Internal Regulations of the International Union of Speleology
Adopted by the General Assembly at the 5th International Congress of Speleology (Stuttgart, Germany, 1969) and modified at the 15th International Congress of Speleology (Kerrville, USA, 2009)
Article 1: Preamble
According to the Union Internationale de Spéléologie’s Act of Societies Article 11 (official paper of the Republic of Slovenia No. 60/5) created during the 4th International Congress of Speleology in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, on September 16, 1965, and amended during the session of the General Assembly held on July 23, 2001 in Brasilia DF, Brazil during the 13th International Congress of Speleology, the Union’s General Assembly decided to set the Union’s stable address in Slovenia and adopted the following:
a) The name of the Society is: Union Internationale de Spéléologie (UIS).
b) The UIS is a legal subject of Slovene law. The UIS headquarters is Postojna, Titov trg 2, Slovenia.
c) The UIS has a logo. It graphically represents the acronym “UIS” with two rectangles above the letters U and S, of the same colour as “UIS” (blue or black), and includes the caption “Union Internationale de Spéléologie.” The seal of the Society is rectangular in shape, 4.7 x 1.3 cm in size, and contains the UIS logo and the heading “Sécrétaire Général.”
d) The UIS can be associated with caving and other organizations in Slovenia and abroad.
e) The UIS works on a volunteer basis and is open to public. The UIS publicizes its activities directly by publishing printed reports and/or through public media.
f) The UIS can have real or other property, which must be listed as property of the UIS in the UIS inventory. Property of the UIS can be bought or sold only through the decision of the UIS Bureau.
g) The UIS can be dissolved by a majority vote of its General Assembly where more than 2/3 of delegates of member countries are present. In the case of UIS dissolution, the General Assembly of the UIS will decide to whom the assets, property, and authority of the UIS will belong.
Article 2: Objectives of Internal Regulations
The purpose of these Internal Regulations is to complement the UIS Statutes by establishing the detailed procedures, standards, and obligations of the UIS Bureau and those the Bureau assigns to perform duties for the UIS. Their intent is to promote fellowship among speleologists and cavers around the world, develop all aspects of speleology (scientific, technical, cultural, sporting, social, and economic), and to promote the protection and management of the world’s speleological and karst heritage in ways conducive to sustainable development in all locations where caves or speleological activities occur.
Article 3: Official documents of the UIS
The official documents of the UIS include:
- Statutes of the UIS
- Internal Regulations of the UIS
- UIS Code of Ethics for cave exploration and science in foreign countries
- Instructions and General Recommendations for Organizers of International Congresses of Speleology
- Agreements signed with other organizations
Article 4: Extraordinary General Assembly
The guide for the accomplishment of Extraordinary General Assemblies with votes by electronic correspondence is a proposed alternative secured by the current statutes of the UIS. Item (g) of Article 3 of the UIS Statutes foresees voting by correspondence, through letter or telegram, since the original version of the Statutes was written in a time before electronic communication. Considering the current widespread use of electronic means of correspondence, the UIS recommends institution of the present norm to regulate voting through electronic means as another alternative voting method.
The use of votes by E-mail correspondence
E-mail voting can be used to facilitate legitimate decision making by an Extraordinary General Assembly on matters important to the UIS, or on matters which the UIS Bureau either does not have the power to address or would rather consult the General Assembly on before taking a decision.
Convocation and Vote
An Extraordinary General Assembly can be called by the Bureau or by request to the Bureau of at least 10 % of the Member Countries of the UIS, as foreseen in the item (d) of Article 4 of the UIS Statutes.
The agenda of the Extraordinary General Assembly is established by Bureau.
The President is the person responsible for writing a Circular Letter to all of the Delegates justifying the need to convoke the Extraordinary General Assembly of the UIS.
The General Secretary sends the President's Circular Letter, together with the agenda for the analysis and vote, to all the Regular and Substitute Delegates of any Member Country of the UIS in good standing with the treasury of the UIS as a first convocation of the Assembly. This should be accompanied with a request to confirm receipt.
The period for voting of the Delegates is 15 (fifteen) days from the first summons and 7 (seven) days from the second one. The deadline for voting will be stated for clarity in the General Secretary’s e-mail, including the date and the time by Greenwich Mean Time. If in the period of 15 (fifteen) days the majority of the Delegates with the right to vote, do not present their votes, the General Secretary sends the same President's Circular Letter again, together with the agenda to be voted, as a second summons of the Assembly.
Each Delegate's vote should be sent to the UIS General Secretary within the established period. Delegates who do not vote or vote outside the established period will be registered as abstentions. A Delegate that has voted in the first summons is released from voting in the second summons, unless the Delegate’s position has altered. If a Delegate votes in response to both summonses, the second vote will be considered the Delegate’s true and final vote.
Scrutiny of the voting
The scrutiny of the voting is responsibility of the UIS General Secretary. To be considered valid, the votes of the Delegates must be clearly stated (YES, NO or ABSTENTION) with no comments or conditions.
Each UIS Member Country has a right to only one vote on each issue brought forward for a vote. If both the Regular and Substitute Delegate for a Member Country vote on the same issue, the Substitute Delegate's vote will only be counted if the Regular Delegate doesn’t vote within the established period.
The results will be determined by a simple majority of received valid votes.
The General Secretary has the obligation to file all of the documents of the summons process, voting, and scrutiny of the voting, for consideration during the next Ordinary General Assembly of the Union.
The General Secretary has the obligation to implement the results of the Extraordinary General Assembly and to inform the international speleological community. Within 15 (fifteen) days after the deadline for the vote, the results of the vote should be sent to the UIS Bureau and all UIS Delegates. The results should be published in the next edition of the UIS Bulletin and presented in the next updating of the UIS Website. Within 30 (thirty) days after the deadline for the vote, the results should be formally sent to all the national federations and associations of all the UIS Member Countries, as well as for their respective publications in the form of a publishable article.
All resolutions approved by an Extraordinary General Assembly with voting by electronic correspondence should be confirmed by the next Ordinary General Assembly of the UIS.
In the case of a tie vote, the power of decision rests with the President of the UIS, at least until the next Ordinary General Assembly of the Union.
Article 5: Bureau Responsibilities and Powers
The UIS Bureau is responsible for:
- Analyzing, and approving or disapproving, new organizations as Affiliated Organizations. These analyses must be made at Bureau meetings.
- Defining the policies for publicizing the UIS.
- Defining the policies governing UIS Internet facilities.
- Proposing new UIS Honorary Bureau Members, but it is necessary for those people to be approved by the General Assembly.
- Copying to the respective nation’s Delegate all official letters to a national federation and/or society of a Member Country.
- Requesting three detailed reports each year from the Organizing Committee of each International Congress of Speleology for the archives of the UIS and for evaluating the Organizing Committee’s progress. The Bureau may request more reports if it believes more information is necessary.
- Collaborating constructively with the Organizing Committee of every International Congress of Speleology to establish the Congress program. The Bureau will supply a copy of the Instructions and General Recommendations for Organizers of International Congresses of Speleology, to each Organizing Committee. If the elected country is unable or potentially unable to successfully host the Congress, the Bureau has the right and duty to convene an Extraordinary General Assembly to review the situation and possibly change the country responsible for the Congress.
Conduct of UIS Bureau meetings:
- Quorum: A Bureau meeting requires the participation of at least five members, otherwise Bureau members present may discuss UIS business but cannot make any decisions.
- All Bureau decisions can be approved by a simple majority of the Bureau members present at a meeting. The President will cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie.
- The Bureau may hold discussions, conduct business, and make decisions by e-mail between Bureau meetings. For such business to be valid, all Bureau members must be copied on the messages. Any Bureau member may make a motion for a vote by e-mailing, sending the motion to all Bureau members and providing a reasonable date and time (set to Greenwich Mean Time) by which the Bureau members must respond for their votes to be counted. The motion is considered a “yes” vote and the first supporting response is also considered a “yes” vote and a second to the motion. A decision is valid once the General Secretary has tallied the votes after the deadline and those results are confirmed by the President and reported to the Bureau. As with regular Bureau meetings, a simple majority is needed for a motion to pass and at least five members of the Bureau must participate.
- The Bureau may hold open and closed meetings, including discussions by e-mail. As much as possible, meetings should be open. Open meetings can be attended by any member of the UIS or any person interested in UIS affairs. Closed meetings will include only the currently elected members of the Bureau and can be called by any Bureau member. A simple majority vote of the Bureau can refer a topic to an open meeting. During meetings where Bureau members are physically present, all topics for the closed portion of the meeting should be scheduled for one closed session.
Conclusion of Bureau membership:
- At the end of a Bureau member’s term in office, all UIS documents, finances, and property in the member’s possession must be transferred to the Secretary General of the new Bureau.
Article 6: President’s Responsibilities and Powers
- is, with the Secretary General, responsible for the function of the UIS Bureau between sessions of the General Assembly;
- presides at all meetings of the Bureau and the General Assembly;
- represents the UIS in all situations where it appears as an international organization;
- raises the profile of the UIS among speleologists, publicizes the work of the UIS, and generally carries out the Publicity Policy which has been determined by the Bureau;
- advises the members of the Bureau and ensures that the work of the Bureau, General Secretary, and Commissions are in agreement with the directives of the General Assembly;
- designates UIS representatives for any event at which he will not be present;
- oversees the utilization of UIS funds after the approval by the Bureau;
- presents a report of the activities of the UIS at every General Assembly;
- coordinates the selection of two commissioners by the General Assembly to verify the financial report of the Treasurer – these commissioners must be Delegates of countries other than that which the Treasurer represents;
- sends copies of all formal UIS correspondence signed by him to the Secretary General.
Article 7: Vice-Presidents’ Responsibilities and Powers
- replace the UIS President on his written demand or in the case that the President is not able to carry out his duties. They must report on all their activities in detail to the UIS President;
- assist the President when requested and collaborate with the General Secretary whenever necessary;
- represent the UIS at all UIS-supported events whenever the President cannot be present;
- should encourage and regulate the commissions and sub-commissions of the UIS and receive regular reports of their activities;
- regularly exchange information with the President and the General Secretary, keeping them informed of their actions;
- send copies of all formal correspondence signed by them to the President and Secretary General.
Appointment of Vice-Presidents:
- Upon the creation of a new Bureau, the Bureau will appoint one Vice-President as Vice-President of Administration. The additional responsibilities and powers of the Vice-President of Administration are to:
- a) coordinate and communicate with the Organizing Committee of each International Congress of Speleology and other international meetings supported by the UIS in the establishment of their programs;
- b) coordinate and communicate with the UIS Commissions, Committees, Working Groups, and other internal UIS organizations to ensure that all groups are active, productive, reporting their results to the Bureau on a regular basis, and publishing their results as available;
- c) assist and rehabilitate International Congress Organizing Committees and UIS internal organizations as needed;
- d) recommend to the Bureau that Organizing Committees and UIS internal organizations continue to be supported by the UIS or be disbanded if they are inactive or not functioning in a way that supports the goals and standards of the UIS;
- e) assign, if the position is vacant, a Librarian for the Documentation Center of the UIS and communicate with that person on a regular basis to insure the Center is active, functioning properly, and that it meets the needs and purposes of the UIS.
- Upon the creation of a new Bureau, the Bureau will appoint one Vice-President as Vice-President of Operations. The additional responsibilities and powers of the Vice-President of Operations are to:
- a) assign, if the position is vacant, a person as Website Manager to coordinate and maintain the UIS website, and communicate with that person on a regular basis to ensure the website is active, productive, up-to-date, easy to use, informative, and reflects the goals and standards of the UIS;
b) assign, if the position is vacant, a person as Technical Manager to attend to the technical aspects of the UIS Internet facilities, and communicate with that person on a regular basis to ensure the facilities are properly operational and secure;
c) assign, if the position is vacant, a person as Chief Editor of the UIS Bulletin who will be responsible for its publication and distribution, and communicate with that person on a regular basis to ensure the Bulletin is produced and distributed on time, within its budget, and is professional in appearance, informative, and reflects the goals and standards of the UIS;
d) assign, if the position is vacant, a person as Chief Editor of the International Journal of Speleology who will be responsible for its publication and distribution, and communicate with that person on a regular basis to insure the Journal is produced and distributed on time and within its budget, maintains a high professional international standard in appearance, content, and scientific recognition, and reflects the goals and standards of the UIS;
e) regularly review the content of all UIS printed and electronic publications, including the website, and coordinate as needed with the President and General Secretary on their policy and content;
f) replace any person in an assigned publication or Internet position, following consultation and approval by the President and General Secretary, if the person is not able or willing to perform their assignment or in a manner consistent with UIS goals and standards.
Article 8: General Secretary´s Responsibilities and Powers
The General Secretary:
- is responsible for the functioning of the Bureau in relation to all technical and financial affairs, as well as the execution of actions determined by the Bureau;
- as Treasurer of the UIS, he is authorized to receive, manage and delegate the finances of the UIS;
- may appoint someone to serve as UIS Treasurer, with the approval of the Bureau, but will retain responsibility for UIS financial affairs and the performance of the appointed Treasurer (all tasks and responsibilities assigned in this document to the Treasurer will apply to the General Secretary and any appointed UIS Treasurer);
- represents the UIS at all events with official support of the UIS whenever both the President and the Vice-Presidents cannot be present, without the need for a special request by the President;
- reports the minutes of the meetings of the Bureau and of the General Assemblies. Within a maximum of 30 (thirty) days after a Bureau meeting, he will send the minutes of each meeting of the Bureau to all Bureau members. Within a maximum of 90 (ninety) days after a General Assembly, the minutes of the General Assembly will be made public so that necessary actions can be taken and information about the UIS is made available. These same time limits apply for sending the minutes or other documents to the Website Manager for inclusion on the UIS website;
- preserves the essential documents of the UIS and must pass these documents on to his successor. These documents include principally protocols and agreements, minutes, reports, files, and accounts;
- sends a copy of all new documentation at the end of each term of office of the 4-year mandate period to the archives of the UIS at the UIS headquarters at the Karst Research Institute in Slovenia;
- maintains contact with all representatives of the Member Countries of the UIS and with national or regional groups, scientific societies, institutes and research centers, as well as isolated researchers and international organizations;
- coordinates the distribution of information of general interest which he receives or that he solicits from correspondents;
- submits a report, at the beginning of each International Congress, summarizing his activities to the General Assembly, as well as the financial balance and an analysis of the existing problems and solutions proposed by the Bureau;
- sends copies of all formal correspondence, which is of general interest to the UIS, to the President.
Article 9: Adjunct Secretaries’ Responsibilities and Powers
The Adjunct Secretaries:
- should be eight;
- serve as voting members of the UIS Bureau and are the primary people consulted by the President, Vice-Presidents, and General Secretary on UIS issues and decisions;
- represent the UIS at all events with the official support of the UIS, either in their country or in any country of their region, whenever the President, one of the Vice-Presidents, or the General Secretary cannot be present, even without any special request by the President;
- should assist the President and General Secretary as requested in all activities of interest to the UIS;
- should regularly exchange information with the President and General Secretary, keeping them informed of their actions.
Article 10: Invited Adjunct Secretaries’ Responsibilities and Powers
The Bureau, by simple majority vote, may appoint people from member countries not represented on the Bureau to serve as Invited Adjunct Secretaries. These members have all of the rights, duties, and privileges of Adjunct Secretaries, except they cannot vote.
The Bureau will elect Invited Adjunct Secretaries for the following reasons:
- to fill an elected Bureau position that is vacant due to illness, death, resignation, or removal of the Bureau member elected by the General Assembly;
- to create a representative from the Bureau in the country which maintains the UIS bank account, in the event the General Assembly does not elect a Bureau member from that country;
- to create a representative from the Bureau in the country which will host the upcoming International Congress of Speleology, in the event the General Assembly does not elect a Bureau member from that country;
- to fulfill other needs of the UIS, as deemed necessary, which are not met by other elected and non-elected offices of the UIS.
Article 11: Past Presidents’ Responsibilities and Powers
Past Presidents are normally included as Honorary Members of the Bureau.
Article 12: Honorary Presidents’ Responsibilities and Powers
Honorary Presidents are appointed by the General Assembly. The Honorary Presidents have the right to be heard at meetings and thus serve as advisors to the Bureau, but they do not have the right to vote.
Article 13: Honorary Bureau Members’ Responsibilities and Powers
Honorary Members of the Bureau (excluding past Presidents) are recommended by the Bureau, based on their contributions to the development of speleology, and are appointed by the General Assembly. The Honorary Members have the right to be heard at meetings and thus serve as advisors to the Bureau, but they do not have the right to vote.
Article 14: Honorary List of the UIS
The Honorary List is to acknowledge people who have significantly contributed to the development of speleology or the UIS.
Nominees for the Honorary List must be recommended by the Bureau for approval by the General Assembly. Each nomination must include a statement of the person’s qualifications.
Before submitting a name for inclusion in the Honorary List, the UIS Bureau needs to check the activities of the candidate for justifying his/her submission to the General Assembly.
Article15: Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee consists of 5 (five) members invited by the Bureau, although they do not actually belong to the elected Bureau.
The members of the Advisory Committee will be asked to give their opinions about important decisions of the Bureau of the UIS when asked to do so by the Bureau.
The members of the Advisory Committee can participate in the meetings of the Bureau and have the right to be heard.
All members of the Advisory Committee are automatically relieved of their duties upon termination of the term of the Bureau which appointed them.
The members of the Advisory Committee can be invited to serve as members of Advisory Committee for subsequent Bureaus.
Article 16: Member Countries
A new country can be admitted into the UIS by making a formal request. This request should be printed on letterhead paper and sent to the Secretary General of the UIS. It must contain the name of the organization submitting the request, as well as information about it and data showing that it is representative of speleology in the country. The request must indicate the names of the delegates and include the funds for the payment of the first annual fee (or a promise of payment at the upcoming ICS), as well as making it clear that the organization will respect the Statutes and standards of the UIS.
Any country where speleology is practiced, whatever its level of development, can apply to join the UIS. The acceptance of a new Member Country is ratified by a General Assembly.
Any Member Country which has more than a single speleological group should create an organization on a national level to represent the concerns of speleology in the country.
Each Member Country must appoint two Delegates (Regular and Substitute) to represent that country in the UIS and to participate in the General Assemblies.
Each Member Country must agree to pay the annual affiliation fees to the UIS. A country that has not paid all of its fees will not be allowed to participate in the General Assembly as a voting member.
The UIS encourages the sustainable use of the world’s speleological heritage and thus supports the initiatives of its Delegates and their Affiliated Entities in projects designed for such purposes in their home countries, while simultaneously respecting the legislation of each Member Country.
Once a new Member Country is formally accepted, the General Secretary of the UIS must communicate this fact in the UIS Bulletin and on the web site, and send the new Delegate a copy of all of the official documents of the UIS.
A Member Country that fails to communicate with the UIS or pay its fees for more than 3 (three) years may be removed from the UIS by a vote of the General Assembly following a recommendation by the Bureau. At such a time, the Member Country may immediately apply for reinstatement by a different national organization from that country along with payment for all unpaid fees. If the unpaid fees cannot be paid at that time, the national organization must wait until the next International Congress to reapply, at which time past unpaid fees will not be owed unless reinstatement is requested by the national organization that developed the debt.
Article 17: Affiliated Organizations
Affiliated Organizations include institutes and other bodies supporting the goals of the UIS. These are not national speleological organizations but may include private companies as well as non-profit organizations.
Affiliated Organizations should appoint a representative to the UIS.
The official representatives of Affiliated Organizations have the right to participate in the General Assemblies of the UIS, with the right to be heard, but without the right to vote.
- Each Affiliated Organization will pay the annual affiliation fee to the UIS.
- Each Affiliated Organization will publish information about the UIS in their respective publications.
For the affiliation of a new organization, a formal statement of the desire for admission into the UIS is required. This request must be printed on letterhead paper, containing the name of the organization, and must be sent to the President or the General Secretary of the UIS. The request must contain data about the organization and a brief account showing how it is representative of speleology of the country. An official representative must be indicated, and the organization must agree to respect the Statutes and standards of the UIS, as well as to pay the annual fees once affiliation is approved.
The affiliation of new organizations will be communicated by the General Secretary of the UIS in the UIS Bulletin, and on the website, and copies of all official documents of the UIS will be sent to the official representative of the organization.
Each Affiliated Organization has the right to use the logotype of the UIS on their papers, showing their affiliation to the UIS.
Article 18: Delegates
- represent speleology in their respective countries at the General Assembly of the UIS.
- are responsible for the exchange of information between the UIS (Bureau, Commissions, Committees, and Working Groups) and the organized speleological groups of their respective countries.
- are directly responsible for ensuring the payment of the annual fees of the respective countries to the Treasurer of the UIS.
- are responsible for the circulation of documents and circulars sent by the President and/or General Secretary to the speleological community in their respective countries.
- are directly responsible for the presence and official representation of the UIS at speleological events in their countries, respecting the orientation and decisions of the UIS as reported by the President.
- have the obligation to collaborate in updating of the Speleological Bibliographical Bulletin by sending a list of publications in their respective countries to the President of the Bibliographic Commission of the UIS.
- have the right to participate in the meetings of the Bureau, although they do not have the right to vote.
Article 19: Department Presidents
The election of presidents for the various departments is outlined in the UIS Statutes. It is the responsibility of the President of each Department to:
- present an oral report of the activities of his Department at each General Assembly of the UIS;
- submit a written report of the activities of his Department at each General Assembly of the UIS for documentation in the UIS archives;
- submit a written report of the activities of his Department whenever requested by the Bureau, especially for inclusion in the official report of the activities of the UIS to UNESCO, or other activities assumed by the Bureau.
The President of each Department, or someone delegated by him/her, has the right to use space on the UIS website for Department web pages.
Article 20: Presidents of Commissions, Committees and Working Groups
Presidents of the Commissions, Committees, and Working Groups will be elected by their respective members. It is the responsibility of the President of each Commission, Committee or Working Group to:
- present an oral report of the activities of the group at each General Assembly of the UIS;
- submit a written report of the activities of the group at each General Assembly for documentation in the UIS archives;
- submit a written report of the activities of the group whenever requested by the UIS Bureau or the President of the Department;
- send scientific reports or papers produced by the group to the UIS General Secretary, Documentation Center, and website;
- submit information about the group directly to the UIS Website Manager to update the UIS website.
The President of each Commission, Committee, or Working Group, or someone delegated by them, has the right to use space on the UIS website for their group's web pages.
The term 'Working Group' above refers to formal Working Groups of the UIS instituted at a General Assembly of the UIS, not to the internal Working Groups which may be formed from time to time by and within Commissions, Committees, or Working Groups of the UIS.
Article 21: UIS Bulletin
The UIS Bulletin is the official publication for publicizing the activities of the UIS and the state of the art of international speleology.
The UIS Bulletin will be published twice a year, but this frequency can be increased if deemed necessary.
The publishing, printing and distribution of the UIS Bulletin are conducted under the direction of the UIS Vice-President of Operations.
The UIS Bulletin will be primarily distributed in electronic form but with archival paper copies sent to the UIS Documentation Center in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the UIS permanent headquarters in Postojna, and to any of the people, organizations, or facilities listed below that cannot receive the UIS Bulletin in electronic form and requests a paper copy. An electronic copy of each edition will be sent to:
- The Documentation Center of the UIS in La Chaux-de-Fonds;
- The permanent headquarters of the UIS in Postojna;
- Each member of the UIS Bureau;
- Each Delegate of the Member Countries;
- Each President of a UIS Department, Commission, Committee, or Working Group;
- Each of the Affiliated Organizations; and
- All libraries in the Member Countries registered with the UIS.
- The UIS Website Manager for inclusion on the UIS website.
The following material must be published in the UIS Bulletin:
- The proceedings of all Regular or Extraordinary General Assemblies of the UIS, as well as all official meetings of the Bureau (in the first issue published after the event).
- The reports of the activities of the Bureau, the Departments, and the Commissions, Committees and Working Groups presented at the assemblies of the UIS.
- All official documents of the UIS whenever these are modified and/or updated. These documents include the Statutes, the Internal Regulations, the Code of Ethics, and Norms, as well as agreements and contracts.
- Calendar of speleological events scheduled in the Member Countries of which the UIS has officially been informed.
- Up-to-date list of Member Countries and Affiliated Organizations of the UIS immediately after each General Assembly of the UIS, and after each change.
- Up-to-date list of the Delegates of the UIS, with their addresses, immediately after each UIS General Assembly, and after each change.
- List of UIS publications.
- List of UIS membership fees.
The following material is recommended for publication in the UIS Bulletin:
- List of speleological records, e.g. longest and deepest.
- List of new publications.
- Updates to the list of Member Countries and Affiliated Organizations of the UIS.
- Updates to the list of UIS delegates.
- Schedule of meetings of commissions, committees and working groups.
- List of publications in speleology and related areas.
Advertisements can be published in the UIS Bulletin as long as:
- There is no conflict of interest with the UIS or any of its regulations, goals, or standards.
- The advertiser pays for the space utilized.
- The space utilized by the advertisement is not out of proportion in relation to the other information being published.
Article 22: International Journal of Speleology
The International Journal of Speleology is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific publication of the highest international standard.
The publication, printing and distribution of the International Journal of Speleology is delegated to a society or national federation of one of the member countries of the UIS by means of a specific agreement approved by the UIS Bureau.
The organization responsible for the publication, printing, and distribution of the International Journal of Speleology will appoint someone as a Chief Editor responsible for maintaining contact with the UIS Bureau through the UIS Vice-President of Operations and will select an Editorial Staff and advise the UIS Bureau of its members.
Special editions can be organized by a Guest Editor.
One volume consisting of two issues of the International Journal of Speleology must be published annually.
The occurrence of international speleological events officially supported by the UIS may justify the organization of additional special issues of the International Journal of Speleology.
The International Journal of Speleology supplements the scientific reports or papers produced by the Commissions, Committees, and Working Groups, but it cannot take their place.
Special editions can be organized with the agreement of the responsible organization, the Chief Editor, and the Presidents of Departments, Commissions, Committees, or Working Groups to present the result of work and/or studies developed by these organizations of the UIS.
For each published issue of the International Journal of Speleology, at least one copy must be sent to the UIS Documentation Center in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the UIS permanent headquarters in Postojna, and to each of the Affiliated Organizations. An electronic copy should be available from the Journal's website.
The UIS Treasurer is required to provide financing for the publication, printing and distribution of the International Journal of Speleology.
After distribution to all who are entitled to receive a copy, the responsible organization can sell all remaining copies at whatever price it deems appropriate to cover the costs of the publication, printing, distribution, and to generate revenue for the UIS.
Article 23: Bulletin Bibliographique Spéléologique/Speleological Abstracts
Speleological Abstracts, the Bulletin Bibliographique Spéléologique, is a publication that annually lists and abstracts all publications related to speleology within a given year. It is produced to facilitate research and the study of speleology and is available both in electronic form from its website and in printed form.
Speleological Abstracts is the responsibility of the President of the Bibliography Commission of the UIS, who coordinates with the UIS Vice-President of Administration.
Speleological Abstracts is regularly updated electronically. Special collaborators are invited from each Member Country, as well as the assistance provided by the UIS Delegates.
The UIS Treasurer is required to provide financing for the publication, printing and distribution of the Speleological Abstracts.
Article 24: Documentation Center of the UIS
The Documentation Center of the UIS is a library composed of speleological and related publications from around the world.
The Documentation Center of the UIS must maintain complete collections of all official publications of the UIS: Proceedings of the ICS, UIS Bulletin, International Journal of Speleology, Speleological Abstracts, scientific reports or papers produced by the Commissions, Committees and Working groups, etc.
The organization and maintenance of the Documentation Center of the UIS is delegated to one of the national societies or federations of one of the member countries of the UIS, by means of a special agreement approved by the UIS Bureau until such time as the UIS will be able to maintain this center at the permanent headquarters.
The organization responsible for the Documentation Center of the UIS can nominate a Librarian, who will be responsible for the maintenance of contacts with the UIS Bureau through the UIS Vice-President of Administration.
The Librarian is responsible for the presentation of an oral report about the present situation of the Documentation Center of the UIS, as well as a written report containing an index of the publications available at the center, at each UIS General Assembly for inclusion in the UIS archives.
The Librarian is responsible for sending an up-to-date list of the publications available at the Center to the UIS Bureau, as well as to the UIS website, whenever any significant change occurs.
Article 25: Archive of the UIS
The UIS Archive is located in the Institute of Karst Research, ZRS SAZU, Postojna, Slovenia.
The UIS Archive collects all paper and electronic documents dealing with UIS activities, i.e. activities of the UIS Bureau, its members, commissions and working groups, and Advisory Committee.
The UIS Archive collects all materials obtained by library exchange with other bodies.
The UIS Archive collects all publications (proceedings, books, journals, leaflets, etc.) produced with the logo of the UIS without respect to the address of the publisher. The responsible editor of such publications must deliver two copies to the UIS Archive in Postojna.
All regular members of the UIS Bureau (President, Vice-Presidents, General Secretary, Treasurer, Adjunct Secretaries) will deliver all paper and electronic materials involving their activity with the UIS Bureau to the UIS Archive: (a) every 2-3 years, and/or (b) when their term of office is complete, if the materials are not delivered to their successors.
Honorary members of the UIS Bureau will deliver all paper and electronic materials involving their activity with the UIS Bureau to the UIS Archive every 2-3 years.
Presidents of UIS Commissions and Working Groups will deliver all paper and electronic materials dealing with the activities of their respective UIS bodies to the UIS Archive: (a) every 2-3 years, and/or (b) after they finished their term as President, if not delivered to their successors.
The UIS Archive is managed by a member of the UIS Bureau charged by the UIS Bureau. The charged member is responsible for the organization and management of the UIS Archive.
The UIS Bureau can establish regional archives of the UIS. This act does not relieve respective UIS persons and bodies from also delivering identical materials to the UIS Archive in Postojna.
Article 26: UIS Internet facilities
The policies governing the UIS Internet Facilities are the responsibility of the Bureau.
The UIS Internet facilities consist principally of UIS' domain name "uis-speleo.org", websites, emailing lists (listservers), generic email address redirections, web-based databases, and the supporting Domain Name Service (DNS).
The policies governing the UIS Internet Facilities are the responsibility of the Bureau.
For the proper operation and updating of the Internet Facilities, and to share the workload, volunteers may be invited to take responsibilities in the management of specific tasks. For example, Website Manager, Technical Manager, Calendar Editor, Addresses Manager, Listserver Managers, Database Managers, and any others that may be needed.
All the positions should be invited by the UIS Officer to whom they are responsible.
The UIS Website is the official electronic medium for the presentation of information of the activities of the Union and the state of international speleology.
The policy and content of the UIS website are direct responsibilities of the UIS President together with the UIS General Secretary through the Vice-President of Operations.
The day-to-day management of the website is carried out by the Website Manager.
The basic design policy for the website is:
- To provide the user with UIS information which is easily found, up-to-date, fast and navigable, using any web browser.
- To be avoided are special effects or heavy graphics which slow down the user's browser, limit browser type, or require special add-ons.
- Large graphics such as photos should be used only where the user can choose whether to view them or not.
- The directory structure for the website should allow for the separation of login access rights between the various people responsible for updating various aspects of the website, for example, addresses, calendar, a commission's own pages, etc.
The following are to be included on the UIS website:
- The UIS Bulletin;
- UIS Official Documents (if possible, in all of the official languages of the UIS, as well as any others to which they are translated);
- At least one page for each Commission, Committee, or Working Group, if they do not have their own website;
- List of publications of the UIS specifying the edition, year of publication, and those responsible for them, including the UIS Bulletin, the International Journal of Speleology, the Speleological Abstracts, scientific reports or papers prepared by the Commissions, Committees and Working Groups, etc.;
- List of the publications available in the UIS Documentation Center;
- Names of members of the UIS Bureau, the Departments, the Commissions, Committees and Working Groups;
- Up-to-date list of the Delegates, Member Countries, and Affiliated Organizations;
- Minutes of the Assemblies and of all meetings of the Bureau;
- History of the UIS (List of all Congresses, all past UIS Bureau, past and present versions of documents, etc.);
- List of addresses;
- Links to speleological sites;
- Schedule of speleological events supported by the UIS;
- List of projects under development;
- Other items of speleological interest.
The UIS website can provide space for the websites of Bureau Officers and all UIS Departments, Commissions, and Working Groups who request it, provided they obey the following rules:
- They request the space for the website and the setup access directly from the Website Manager.
- They define who is responsible for the website.
- They prepare the web pages before sending them to the Website Manager, or alternatively they directly update their own material on the website whenever possible.
- They follow the Bureau and UIS website policies when preparing their web pages.
- All the content of the website must be relevant to the Bureau function, Department, Commission or Work Group who has requested the space.
- The website should not contain advertisements, personal promotion or material outside the interest of UIS.
- The website must not be used for any commercial purpose without explicit written permission from the Bureau.
Emailing listservers can be set up to facilitate discussion and information dissemination on various speleological and administrative topics. Each is generally configured and maintained by its own Listserver Manager. The list-server and topics must be directly related to the purpose of the UIS group responsible for it.
Generic email address redirections allow generic addresses such as "
" to be automatically redirected to the current President's address. These redirections are maintained by the Technical Manager.
Web-based databases can be used to facilitate speleological and administrative purposes, for example, the Caver's Multi-lingual Dictionary and UIS addresses. Each is generally configured and maintained by its own Database Manager.
The Technical Manager is responsible to the Bureau via the President. The Technical Manager’s responsibilities are:
- Technical design and management of the Internet facilities.
- Liaison with the provider of the Internet facilities.
- Administration of the Domain Name registration entry.
- Ensuring effective backup arrangements for the facilities.
- Ensuring effective security arrangements for the facilities.
- Ensuring as much as practicable the ease of transferring the facilities to another site if that becomes necessary. For example, by the use of open-source and commonly used software.
- Technical advice to the Bureau and other UIS officers as requested.
- Initial creation of basic emailing lists (listservers) as requested.
- Updating of generic email redirections when advised by the Addresses Manager.
- Initial creation of basic Internet databases as required, and setup of software authorization for their management.
- Setup of website access for Commission Presidents and others who will be uploading their own material on to the website, upon request from the Website Manager.
The Website Manager is responsible to the President together with the Secretary. The Website Manager’s responsibilities are:
- Preparation and loading of website content in accordance with Bureau policy and upon request by the President and/or Secretary;
- Uploading the pages received from the UIS Calendar Editor and the Addresses Manager, although these uploads could be delegated directly to the Calendar and Address Managers if preferred by the Website Manager;
- Managing (but not loading) the loading of web pages by Commission Presidents, Publicity Officer, and the like;
- Other day-to-day operation of the web site.
The Calendar Editor is responsible to the General Secretary. The Calendar Editor’s responsibilities are:
- Soliciting and receiving information about new speleological events;
- Publicizing UIS' calendar facility;
- Operation of the calendar database;
- Design of the Calendar web pages;
- Loading or supplying updated calendar pages to the website.
The Addresses Manager is responsible to the General Secretary. The Addresses Manager’s responsibilities are:
- Publicizing the procedures for address updates for UIS and relevant Country Officers.
- Receiving updates for people, organizations and positions.
- Operating the address database.
- Loading or supplying updated address and related web pages to the website.
- Supplying address list facilities to other UIS officers, for example, files to the UIS Secretary for printing postage labels.
- Updating email addresses in any closed listservers (emailing lists) which are being used by the Bureau.
- The appointment of a Listserver Manager is the responsibility of the group who will be using the listserver.
- The responsibilities of a Listserver Manager are the configuration and management of the emailing listserver for which they have volunteered.
- The initial creation of the basic listserver and the software authorization for its Manager will be performed by the Technical Manager.
- The appointment of a Database Manager is the responsibility of the UIS Officer or group who will be using the database.
- The responsibilities of a Database Manager are to arrange for the analysis, design, construction, configuration and day-to-day management of the database for which they have volunteered. They have the option of doing the work themselves or arranging for other people to help them. They may or may not be responsible for routine data entry or updating.
- The initial creation of the basic database and the software authorization for its Manager will be performed by the Technical Manager.
Article 27: International Speleological Congresses
The ICSs are conducted once every four years and organized by a Member Country whose proposal is analyzed and chosen by vote during the General Assembly of the UIS. They are regulated by the Instructions and General Recommendations for Organizers of International Congresses of Speleology.
Article 28: Formal support for speleological events
All events which contribute to the technical, scientific or cultural development of speleology, whether of a general, international, national or even regional nature, are of interest to the UIS. The official support of the UIS is thus desirable for all such events, as this should increase their status. This document defines the types of events supported by UIS, the means of applying for UIS support, and the obligations of events that receive UIS support.
Classification of Events
For the application of these regulations of the UIS, events are classified according to their objectives and may involve various subjects in relation to geographical areas. These are categorized as follows:
Congresses involve technical, scientific and/or cultural presentations on various topics. These events must have an organizing committee, maintain a register of participants, and publish the proceedings of the event. They may include practical activities in the field, technical visits, and/or pre- and/or post-congress excursions, although these are not essential.
Congresses may be further subdivided into two sub-categories:
a. National Congresses:
National events involve a single country and are coordinated through an internal national organization. Participation is principally by residents of that country although visitors from other countries can be involved. In larger countries, regional events limited to participants from a certain part of the country may also be organized.
b. International Congresses:
- International Congress of Speleology – ICS: These congresses are regulated in part by their own standards while following the UIS guidelines in Instructions and General Recommendations for Organizers of International Congresses of Speleology.
- Other International Congresses: International events, excluding the International Congress of Speleology, go beyond the boundaries of a single country either in relation to the organization and/or the participation. Although the organization can involve individuals from only one country, the participants must come from more than one. The scope can range from including participants from only two countries up to the whole world. Although any combination of individual countries can organize their own international event, those involving larger regions tend to unite participants from countries with special affinities, whether topical, geographic, linguistic, or cultural.
Symposia involve technical, scientific and/or cultural presentations on a single theme. These events must have an organizing committee, maintain a register of participants, and publish the proceedings of the event. They may include practical activities in the field, technical visits, and/or pre- and/or post-symposium excursions, although these are not essential.
Meetings involve scientific (e.g. geomorphology, hydrogeology, speleogenesis), technical (e.g. exploration, training, surveying) and/or cultural presentations on various topics. These events must have an organizing committee and maintain a register of participants. They may include practical activities in the field, technical visits, and/or pre- and/or post-meeting excursions, although these are not essential.
Expeditions involve the organization of technical, cultural, or scientific investigations to collect information and/or samples – produce new data (e.g. maps, photographs). These events must have practical activities in the field and should involve the study and organization of the data collected. Expeditions must have an organizing committee, maintain a register of participants, publish their results, and be organized according the UIS Code of Ethics. They may involve technical visits, although this is not essential.
Any other kind of scientific, technical, or cultural event of potentially significant interest may qualify for UIS support if it has an organizing committee that can demonstrate the proposed event’s significance to speleology and the goals of the UIS.
Conditions for formal support
For the UIS to provide formal support for an event, the proposal must be of international significance and be within the scope of the regulations of the UIS, while also respecting the regulations and standards of the countries involved.
Formal request for support
Requests for support must be formally submitted on letterhead paper of the event or the organizing entity. It should contain a short description of the event, including the scope, and must be signed by the president of the organizing committee of the event and the relevant delegate(s) of the UIS.
- For events organized by a country which is member of the UIS, the proposal should bear the signature of the delegate of that country.
- For events organized by more than one country, the proposal should bear the signature of the delegate of at least one of the countries involved.
- For international expeditions organized by UIS member countries, the proposal must bear the signature of all of the delegates of the countries involved, including that of the delegate of the destination if it is a member country.
In principle, the UIS does not support events organized by countries which are not members
The request for support should explicitly show that the proposed event obeys the regulations and standards of the countries involved.
Agreement with the Regulations of the UIS
The request for support should explicitly show that the proposed event is in agreement with the statutes, regulations, and ethics of the UIS.
Recipients of requests for support
Requests for support should be addressed directly to the President or General Secretary of the UIS, although they can be sent indirectly through any member of the Bureau.
All events which have the formal support of the UIS will automatically assume the following obligations:
Ideally, five percent of the total income from registration fees, but not less than USD 5.00 per person for registration, should be paid to the UIS (ICS should always pay this amount). This does not include the fees paid for courses, housing, meals, or excursions.
The official symbol of the UIS should be printed on all material advertising the event, including posters, folders, banners, films, and any other printed matter.
Promoting the name of the UIS
In news reports or any other kind of publicity of the event, it should be pointed out that the UIS is providing formal support for the event.
Official opening of the event
At the opening session of the event, the UIS should be given an opportunity to speak. This position should be reserved for the UIS President or his official representative. The delegate of the UIS of the country where the opening ceremony is being held should also be given the opportunity to speak.
Publications of the event
In any publications resulting from the event (proceedings, minutes, reports, results, etc.), the formal support of the UIS should be mentioned. In the case of expeditions, there should be space for the comments from the UIS, which would be a text written by one of the members of the UIS Bureau. These comments would explain the relevance and importance of the expedition.
An official representative of the UIS and the delegate of that country to the UIS should be invited to participate in any event supported by the UIS and be exempt from registration fees.
At international events formally supported by the UIS, when stands are installed for exhibits and/or sales, it is the obligation of the event organizers to concede and prepare space for the use of the UIS. Mounting of a stand for the UIS should be discussed by the organizers of the event with the UIS President and General Secretary, and the delegate of the country promoting the event, with the latter in charge of maintaining someone at the stand of the UIS during the event. This stand can be shared with the national society of the promoting country if desired.
For international events formally supported by the UIS, depending on the importance of the event, it is recommended that the organizers of the event facilitate the presence of the official representative of the UIS, furnishing, if possible, transportation, room, and board.
Letter of support
Once a request for UIS support is received, the UIS Bureau will analyze it and respond by either sending a letter of support or furnishing reasons for denying support.
Prior to responding to a request for support, the UIS Bureau Member responsible for answering will consult with the UIS Delegate(s) of the country or countries involved if they did not sign the request for support.
A request for support for a national event will be analyzed and answered directly by the Bureau Member who received it. The Bureau member will forward a copy of the request and response to the UIS President and General Secretary for review before sending the response to the person making the request. If there is disagreement about the response, all Bureau members will receive a copy of all relevant correspondence and a vote will be taken. The Bureau Member who received the request will then respond as directed by the Bureau. If an event is supported, the President of the UIS Informatics Committee will be notified by the Bureau member about the dates of the event so that it can be included on the UIS International Speleo Calendar.
Requests for support for international events should be forwarded directly to the UIS President or General Secretary, who will analyze the request and send an answer. Before writing the answer, they should consult with each other and delegates of the countries involved. If a letter of support is sent, information about the event should be forwarded to the President of the UIS Informatics Commission to be included on the UIS International Speleo Calendar.
Article 29: Modification of Internal Regulations
All modifications to the Internal Regulations will be made by the Bureau, and must be presented at the next General Assembly for the information of the Delegates and their Member Countries.