ALPSP: at the heart of scholarly publishing: Learned societies more confident about future – and a ‘new pragmatism’ on Open Access
"ALPSP and Taylor & Francis conducted a survey of learned society officers in April 2014, following up a similar survey from 2013. The sample size (139 responses, a 7% response rate) means this is a snapshot rather than a comprehensive poll, but it provides intriguing insight into the priorities of senior society officers today. Societies finally seem to be shaking off recession and looking at the world with greater confidence. More than twice as many societies report rising member numbers rather than falling (42% up, 16% down), where last year nearly three out of ten were experiencing decline. Likewise more than a third of societies (35%) say that income from journal publishing is up, and half (51%) have flat financial performance. Priorities have also changed. Two-thirds of societies (68%) strongly value a predictable financial return, rating this above a ‘healthy’ or ‘growing’ return. In 2013, ‘healthy’ scored highest. In uncertain times, societies desire an absence of financial surprises above all else. Perhaps the most striking manifestation of greater self-assurance comes in the field of Open Access. A large majority of respondents (68%) believe that research published by their society should be free to read for all – intriguingly, identical to last year. Similar if less emphatic positivity has been reported in other surveys, including those by Wiley and EDP Sciences ..."