AAG: Code of Practice for Symposia

Code of Practice for Symposia

Please download the AAG Code of Practice for Symposia (PDF) for all details.

1        SCOPE




5        COUNCIL INVOLVEMENT          


7        FINANCE           

8        PUBLICITY        





13      PROCEEDINGS VOLUME          





1        SCOPE

i.        The Code of Practice (“the Code”) applies specifically to the biennial plenary congress of the Association of Applied Geochemists (“AAG”) and has been approved by the AAG Council (“Council”).

ii.       The organisers of IAGS conducted under agreement with the AAG will adhere to the Code.

iii.      The AAG Council reserves the right to amend or depart from the Code and associated guidelines at any time, or to agree to variations in the Code with the LOCs.

iv.      The Code may be applied to other symposia, meetings, workshops or conferences sponsored or co-sponsored by the AAG, as Council determines.

v.       The guidelines will be reviewed by Council following the completion of each IAGS.


i.        The official title of the biennial plenary congress of the AAG shall be:

“The nth  International Applied Geochemistry Symposium (nth IAGS)”

ii.       A subsidiary title describing the theme of the IAGS (the “Symposium”) may be added, but is not mandatory.


i.        Council will seek proposals to host an IAGS at least two years prior to the year in which the proposed IAGS is to be held.

ii.       Proposals shall be submitted to the AAG Symposium Co-ordinator who will assess the proposal in terms of completeness and, if satisfactory, pass the proposal onto the Council for consideration within four weeks of receipt of the proposal.

iii.      Council shall consider all formal proposals to host the IAGS received and inform applicants of its decision as soon as possible.

iv.      The basis for selection shall include:

  • The quality of the proposed scientific program;
  • The time and location of the meeting;
  • The preliminary budget;
  • Any other factors that Council may deem appropriate.

v.       Before consideration or final approval, Council may ask for clarification or amendments to proposals.

vi.      Council reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, or to assume direct organisation of an IAGS.

vii.     The proposal must include the following:

  • Proposed Symposium dates (and alternate dates where appropriate);
  • Description of the city or town of choice, and surrounding region;
  • Composition, experience and technical expertise of the LOC;
  • Description of proposed technical program, including associated workshops and field excursions;
  • Details of the proposed involvement of other scientific associations or organisation in the Symposium and proposed financial arrangements;
  • Social and Accompanying Persons programs; and
  • Budget (as per Schedule 1).

viii.    Successful proposals will become the joint property of the AAG and the LOC and may be made available, in total or in part, on a confidential basis to groups or individuals intending to submit proposals to the AAG for future Symposia.


i.        Symposia will be organised and delivered by a LOC with authority to undertake this task formally delegated to it by Council under a signed MOU or contract.

ii.       The LOC must contain an executive of four members, at least one of whom must be an AAG Fellow, with the positions of:

  • Chairperson;
  • Vice Chairperson;
  • Treasurer; and
  • Secretary.

iii.      The LOC should include further members to cover key components of the Symposium such as the technical program, short courses, field excursions and social program.

iv.      Council strongly endorses the use of a professional conference organiser (PCO) to help with AAG Symposia, however the LOC must retain responsibility for the scientific and technical program. The likely cost of retaining the services of a PCO must be reflected in the draft budget supplied to the AAG Symposium Co-ordinator.


i.        The Chairperson of the LOC (or nominee) shall report to Council on progress with the Symposium organisation, through the AAG Symposium Co-ordinator, as follows:

  • Until six months before the Symposium  –  prior to each AAG Council meeting
  • Six months before the Symposium – at intervals not exceeding one month, until the Symposium.

ii.       Reports must include minutes of any meetings of the LOC.

iii.      The Symposium Co-ordinator shall pass on relevant details of such reports to Council as soon as practicable.

iv.      Aspects to be covered in the reports shall include, but not necessarily be restricted to, the status of the:

  • Venue
  • Budget and Finances
  • Technical program
  • Registrations (by category)
  • Accommodation, catering and other logistical arrangements
  • Short Courses and field excursions
  • Publicity
  • LOC membership and activities

v.       Should Council determine that there have been significant breaches of the Code by the LOC or significant lack of progress in organisation of a Symposium, the AAG reserves the right to resume any or all of the functions of the LOC, including specific committee roles, and to seek immediate return of all or part of the seed funds and transfer of other income related to the Symposium to the AAG.


i.        The AAG encourages joint or co-sponsored symposia with other kindred scientific or professional organisations (a “Partner”) where this will further advance the objectives of the AAG.

ii.       The details of any involvement by other organisations must be incorporated in the Symposium proposal or subsequently approved by Council.

iii.      The LOC retains responsibility for the organisation, financial and administrative control of the Symposium under the delegation from Council.

7        FINANCE

i.        Symposia shall be fully financed through registration fees and sponsorship.

ii.       Any surplus funds resulting from a Symposium shall accrue to the AAG.

iii.      The AAG will be responsible for making up any shortfalls in Symposium finances insofar as this is covered by the agreement between the AAG and the LOC.

iv.      The successful LOC may request seed money (a loan) from the AAG. This money is to be repaid when the Symposium financial affairs are reconciled. Seed money will not be granted until the initial proposal and budget have been accepted by Council. The AAG shall not levy interest on this loan, but its approval shall depend upon the financial resources of the AAG.

v.       If the host nation has foreign currency restrictions that would prevent repayment, seed money will be retained with the AAG for disbursement as required.

vi.      The LOC, in their proposal, may seek approval of the AAG Council to use some of the surplus locally for the benefit of the AAG or applied geochemistry.

vii.     Where the LOC obtains approval for joint Symposium sponsorship by a Partner, for all or part of a Symposium, up to 25% of the surplus from the Symposia may be disbursed to the Partner under a model agreed with the AAG but with the following general conditions:

  • Any proposals to share risk and surplus from an AAG Symposium with a Partner must be presented by both the LOC and the Partner at least 12 months in advance of the Symposium. AAG reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to decline any such arrangements to share surplus and risk.
  • AAG will not enter into an agreement with a Partner in which the AAG receives less than 75% of the surplus from an IAGS.
  • All such arrangements will be to share both risk of loss as well as surplus. Any Partner must satisfy Council that they can meet their share of any losses should they occur, and must undertake in writing to do so.
  • Repayment of seed funding to the AAG is the first call on any surplus made by an AAG Symposium.

viii.    Insurance coverage for the Symposium, particularly cancellation insurance, public injury and public liability insurance is mandatory and shall be budgeted accordingly.

ix.      The LOC may set higher charges for delegates who register after a certain date, and may levy all or part of the registration fees of delegates who cancel their registration at short notice.

x.       Non-members of AAG must be charged an additional general registration fee of at least an amount equivalent to the annual AAG subscription.

xi.      A significantly reduced registration fee must be available to all bona-fide students.

xii.     All relevant costs for the LOC associated with the organisation of a Symposium must be included in the budget proposal.  With respect to IAGS these may include:

  • Cost of basic registration and direct route economy airfares for the attendance of the chairperson (or nominee) of the LOC to attend the preceding IAGS.
  • Reasonable costs of LOC members to attend LOC meetings if resident outside the region where the LOC meetings are held.
  • Attendance of the AAG Symposium Coordinator or another Council nominee at one meeting of the LOC.
  • Direct non-salary costs of the organisations in which LOC members are employed.
  • Registration of LOC members at the Symposium

xiii.    All relevant costs for workshop and field excursions (events) associated with the organisation of a Symposium must be included in the budget proposal.

xiv.    The following cannot be included in any costs (without Council approval):

  • Salary costs or honorariums for LOC members or event co-ordinators / leaders.
  • Expenditure on capital items.
  • Payment of accommodation or travel for any conference speakers.

xv.     All monetary amounts should be expressed in the local currency of the country in which the Symposium is being held and equivalent USD.

xvi.    Secure credit card facilities must be available to delegates to make payment for registration, accommodation and other events.

8        PUBLICITY

i.        The LOC must provide an IAGS-specific website, including provision for web-based registrations and submission of abstracts, and which is regularly updated as Symposium planning progresses.

ii.       Publicity material shall be prepared and released at regular intervals including the main avenues for communication within the AAG.

iii.      Advertising of Symposium-related material in AAG-related media shall be at the expense of the AAG and not the LOC

iv.      Advertisements shall be placed in relevant publications and posted on electronic bulletin boards, at the discretion of and cost to the LOC.

v.       Details of technical sessions, oral presentations and posters shall be made available to delegates at least three months before the Symposium, though these may be amended prior to the Symposium.

vi.      The limits of the LOC responsibilities in terms of financial obligation to and entertainment of delegates, shall be clearly defined in any publicity material. In particular, the word ’invitation‘ should be avoided.

vii.     In return for making the time of the LOC chairperson available and other administrative support, the organisation employing the LOC chairperson will be offered free Platinum Sponsorship status.  Sponsorship status may be offered to the organisations employing other LOC members by Council depending on the level of support.

viii.    The AAG must be provided with one large display booth at the Symposium free of charge.


i.        All Symposium registrants who are not members of the AAG shall be eligible to receive a 25% discount on membership (apart from student membership) of the AAG for one year, pending completion of an AAG membership application that is accepted by Council


i.        During the Symposium appropriate times and locations that do not conflict with other Symposium program items shall be set aside, in consultation with the Symposium Coordinator, for:

  • The AAG Annual General Meeting of 1 hour duration.
  • A Council meeting of 30 minutes duration (normally immediately following the Annual General Meeting).
  • A formal plenary session presentation by the AAG Distinguished Lecturer(s) of 40 minutes duration per distinguished lecturer (to a maximum of 2 persons), which may delivered in plenary sessions of the Symposium.
  • Presentation by the Editor of GEEA or nominee of 5 minutes duration.
  • Announcement and promotion of the next IAGS.
  • A Conference Dinner, during which time should be set aside for the presentation of AAG Medals, the Student Paper Prize and other awards as indicated by Council. 


i.        The scientific program of the Symposium shall be organised into themes, which shall be advertised by circulars and on the AAG website prior to the first Call for Papers at least 15 month prior to the Symposium.

ii.       The LOC shall form a technical subcommittee whose responsibility is to determine the appropriateness of offered presentations at the Symposium, and determine whether presentations should be presented in either an oral or poster form.

iii.      The official language of the AAG and its Symposia is English. All presentations (oral and poster scientific presentations, workshops, field excursions and abstracts) shall be presented in English.

iv.      The format of abstracts and the deadline for their submission shall be clearly stated in circulated publicity and on the IAGS website.

v.       All abstracts shall be peer-refereed by two reviewers prior to acceptance by the LOC, preferably by session or theme chairs. Criteria used for determining whether material is appropriate include:

  • Originality
  • Conformity with designated conference themes
  • Scientific content
  • Commercial content that may compromise scientific integrity

vi.      Each registered delegate to a Symposium shall be provided with bound hard copy and digital versions of the Abstracts volume at registration.

vii.     The AAG will hold copyright of the Symposium Abstract Volume and presenters are to be informed of this.


i.        The LOC shall provide the Council with a list of suitable keynote speakers to present in selected sessions of the Symposium. Where possible, keynote speakers will be identified who plan to attend the Symposium, thereby avoiding any commitment of the AAG to finance the attendance of such speakers.

ii.       Each session Chairperson shall be a recognized authority in the field dealt with by the session.

iii.      Multiple sessions are not encouraged, however the AAG recognises that the IAGS must provide opportunity for as many delegates as possible to present oral papers. At least 35% of the presentations must be allocated to plenary (single) sessions.  For the remaining 65% of papers, a maximum of three concurrent oral sessions may run and the program must be organized to ensure that presentations with similar themes are not presented concurrently.

iv.      A suitable location will be provided for the display of posters throughout the conference. Suitable time slots will be scheduled for poster viewing each day of the technical sessions.


i.        The AAG retains the right of first refusal on the publication of the Symposium proceedings in its official journal “Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis” (GEEA) or other journals or monographs nominated by the AAG. If this right is exercised, the reviewing, production and editing of the post-Symposium Proceedings volume shall be the administrative and financial responsibility of the AAG.

ii.       Normal GEEA peer-review and other editorial processes will occur.  Presentation at the Symposium or submission of a manuscript will not guarantee inclusion in GEEA.

iii.      The deadline for the submission of manuscripts shall be determined by the Editor of GEEA and indicated to participants within one month of the end of the Symposium.

iv.      The LOC or AAG may make digital copies of all oral or poster presentations in a Symposium available to Symposium participants providing presenters formally indicated their agreement.


i.        The Organisers shall solicit suggestions for workshop and short course topics from the AAG membership through advertising in ‘EXPLORE’ and the AAG Website.

ii.       All workshops and short courses shall have a leader who is appointed by, and is responsible to, the LOC for its organisation.

iii.      Workshops and short course shall be properly costed and will not be cross-subsidised by the AAG or the main Symposium without Council approval. Workshop and short course budgets shall form part of the initial bid and subsequent LOC updates to Council.

iv.      If a workshop or short course does not reach the minimum number of participants for financial viability within two months prior to the Symposium, the workshop or short course shall be cancelled, and any registrations charges shall be reimbursed in full.

v.       50% of any surplus from a workshop or short course shall be returned to the AAG and the remainder may be used by the workshop or short course organisers to support their direct costs of delivering the event (including travel and accommodation but excluding personal payment) and for activities which support the objectives of the AAG.


i.        The LOC will provide for one or more field excursions featuring technical content of relevance to the conference.  Up to 25% of the time may be devoted to non-technical interests such as sites of cultural significance.

ii.       Each field trip must have a leader who is appointed by, and is responsible to, the LOC for the organisation of the trip.

iii.      Each field trip must have at least one leader or participant who is thoroughly familiar with the locale, in order to deal with safety issues and emergencies.

iv.      Safety protocols of the highest standards should be adhered to in running a field trip, with all field trip leaders well versed in safety. At least one of the leaders or helpers on a field trip should be trained in First Aid.  Field trip leaders must submit an Occupational Health and Safety risk assessment and detailed itinerary to the LOC for approval.

v.       The dates of the beginning and ending of field trips shall not be changed later than six months before the Symposium.

vi.      If a Field Trip is cancelled for any reason the participants shall be notified not later than two months before the Symposium, and their payments refunded in full.

vii.     50% of any surplus in funds for a field trip shall be returned to the AAG and the remainder may be used by the field trip organizers, with the agreement of Council, for activities which support the objectives of the AAG.

viii.    The cost of transport, accommodation and food of field trip leaders may be incorporated into the cost of the field excursion.


i.        The organization of an Accompanying Persons Program is obligatory.

ii.       If any accompanying persons’ events are planned and announced, the possibility that they will be cancelled in the event of inadequate support should be clearly stated in the registration package, and in all advance publicity material.


i.        A final report on the Symposium shall be presented to the AAG Symposium Co-ordinator in the specified pro-forma in Schedule 2 not more than six months after the end of the Symposium.

ii.       The report shall include a summary of the important technical and administrative issues raised during the Symposium and a detailed financial statement with reference to the original budget.

iii.      The report should also include recommendations for any changes or additions to the Symposia Guidelines.