Scholarly Societies Category


Interview with High Wire Press on digital publishing

The second in a series of interviews by Adeline Koh on scholarly publishing and the digital environment appears in yesterday’s Chronicle of Higher Education.  See “The Printing Press of the Digital Environment: A Conversation with Stanford’s Highwire Press.”

From the interview: 

We like to see scholars and authors being bold and experimentative, not just waiting for terms to be given to them. While it’s true that certain structures of academia, such as tenure criteria, may tend to operate conservatively, on the other hand change happens eventually, and we see many signs of impending change, even disruption — for example with online education, education-related startups, altmetrics, and academic social networks (e.g. ResearchGate,, Mendeley).


Hearing on public access & scholarly publishing to be broadcast live

A Congressional Subcommittee hearing on open access mandates will be webcast live this Thursday, March 29, at 10 am Eastern time. See 
Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Mar 29, 2012 10:00am

Federally Funded Research: Examining Public Access and Scholarly Publication Interests


Mr. H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, American Institute of Physics

Mr. Elliot Maxwell, Project Director for the Digital Connections Council, Committee on Economic Development

Mr. Scott Plutchak, Director, Lister Hill Library at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mr. Stuart Shieber, Director, Office for Scholarly Communications, Harvard University

Dr. Crispin Taylor, Executive Director, American Society of Plant Biologists


Open access, federally funded research and anthropology

An article by Steve Kolowich  in today’s Inside Higher Education discusses the results of the recent call from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for comments on the government’s role in providing open access to the results of federally funded research. The second half of the article recounts reactions to the comments provided by the American Anthroplogical Association (which opposed requirements like that of the NIH).

“Much of the feedback came from two camps: libraries and universities, on the one hand; and scholarly associations and the companies that publish their peer-reviewed journals, on the other. A casual survey of the letters suggests that the feedback largely breaks along familiar lines — librarians arguing for quicker and easier access to research, and publishers offering suggestions for better access while discouraging measures that might threaten their subscription revenues.”

“A letter sent by the executive director of one such “learned society,” the American of Anthropological Association (AAA), generated some discontent from some of the more vocal open-access advocates in its rank-and-file.”

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed


Optical Society of America – a pioneer in scholarly publishing innovation

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2010

For more information, contact:
Jennifer McLennan
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
(202) 296-2296 ext 121

With the launch of Optics Express in 1997, the Optical Society of America (OSA) created an open-access journal that has stood the test of time to become a both a scientific and financial success. The journal, now entering its second decade of publication, is consistently ranked among the top titles in its field. And, it has proved to be such a successful financial venture that the Society is this year rolling out three more publications that follow the same open-access business model.

For being a shining example of community-driven creativity and innovation in scholarly communications, the Optical Society of America has been named the first SPARC Innovator of 2010.  SPARC recognizes the team at OSA that brought Optics Express into existence and nurtured its growth and sustainability.

The OA journal, Optics Express, publishes original, peer-reviewed articles in all fields of optical science and technology twice a month – within an average of 47 days after article acceptance. The quick turnaround, along with creative ways to highlight content – such as electronic cover images for every issue and Focus issues – have made Optics Express a sought-after publishing destination for authors and a top journal in the field. OSA is introducing three new journals under the Optics Express brand and publishing model over the next year:
Biomedical Optic Express, Optical Material Express and Energy Express.


Impact of Economic Downturn on Professional and Scholarly Societies

From Charles Bailey’s blog, DigitalKoans (July 2, 2009):

A survey presented at a recent Wiley-Blackwell Executive Seminar on “Journals Publishing: Policy and Practice in an Uncertain Market” shows that scholarly societies are surprisingly optimistic about the effect of the global downturn on their publishing operations.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Sixty percent of professional and scholarly societies believe that the global economic downturn might be a stimulus to introducing efficiencies within their organizations, while 57% think it might provide opportunities for launching new activities or services for their members, according to a new study presented at the Wiley-Blackwell Executive Seminar held at the Royal Society, London, on June 19th 2009.

The study, carried out by Wiley-Blackwell, the leading publisher for professional and scholarly societies, examined the potential impact of the economic downturn on its society publishing partners. Sixty-eight percent characterized the global economic downturn as moderately negative, while 17% stated that it will have minimal negative impact or may even be beneficial.

Asked to rank the expected impact of the economic downturn on each category of their organization’s revenues or assets, more than 75% of society officers believed that there would be a very or slightly negative impact on their membership dues and conference income, with the most concern expressed about endowments and investments. Thirty-two percent did not anticipate any change in income from publishing, forty-seven percent believed it could be slightly affected, while 17% percent felt this area may be very affected.

In terms of strategies to ride out the economic crunch, 41% said that they would consider downsizing while a further 41% said they would consider expanding. More than half (54%) felt that the way to navigate the recession was outsourcing some of their core activities, such as publishing. Two-thirds thought that their publishing needs would not change during the recession, while one-third thought they would. . . .

The survey, carried out by Wiley-Blackwell in Spring 2009, was completed by 47 officers from scholarly and professional societies ranging in size from less than 500 members to more than 25,000, and from a variety of subject disciplines. The majority of respondents were based in Europe and the United States.