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By-Laws for the NIH Fellows Editorial Board

Mission Statement

The NIH Fellows Editorial Board (FEB) offers a free and confidential editorial service for NIH fellows. The Board members edit manuscripts, abstracts, book chapters, clinical protocols, and grant submissions and offer suggestions for grammar, structure, and style, but not for scientific content. The Board provides valuable training and editorial experience to its members for academic as well as nonacademic scientific careers.

Types of Membership

  1. Active members: All NIH fellows are eligible for active membership on the Editorial Board. Active members participate in all FEB activities including weekly meetings, editing, organizing workshops, and advertising. Post-baccalaureate fellows will serve as the fourth primary editor on a manuscript and will not be responsible for compiling electronic or soft copy reports.  Additional participation by post-baccalaureate fellows may be determined on an individual basis, as necessary.
  2. Consulting members: NIH-affiliated science writers and experienced editors who are not fellows are eligible for consulting membership. These members can choose their level of involvement in the activities of the Board. Former active members who have served on the Board for at least 1 year are eligible for consulting membership on an individual basis.
  3. Non-fellow members:  Any NIH employee who is not a fellow is eligible for non-fellow membership (with his/her supervisor's permission).  Non-fellow members enjoy all the benefits and responsibilities of active membership, including voting rights, but are not eligible for the position of Senior Editor.

Membership Eligibility

  1. All fellows (post-doctoral, clinical, pre-doctoral, and post-baccalaureate), science writers, experienced editors, and non-fellow employees from NIH are eligible for membership.
  2. Non-fellow members are required to submit a letter of approval from their supervisor.
  3. A commitment of one year is required to become an active or non-fellow member of the Board.
  4. For active membership, fellows will be given priority over non-fellows.
  5. At the time of accepting non-fellow applicants, there should be at least two-thirds members who are fellows.
  6. Approval of non-fellow memberships will occur at the weekly meeting if necessary, while approval of new active memberships will take place only if there is an objection. Such an objection should be conveyed to the Senior Editor. The presence of the member who has such an objection is mandatory at the subsequent meeting.
  7. Active and non-fellow members who are no longer able to maintain their present membership status because of scheduling conflicts may request consulting membership status.  Such requests will be discussed and voted on by the Board.

Meetings

  1. The Board meets once weekly on Monday from 12 noon to 1:30 PM.
  2. If no manuscripts have been submitted, the Senior Editor can cancel the weekly meeting at his/her discretion.
  3. The Board is in recess for the last two weeks of each year and may move for a two-week recess during the summer, to be voted on yearly by members of the Board.

Attendance

  1. For continued membership, attendance at the Board meetings is mandatory.
  2. Members unable to attend a weekly meeting must notify the Senior Editor for an excused absence at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
  3. Excused absences include, but are not limited to, emergencies; annual, sick or maternity leave; scientific meetings; or patient care.
  4. Three consecutive unexcused absences from the regular meetings will result in the automatic termination of membership.
  5. Members are permitted total sabbatical time of three months per calendar year, with prior notice to the Senior Editor. After this period, members must resume their active membership or resign from the Board.
  6. The Board will determine whether membership should be continued for a member who is frequently absent, whether excused or unexcused, from regular Monday meetings.
  7. Former Senior Editors can become active or consulting members after serving their term and while they are still working at NIH.

Duties

  1. Members must read every manuscript submitted to the Board and must participate in all activities of the Board.
  2. Manuscripts are reviewed by three or four primary editors (assigned/volunteered). The primary editors are responsible for the timely preparation of written comments on both electronic and soft copy reports, according to the guidelines of the Editorial Board.
  3. Attendance of the primary editors assigned to the manuscript under discussion is mandatory for that meeting.
  4. The primary editors of the manuscript will remain anonymous.
  5. Members are allowed to submit their own manuscript(s) for review. However, they cannot be present for the discussion of their own document.

Election of the Senior Editor

  1. Fellows who have served for at least six months on the Board are eligible for the Senior Editor position.
  2. The call for nominations for this post will be issued in late November (or upon the resignation of the current Senior Editor). All nominations must be e-mailed to NCIeditors@mail.nih.gov by the first week of December. The elections will be held during the second week of December.
  3. The period of appointment for a Senior Editor will be for a minimum of six months and a maximum of one year. Members who are unable to commit for this period are not eligible for nomination.
  4. A quorum, defined as two-thirds of the active membership, must be present for the election. Voting will be by secret ballot and the votes will be collected and counted by the current Senior Editor. In the absence of a quorum, votes may be cast by sending e-mail to NCIeditors@mail.nih.gov.

Associate Editors

  1. There will be 4 Associate Editors in addition to the Senior Editor.
  2. The Associate Editor will serve for at least six months, but will have the option of stepping down if necessary.
  3. Volunteers will be accepted for the Associate Editor position.
  4. Qualifications for the Associate Editor are as follows:
    • The Associate Editor must be an active member who is a post-doctoral, clinical, or pre-doctoral fellow.
    • The Associate Editor must have served as a primary editor for at least 3 manuscripts.
    • The Associate Editor must have compiled at least one soft copy/electronic report.

Amendments

  1. Revision of the by-laws, if necessary, will take place every six months.

i Revised and accepted on February 19, 2010

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