It’s no secret that member organizations such as societies and associations have been experiencing member attrition for a number of years. In an industry where a decline in members is common, it can be difficult to qualify the success or failure of your own marketing efforts. While the goal of these efforts is ultimately an increase in membership, another helpful tool for analysis is benchmarking your efforts against those of your peers. The answer to the question, “How are we doing?” can certainly be answered in a vacuum, but another relevant piece of the story is realized in comparison with similar organizations and there is much to be learned from shared experience.
BY JOANNA GILLETTE
On November 17 and 18, the University of Kansas was host to an international symposium, “Envisioning a World Beyond APCs/BPCs.” The event, which was co-sponsored by the University of Kansas Libraries, Open Access Network, Allen Press and SPARC, brought together open access advocates from North America, South America, Africa and Europe. The theme of the symposium points to the fact that Article Processing Charges (APCs) move the access barrier from the reader to the author, which prompted participants to discuss the power structures that are inherent in scholarly publishing today. Through these discussions, participants recognized that access is not just about the ability to read and write, but also the ability to contribute to the global research agenda.
BY PETER BURNS / PUBLISHER
During last week’s Charleston Conference—my first—I had a chance to attend several interesting sessions. Here, I would like to provide a recap of just one, a Thursday afternoon session titled “Is Small Beautiful? The Position of Independent Scholarly Publishers in an Environment of Rapid Industry Consolidation.” Three panelists spoke candidly about the benefits and challenges of being a small publisher.