members and non-members alike. Acceptance shall be decided after Editorial review solely on merit and suitability. Other publications may be issued as the Council shall authorize.
b. Editorial Boards. The Editorial Boards of society journals will consist of Senior Editors and/or Associate Editors. They shall be appointed by the respective Editors in Chief from a list of candidates submitted to the Council by each EiC and approved by the Council. Editorial Board members shall serve three-year terms which may be renewed by the EiC. EiCs may also appoint Guest Editors to the Editorial Board for special journal issues and manuscripts. Guest Editor appointments must be restricted to handing one or a few manuscripts. EiCs may retire any member of the Editorial Board prior to the completion of their three-year term in order to improve editorial efficiency and to make room for appointment of editors who will enhance the scientific excellence and breadth.
ARTICLE 10. Codes of Conduct.
Procedural problems will be resolved according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
The society shall have a publicly available standing policy against bullying and harassment, including a process for dealing with violations. This policy shall apply to all society related business.
All meetings of the society shall have a well-publicized code of conduct, to which members must agree prior to registering for meetings.
ARTICLE 11. Amending By-Laws.
Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by Council or by petition of Society members, whose proposal must be approved by Council. The Bylaws may be changed by a two-thirds vote of the members voting in an online ballot. Voting ceases 15 days after initial announcement. Proposed Bylaws changes must be accompanied by an explication and rationale for the proposed changes.
Adopted June 12, 1992 by unanimous vote of those attending meeting and amended by mail ballot October 8, 1993, March 1, 1995, March 30, 2007, November 7, 2008 and January 19, 2011.
This bylaws was passed on January 13, 2011, by the election of the SMBE members with 98% approval. Among the 239 ballots returned, 235 voted for the Bylaws amendments proposed by the council, which led to this iteration of the Bylaws, and 4 voted to keep the previous Bylaws.
The bylaws were amended on July 10, 2013 by the vote of the members of SMBE. The amendments were passed by a vote of 248 to 26.
The bylaws were amended on October 26, 2019 by the vote of the members of SMBE. The amendments were passed by a vote of 368 to 12.