As stated in the first Proceedings, the economically important domestic species have been the subject of ongoing reproductive research over many decades. The aims of researchers and clinicians have been directed at increasing fecundity and fertility, to manipulate reproduction for simpler management, to increase the genetic influence of selected individuals and importantly to improve animal welfare. A group of international researchers initiated the first symposium in Australia. This meeting was so successful that a subsequent meeting was held in the USA. It was also decided that the International Ruminant Reproduction Symposium (IRRS) should be held at regular intervals around the world to ensure international representation, as outlined in the list below. The local organisers of each of these symposia can be found in each of the Proceedings. These Proceedings contain state-of-the-art scientific information at the time of publication, and are an invaluable source of both historic and more recent research and development information. Given the undoubted international standing both of the Symposia and the subsequent Proceedings it was decided that the Proceedings should be digitised and made open access as an invaluable resource for researchers, clinicians, teachers, students, farmers and the commercial sector.
The first of the Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants series of Proceedings was published nearly 40 years ago (J. Reprod. Fert. Suppl. 30, 1981). The Proceedings were based on papers from the first international symposium entitled Reproductive Endocrinology of Domestic Ruminants, which was held at Leura, near Sydney, Australia (February 1980). This was a Satellite Symposium of the Sixth International Congress of Endocrinology, which took place in Melbourne the following week.
The second IRRS was held in Ithaca, upstate New York, USA in 1986 and the subsequent published Proceedings was entitled Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants (J. Reprod. Fert. Suppl. 34, 1987). Following this meeting it was agreed that the IRRS should be held every four years, which has resulted in some likening it to the ‘Olympics of Ruminant Reproduction’.
The third meeting was held in Nice, France in March 1990. The papers from this meeting, entitled Reproduction In Domestic Ruminants II, were published in the second Proceedings in 1991 (J. Reprod. Fert. Suppl. 43, 1991).
The fourth meeting was held four years later, 1994, in Townsville, Australia with the review papers from that meeting, Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants III, being published in 1995 (J. Reprod. Fert. Suppl. 49, 1995).
The fifth international symposium was held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA in 1998. The papers from that meeting were published in Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants IV (J. Reprod. Fert. Suppl. 54, 1999).
The sixth meeting was held in August 2002 in Crieff, Scotland, UK. The Proceedings, Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants V, were published in Reproduction (Suppl. 61, 2003), following the amalgamation of the Journal of Reproduction and Fertility and Reviews of Reproduction in 2000.
The seventh symposium was held in Wellington, New Zealand (August, 2006) and the Proceedings published in Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants VI (Soc. Reprod. Fert. 64 2007).
The eighth symposium was held in Anchorage, Alaska, USA (September, 2010) and the Proceedings published in Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants VII (Soc. Reprod. Fert. 67 2010).
The ninth symposium was held in Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan (August, 2014) and the Proceedings published in Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants VIII, which is also a Society for Reproduction and Fertility (SRF) Proceedings (Context Products Ltd). It was published in a very timely fashion ensuring that the delegates received a bound copy of the Proceedings at the meeting.
The tenth International Ruminant Reproduction Symposium was held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (September, 2018). The Proceedings for this meeting, which were also available to delegates attending the Symposium, are published in an open access journal, Animal Reproduction (15 Issue Suppl. 1, 2018). They can be found at the following link: http://www.animal-reproduction.org/ed/5b89839c0e8825a567e4c89d
In summary, all of the Proceedings are now open access on the Bioscientifica Proceedings website, except for the tenth symposium, or via a hyperlink to the SRF website. Bound copies of Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants VII (5MBooks.com) and VIII (Contextbookshop.com) are still available for purchase.
None of these meetings would have been possible without the generous sponsorship of learned societies, commercial companies and academic institutions. These are listed in each Proceedings. In addition, for the majority of the Symposia the speakers covered the cost of their own travel, highlighting the international standing of IRRS. Importantly, it must be acknowledged that initially SSF and subsequently SRF have provided constant financial support for each IRRS meeting, both as a charitable donation to each Symposium and as travel grants to attendees, particularly students. Furthermore SRF covered the Bioscientifica costs to make these Proceedings open access because the Society acknowledges the scientific, educational and commercial importance of these Proceedings.
Finally, future symposia are already being planned. The next Symposium will be held in Ireland in 2022, with the prospect of the following meeting being held in Canada in 2026. Due to the generous and ongoing charitable financial support of SRF it is planned that the Proceedings from these Symposia will also be hosted on the Bioscientifica website, in an open access format.