There are many perceptions about scholarly societies; some are accurate and some- not so much. The Scholarly Kitchen brought this interesting topic to us in their article, “Scholarly Societies: The Importance of Community.”
A recent article from the same source received push back when they broached the topic of open access. The main focus of the open access movement is peer reviewed research literature. Doubts were expressed that societies should be raising revenues by publishing content that was already paid for by taxpayer monies. It was suggested that scholarly societies should just look to alternative business models to support their activities. Now that is a layered and complicated process.
With open access, the question is and has always been, where does the money come from? Historically, it was wealthy individuals who decided to leverage their wealth for academic good. If you agree that scholarly societies are essential to a thriving academic community, a fully supported scholarly society is the path to quality community and academic life.
Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.