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Terms and Conditions [Updated May 2024]

The Company of Biologists Limited
Terms and Conditions of use for Website

1. Legal Agreement

1.1 The terms and conditions set out herein (these ‘Terms’) shall apply to the websites located at https://www.biologists.com; https://forest.biologists.com; https://pr.biologists.com; our community sites of https://www.thenode.biologists.com, https://www.prelights.biologists.com and https://www.focalplane.biologists.com (‘community sites’); https://journals.biologists.com/dev; https://journals.biologists.com/dmm; https://journals.biologists.com/jcs; https://journals.biologists.com/jeb; https://journals.biologists.com/bio; https://www.biologists.cn; https://sustainability.biologists.com/ and all related URLs accessible through any of them which are hosted by or on behalf of The Company of Biologists Limited (collectively the ‘websites’). Any reference in these Terms to the websites shall be construed as a reference to the websites or to any part of any of them. Any reference to content/materials posted by The Company of Biologists shall also apply to content/materials posted on websites other than the websites where such content is accessible through links from the websites, such as The Company of Biologists’ You Tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/CompanyofBiologists and the Tencent Video Platform (‘Channels’).

1.2  The websites (other than at biologists.org) are owned and operated by The Company of Biologists Limited of Bidder Building, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge, CB24 9LF, United Kingdom (‘The Company’, ‘we’ or ‘us’). The biologists.org websites are operated by HighWire Press, Inc., on behalf of The Company of Biologists).

1.3  These Terms should be read in conjunction with the Privacy Policy which can be read here and Cookies Policy which can be read here, and Acceptable Use policy which can be read here as well as any additional terms which we have indicated shall apply to use of a section of one or more of the websites, and all of which shall apply in addition to these Terms as if set out here in full.

1.4  By accessing and using the websites (or any part of them), you hereby accept, without limitation or qualification, these Terms (together with any additional terms referred to in paragraph 1.3 above) without modification. If you do not wish to be bound by the Terms you should not access or use the websites.

1.5  The Company may modify the Terms in its absolute discretion from time to time and we recommend that you check this page for any modifications from time to time. Where The Company has your contact details, The Company shall use reasonable endeavours to notify you of any major changes to these Terms. You will be deemed to have accepted any modifications if you continue to use any of the websites after the modifications have been posted.

1.6  In the event of any conflict between (a) the Terms and (b) any term of the Privacy Policy or Cookies Policy,  Acceptable Use policy (or any other terms and conditions applicable to any website) then the term of the Privacy Policy or Cookies Policy or Acceptable Use policy other terms and conditions (as the case may be) shall prevail.

1.7 The licensing of certain content made available via the websites (namely the right to view and use content from any of the journals published by The Company) (‘Content’) is governed by separate terms (‘Licence Agreement’). If you have a query regarding the licensing of such Content, please refer to the terms of the applicable Licence Agreement or contact us at subscriptions@biologists.com.  Your use of all of the websites shall be subject to these Terms, except that where a Licence Agreement has been executed granting rights to authorised users to access such Content, in the event of any conflict between these Terms and the terms of any applicable Licence Agreement, the terms of such Licence Agreement shall prevail in relation to access to such Content by such authorised users.

2. Use of the Website

2.1  Wherever you are asked to provide information in connection with the websites, you agree to provide true, accurate, current and complete details. You are not obliged to provide The Company with any optional information requested.

2.2  Other than in respect of content provided by third parties on our community sites, or other interactive elements of the websites, all intellectual property rights in or to the information and graphic representations or images on the websites and Channels (collectively ‘Content’), are owned by, or licensed, to The Company. The content is protected by copyright laws and treaties around the world. All such rights are reserved. The Company’s status (and that of any identified contributors) as the authors of Content on the websites must always be acknowledged. No warranties or representations are made by The Company as to ownership of or rights to any content contained in blogs or other interactive elements of the websites.

2.3 You agree not to:

2.3.1 impersonate another person or use a false name or a name you are unauthorised to use, or create a false identity or origin or email address or try to mislead us or others as to identity or origin of any communications or to provide inaccurate or unreliable contact details;

2.3.2 modify, access or make available data stored on a computer or device which you have accessed through our network, when either: the owner of the data, computer or device has taken steps to prevent you from doing this; or the owner has expressed a wish that you do not do this;

2.3.3 make available or upload files that contain software or other material, data or information not owned by or licensed to you or collect information about others (e.g. names/addresses) without their prior consent;

2.3.4 damage, interfere with or disrupt access to the websites or do anything which might impair its functionality;

2.3.5 use the websites in any way for any commercial purposes, nor to send unsolicited (commercial or otherwise) email, ‘spam’ or any material for marketing or publicity purposes;

2.3.6 advertise products or services, except in the case of content which has permission pursuant to clause 2.10 below.

2.3.7 publish, post, distribute, disseminate or otherwise transmit, defamatory offensive, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or other unlawful or objectionable material or information;

2.3.8 falsify the true ownership of software or other material or information contained in a file made available via the websites; or

2.3.9 obtain or attempt to obtain unauthorised access, through whatever means, to the websites.

2.4 Without limitation to the foregoing, you hereby undertake to The Company that you will not use the websites for any purpose or in any way that is prohibited by these Terms or which is otherwise unlawful.

2.5 By posting or otherwise uploading any material (including any text, photographs, graphics, video or audio) on the websites or any part thereof you hereby grant to us, free of charge and on a non-exclusive basis, perpetual, transferable permission to use such material in any way (including the right to modify and adapt it) in and on any media worldwide. For the avoidance of doubt, you shall retain copyright in your material.

2.6  You hereby confirm that any material posted or otherwise uploaded by you (including photos of you for our community sites or otherwise) is your own original work or is being used with permission of the copyright owner and is not defamatory and does not infringe any UK laws, and that you have the right to give The Company permission to use it for the purposes specified in paragraph 2.5.

2.7 You agree and acknowledge that you have elected to post or otherwise upload material in your sole discretion and that The Company has no control over the content, accuracy or timeliness of such material. You are solely responsible for any claims or allegations contained in any material posted or otherwise uploaded.

2.8 You agree not to post or otherwise upload material to the websites or any part thereof which:

2.8.1 is considered likely to offend, provoke, harass or attack others;

2.8.2 is obscene, racist, sexist, homophobic, discriminatory in any way, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable;

2.8.3 contains swear words or other language likely to offend;

2.8.4 breaches any applicable laws or condones or encourages unlawful or unsafe activity, including the infringement of another person’s intellectual property rights;

2.8.5 reveals confidential information of a person who has not permitted its disclosure;

2.8.6 advertises a business or any products or services, subject to clause 2.10 below;

2.8.7 includes material which defames or is likely to defame another person or which is otherwise untrue;

2.8.8 is submitted as an impersonation of someone else;

2.8.9 includes the personal contact details such as phone numbers, postal or email addresses of any other person, without that person’s prior express permission;

2.8.10 contains links to other websites, save where expressly permitted under these Terms, unless registered on preLights, the Node, FocalPlane and the Sustainable Conferencing Initiative, as you are therefore permitted to incorporate links to other websites in your posts or comments subject to the rules of the Acceptable Use Policy for preLights, the Node, FocalPlane and the Sustainable Conferencing Initiative ;

2.8.11 is written in anything other than English for all the websites excluding the biologists.cn website (unless otherwise indicated within these Terms);

2.8.12 is considered to be off-topic for the particular message board/blog thread.

2.9 You warrant that any material posted on our websites by you complies with the above provisions 2.6 to 2.8, and you will be liable to us for any loss or damage that we suffer as a breach of your warranty.

2.10 You warrant that where you post material on the FocalPlane website that relates to a company’s or organisation’s business or products, that you have permission to inform other registered users of your company’s current projects, including jobs, at your company or organisation. Unless you have consent to do so from The Company of Biologists, you shall not to post any content for commercial, marketing or publicity purposes. Contact advertising@biologists.com or sponsorship@biologists.com for advertising and sponsorship opportunities. Click here for further information on our Acceptable Use Policy.  You warrant that where you post material on the Sustainable Conferencing Initiative website, that you do not post any content for commercial, marketing, or publicity purposes.

2.11 We reserve the right to remove any materials posted or uploaded to the websites for any reason including those set out above without providing an explanation for our decision. We reserve the right to block any user of any of our websites who materially and/or repeatedly breaches these Terms. We have the right to disclose your identity to any third party who is claiming that any content posted or uploaded by you to our websites constitutes a violation of their intellectual property rights, or of their right to privacy, or breaches any applicable laws.

2.12 You may link to our home page, or any specific pages of a journal article or other page of our website, provided that you do so in a way that is fair and does not damage our reputation or take advantage of it. You must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on our part where none exists. We reserve the right to withdraw linking permission without notice. You may use our FocalPlane logo to link to the FocalPlane website from your own website or blog. You must not use our FocalPlane logo or any other logo or trade mark of or used by The Company for any other purpose, without The Company’s express prior permission.

3. Security

3.1  Unless otherwise agreed by The Company, any password and user name issued to you by The Company is solely for your personal access to relevant sections of the websites requiring secure access, as a single user. You must keep this password and user name strictly confidential and, unless expressly agreed otherwise by The Company in writing, you must not share or disclose your user name or password to or with any other person nor with multiple users on a network. You must always use this password and user name when accessing such sections of the websites. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account and are fully responsible for all activities that occur through use of your password or account. You agree: (a) immediately to notify The Company of any unauthorised use of your password or account or any other breach of security, (b) to ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session, and (c) to take all reasonable security measures in relation to your use of such sections of the websites.

4. Liability of The Company

4.1 You agree that you use the websites entirely at your own risk. Save in respect of death or personal injury caused by its negligence or in respect of any other liability which cannot be lawfully restricted or excluded under applicable law, The Company shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever or howsoever arising, including but without limitation, damages for loss of use, data or profits, arising out of the use or performance of the websites, the provision of or failure to provide services, or for any information obtained through the websites, or for the content of any emails sent using a contact form on the Node, the Node Network, FocalPlane or the FocalPlane Network websites, or otherwise arising out of the use of the websites, whether based on contract, tort, or otherwise, without limitation, whether or not such loss was foreseeable and even if The Company has been advised of the possibility of damage.

4.2 In preparing the websites, The Company has endeavoured to ensure that information concerning its products and services is current, correct and clearly expressed. However, The Company cannot guarantee that the information will be accurate, complete or current at all times and accepts no liability for any reliance placed by any person on the information. Without prejudice to the foregoing, whilst The Company conducts peer review of all research articles written or contributed to by third parties in online journals, The Company does not undertake peer review of advertorials posted on FocalPlane which have been paid for by the third party that posts the content nor of posts made by third parties on preLights.

4.3 The Company makes no representations or warranties of any kind about the suitability, reliability, timeliness and accuracy of the information contained on the websites for any purpose. The Company expressly disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including, without limitation, warranties of technical efficiency, satisfactory quality, availability, non-infringement, completeness and fitness for a particular purpose. Without limiting the foregoing, unless we expressly state otherwise in our Acceptable Use Policy we are under no obligation to monitor, review or moderate any blog, forum or other interactive part of the websites or any other third party content contained on the websites. To the fullest extent permissible under applicable law we expressly exclude our liability for any loss or damage arising from: (a) all content written or contributed to by third parties appearing on the websites including all articles written or contributed to by third parties in online journals, and (b) all content posted or uploaded by third parties on any blogs or other interactive parts of the websites (whether or not monitored or moderated) (c) all content contained in any correspondence between registered users of the Node Network whether via the contact form on the Node Network or otherwise (d) all content contained in any correspondence between registered users of the FocalPlane Network whether via the contact form on the FocalPlane Network or otherwise. The views expressed by other users on our websites, including those written by authors in articles in our on-line journals, authors of advertorials or other posts on our community sites, and third parties who post content on our websites, do not represent our own views or values. If you wish to complain about any information or materials uploaded by other users, please use the relevant ‘Contact Us’ form on the applicable website page.

4.4 The websites may contain advertisements. The Company is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of such advertisements or what is being promoted in such advertisements, and does not accept any responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies in such advertising material, or any breach of advertising regulations committed by the advertiser. The Company makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or suitability of any of the information contained in those advertisements or on third party websites linked to in the advertisements, and The Company does not accept responsibility or liability for: (i) the conduct or content of those advertisements and sites; (ii) the offerings of goods or services or jobs made by the third parties in the advertisements; or (iii) any events referred to in any community websites which are organised and managed by third parties. The Company will not be held liable for any breaches of law or regulation by third parties relating to advertisements on its website. Any opinions, views or advice expressed in any advertisement contained on the websites are personal to the advertiser and are not to be attributed to The Company. The Company does not make any representations or give any assurances or warranties as to the accuracy, safety, reliability or any other attribute of the attachments, files, images, hyperlinks or the like in any of its website advertisements, nor does it warrant that such advertisements will be free from viruses, malware or other computer contaminants. If you wish to complain about the content of any advertisements on any of our websites, please contact us on advertising@biologists.com or sponsorship@biologists.com.

4.5 The websites may contain live data feeds and/or links to third party websites. The Company is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability in respect of all data and other content viewed, downloaded or otherwise received by you via any such data feeds or on or through any such third party websites. Such third party websites are not necessarily investigated, monitored or checked for accuracy or completeness by us. Inclusion of any linked website on the websites does not imply approval or endorsement of the linked website by us. When you access these third party sites, you do so at your own risk.

4.6 If at any time you are dissatisfied with any portion of the websites, or with any of these Terms, your sole remedy, except as specifically provided otherwise in these Terms, is to stop using the websites.

4.7 The Company reserves the right to remove any information or material on the websites without warning, and without prejudice to any other accrued rights, and/or make available such information or material when required to do so by law or when requested to do so by regulatory bodies or law enforcement organisations.

4.8 The Company reserves the right at any time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, your access to or use of any of the websites and/or any secured area of any of the websites with or without notice.

4.9 While certain precautions have been taken to detect computer viruses and ensure security, The Company cannot guarantee that the websites are virus-free or secure, or that they will always be available. To the fullest extent permissible by law, The Company shall not be liable for any loss or damage which occurs as a result of any virus or breach of security, or any such non-availability. The Company does not give any warranties as to the compatibility of the websites with your computer systems, software and/or hardware. You are responsible for configuring your information technology, computer programmes and platform to access our websites and using your own virus protection software.

4.10 In relation to the Node Network, The Company hereby expressly disclaims all warranties relating to information provided by Members of the Node Network on the Node Network directory, including any references to academic qualifications. The Company does not verify the accuracy of any of this information, nor of any of the academic qualifications, and all users of the Node Network rely on this information at their own risk.

4.11 In relation to the FocalPlane Network, The Company hereby expressly disclaims all warranties relating to information provided by Members of the FocalPlane Network on the FocalPlane Network directory, including any references to academic qualifications. The Company does not verify the accuracy of any of this information, nor of any of the academic qualifications, and all users of the FocalPlane Network rely on this information at their own risk.

5. Termination

5.1 The Company may, in its sole discretion, terminate, restrict or suspend your access to any of the websites:

5.1.1 where there is a regulatory or statutory change limiting the ability to provide access to the websites;

5.1.2 where there is any event beyond the reasonable control of The Company preventing The Company from providing access to the websites (for example, and without limitation, technical difficulties, capacity problems and communications failures);

5.1.3 where The Company reasonably considers that you are abusing the websites or are otherwise acting in breach of these Terms or the Privacy Policy; or

5.1.4 in accordance with The Company’s rights of termination contained in any licence agreement.

6. General

6.1 Those who choose to access the websites from locations outside of the UK are responsible for compliance with local laws if and to the extent local laws are applicable.

6.2 A failure or delay by The Company in enforcing compliance with these Terms shall not be a waiver of that or any other provision of these Terms. If any provisions of these disclaimers and exclusions shall be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable then that provision shall be deemed severable and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of the remaining provisions.

6.3 None of these Terms shall be enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by any third party.

6.4 The express provisions of these Terms are in place of all warranties, conditions, terms, undertakings and obligations implied by statute, common law, custom, trade usage, course of dealing or otherwise, all of which are excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.

6.5 These Terms, their subject matter and their formation (and any non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by English law. In respect of any dispute or question arising from or in connection with the websites or any content or material on the websites, including any non-contractual dispute, you hereby irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

6.6 If any provision of these Terms is or becomes invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of these Terms and its validity and enforceability shall not be affected.

7. Trade Marks

7.1 ‘The Company of Biologists’ and all other related logos and brand names used on the websites are the trade marks of The Company of Biologists. You are not permitted to use them without our prior written approval except in the case set out in clause 2.12 above.

The Company of Biologists Limited
Bidder Building
Station Road
CB24 9LF
United Kingdom


© 2024 The Company of Biologists Ltd | Registered Charity 277992
Registered in England and Wales | Company Limited by Guarantee No 514735
Registered office: Bidder Building, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge CB24 9LF, UK