Statutes of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV)
1.1 The official name is the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
2.1 The ICTV is a Committee of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS).
The objectives of the ICTV shall be for public benefit and in particular to advance knowledge and education in virus taxonomy. They are:
3.1 to develop an internationally agreed taxonomy for viruses and related mobile genetic elements (hereafter termed: “viruses”);
3.2 to establish internationally agreed names for virus taxa;
3.3 to communicate the decisions reached concerning the classification of viruses and nomenclature of virus taxa to virologists by holding meetings and publishing reports; and
3.4 to maintain an official index of approved names for virus taxa.
4.1 The membership of the ICTV shall be:
- Executive Committee Members;
- National Members;
- Life Members; and
- Members of the Virus Subcommittees of the Executive Committee.
4.2 The Executive Committee shall have 23 Members representing the diversity of virologists in expertise, geography and demography. Membership shall be:
- Officers, namely President, Vice-President and Secretaries;
- Virus Subcommittee Chairs; and
- Elected Members.
Virus Subcommittee Chairs shall be given remits to ensure that viruses, viroids and satellite nucleic acids of all host and genome types are included.
4.3 The procedures for filling positions on the ICTV, the Executive Committee and the Virus Subcommittees shall be as follows.
- Recommendations for Officers and Elected Members may be made by any virologist to the Nominations Subcommittee of the Executive Committee no earlier than 180 days and no later than 60 days before the ICTV Plenary Meeting. The Nominations Subcommittee shall comprise the President (Chair), Vice-President, Secretaries and Virus Subcommittee Chairs, and shall require a quorum consisting of the President or Vice-President and 6 other Members. All recommendations shall be accompanied by a brief biographical sketch and an indication that the person is willing to stand for election. The Nominations Subcommittee shall agree on a list of nominees from among those recommended and may also add its own nominees. This list shall be published on the ICTV web site. The results of a ballot of the full ICTV membership organized by the Officers, which may include run-off elections, shall be published on the ICTV web site no later than 1 week before the same Plenary Meeting.
- President and Vice-President shall be elected by a vote of the full ICTV membership. They shall be elected for a term of 3 years and may not serve for more than 2 consecutive terms.
- Three Secretaries shall be elected by a vote of the full ICTV membership. They shall be elected for a term of 6 years and may be re-elected.
- Elected Members shall be elected by a vote of the full ICTV membership. They shall be elected for a term of 3 years and may not serve for more than 2 consecutive terms.
- Virus Subcommittee Chairs shall be elected by a vote of the Executive Committee, normally at a meeting preceding the Plenary Meeting. Nominations shall be made to the President and shall be accompanied by an indication that the person is willing to stand for election. Virus Subcommittee Chairs shall be elected for 3 years and may not serve for more than 2 consecutive terms.
- The total number of Elected Members and Virus Subcommittee Chairs shall be 18, with the number in each category determined by the Executive Committee.
- No person shall serve on the Executive Committee for more than 4 consecutive complete terms, other than as Officers subject to the limitations set out in Articles 4.3.2 and 4.3.3.
- The Executive Committee shall fill positions that are vacant because of resignation, inability to serve or a failure in the normal channels of appointment. Such an interim appointment shall end at the following Plenary Meeting, and time served shall not count towards term limits.
- National Members shall be nominated by Member Societies of the Virology Division of the IUMS. Societies belonging to the IUMS are considered to be Member Societies of the Division if they have Members actively interested in virology. Whenever practicable, each country shall be represented by at least one National Member, and no country shall be represented by more than five National Members. Nominations of virologists as National Members shall not require approval by the ICTV. However, it is the responsibility of a Member Society to inform one of the Secretaries in writing of the selection of their National Member before the Plenary Meeting. National Members shall be appointed for a term of 3 years following the Plenary Meeting. There is no limit to the number of terms that a National Member may serve, but their appointment should be formally reviewed by the appointing National Society every 3 years.
- Life Members shall be nominated by the Executive Committee, normally in recognition of outstanding services to virus taxonomy. Currently serving Executive Committee Members and virologists within 6 months of their retirement from the Executive Committee shall not be eligible for election. Life Members shall be elected by a vote of the full ICTV membership.
- Virologists shall be appointed to Virus Subcommittees by the Virus Subcommittee Chairs and shall not require further approval. These shall include ex officio all Study Group Chairs (see Article 4.5).
4.4 The Finance Subcommittee of the Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers and the Treasurer and shall be chaired by the President. The President shall replace any Officer who cannot serve for good reason by another Executive Committee Member. The Treasurer shall be an Executive Committee Member appointed by the Finance Subcommittee to administer any funds that may be allocated to the ICTV by the Virology Division of the IUMS or other sources.
4.5 Virus Subcommittee Chairs shall form Study Groups to examine the classification of particular groups of viruses and the nomenclature of taxa by appointing Study Group Chairs, who shall be Virus Subcommittee Members. Each Study Group Chair shall appoint Study Group Members. Study Group Members, other than those who are Study Group Chairs or ICTV Members in other capacities, shall not be ICTV Members, but their names shall be published on the ICTV web site to recognize their valuable contribution to virus taxonomy. Study Group Chairs and other Study Group Members shall usually be appointed immediately after the Plenary Meeting and shall serve until the following Plenary Meeting, which is normally a period of 3 years. Except for unusual circumstances, the term of office of Study Group Chairs shall be limited to 2 consecutive periods of 3 years.
5.1 Executive Committee Meetings shall be held annually. Plenary Meetings of the full ICTV membership shall be held every three years. In the years when it coincides with the International Congresses of Virology (ICV) organized by the IUMS, the Plenary Meeting shall be held in conjunction with the ICV. Otherwise the Plenary Meeting shall be held online no later than one month after the Executive Committee annual meeting.
6.1 Taxonomic proposals may be initiated by an individual ICTV Member, a Virus Study Group, or a Virus Subcommittee. In addition, any scientist may submit a taxonomic proposal or suggestion to the appropriate Virus Subcommittee Chair(s) following the procedures described below.
Proposals shall be sent to the appropriate Virus Subcommittee Chair for consideration by that Virus Subcommittee and the appropriate Study Group(s). Proposals shall also be sent for consideration to all Study Groups and Virus Subcommittees whose interests might be affected by the taxonomic or nomenclatural changes proposed. Taxonomic proposals approved by any Virus Subcommittee, usually in consultation with a Study Group, shall be submitted to the Executive Committee by the Virus Subcommittee Chair for approval. Proposals approved by the Executive Committee shall be published on the ICTV web site and presented for ratification to the full ICTV membership by a ballot organized by the Officers.
7.1 Decisions of the full membership of the ICTV (see Article 4.1) shall be taken by a simple majority of those who are eligible to vote and are either present at a Plenary Meeting or reply to a ballot within 1 month of a proposal being circulated. A quorum shall consist of the President or Vice-President and 18 other Members. No Member may vote more than once on any particular proposal. In the event of a tied vote, the proposal shall not be approved.
7.2 Proposals for changes to taxonomy, nomenclature, the ICTV Code (see Article 8) or the ICTV Statutes shall be voted on in two stages: (1) the Executive Committee shall vote either at a meeting or by a ballot organized by the Officers on whether a proposal shall be presented to the ICTV for ratification as specified by Article 6.1, and (2) the full membership of the ICTV shall decide whether to ratify a proposal either at a Plenary Meeting or by a ballot organized by the Officers. Executive Committee decisions shall be made by a simple majority of Members voting. A quorum shall consist of the President or Vice-President, 1 Secretary and 9 other Executive Committee Members. Changes to the ICTV Statutes shall require the additional approval of the Virology Division of the IUMS (see Statute 11).
7.3 Matters of Executive Committee business not directly concerned with changes to taxonomy, nomenclature, the ICTV Code or the ICTV Statutes may be decided by consensus under the President's chairmanship. Any Executive Committee Member may call for a vote on such matters.
The International Code of Virus Classification and Nomenclature (ICVCN; the ICTV Code)
8.1 Classification and nomenclature of viruses and related agents shall be subject to rules formalised in the ICTV Code. The ICTV Code and substantive modifications to it are subject to the approval of Executive Committee and the full membership of the ICTV (see Article 7).
Duties of Executive Committee Members
9.1 The duties of the President shall be:
- to preside at Executive Committee Meetings and Plenary Meetings;
- with the Secretaries, to prepare the agendas for Executive Committee Meetings and Plenary Meetings;
- to act as or appoint an editor-in-chief for the ICTV Report; and
- to act as Virus Subcommittee Chair for proposals of a broad or general nature, or to delegate this duty within the Executive Committee.
9.2 The duties of the Vice-President shall be:
- to carry out the duties of the President in the absence of the President; and
- to attend Executive Committee Meetings and Plenary Meetings.
9.3 The duties of the Secretaries shall be:
- to attend Executive Committee Meetings and Plenary Meetings;
- with the President, to prepare the agendas for Executive Committee Meetings and Plenary Meetings;
- to prepare minutes of Executive Committee Meetings and Plenary Meetings and ensure their timely publication on the ICTV web site;
- to keep an up-to-date record of ICTV membership;
- to manage the submission and processing of taxonomic proposals; and
- to maintain the ICTV web site and associated databases providing up-to-date information on taxonomy, activities and membership, and also the ICTV Report.
9.4 The duties of Virus Subcommittee Chairs shall be:
- to attend Executive Committee Meetings;
- to appoint Virus Subcommittee Members;
- to appoint Study Group Chairs;
- to organize the Virus Subcommittees and Study Groups to study taxonomic problems and bring forward proposals;
- to present taxonomic proposals to the Executive Committee for voting;
- to co-ordinate the preparation of updates of the ICTV Report; and
- to ensure the presentation at the Plenary Meeting of taxonomic changes implemented since the preceding Plenary Meeting.
9.5 The duties of Elected Members shall be:
- to contribute specialist input to Executive Committee discussions, in particular on subjects unfamiliar to Virus Subcommittee Chairs;
- when appropriate, at the request of a Virus Subcommittee Chair and with the approval of the Executive Committee, to act as Virus Subcommittee Deputy Chair and assist the Virus Subcommittee Chair in reviewing taxonomic proposals and presenting them to the Executive Committee;
- to promote ICTV activities in diverse forums; and
- to take on ad hoc tasks as requested by the President.
10.1 Changes to taxonomy, nomenclature, the ICTV Code or the ICTV Statutes shall be published in rapid short form, for example in Virology Division News, and as part of the ICTV Report.
10.2 Whenever feasible, taxonomic information shall be published in database form.
10.3 No ICTV publication shall bear any indication of sponsorship by a commercial agency or institution connected in any way with a commercial company, unless approved by the Executive Committee on a case-by-case basis.
10.4 Publications shall bear the name of the ICTV only if all the material contained therein has been authorized, prepared or edited by the ICTV or an ICTV Committee or Virus Subcommittee.
10.5 Publications containing translations of ICTV-approved material may only bear the name of the ICTV if they have been approved by the Executive Committee.
11.1 The ICTV Statutes, and any subsequent changes to them, shall be approved by votes of the Executive Committee and the full ICTV membership (see Statute 7) and then approved by the Virology Division of the IUMS.
Disposition of Funds
12.1 In the event of dissolution of the ICTV, any remaining funds shall be turned over to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Virology Division of the IUMS.
12.2 Any surplus assets or funds must be used for the charitable purposes set out under Article 3 or for purposes that are charitable within the context of Section 505 of the United Kingdom Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (or statutory re-enactment thereof).
13.1 The ICTV shall have its legal seat where the office of the President is located.