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What do society and association members really want?

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Discussion among professional and learned society staff about what their members really want now ranges across such a broad spectrum of services that it is often difficult to focus on the question. That said, the responses tend to be relatively simple. They often take the form of folk wisdom, proverbs handed down from one generation to the next that are not so much inaccurate as sometimes unhelpful. Members are variously described as joining to receive the journal, to attend the meetings, to get cheaper insurance, to pay lower page charges, and so on. This article goes beyond the proverbs, by looking at real evidence and emerging trends in society membership and publications. The aim is to support pragmatic decision-making by society and association publishers in a world where membership 'to get the journal' is no longer necessarily the norm.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.

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