Sunday, July 22, 2012

Making sense of learned societies

For several years I have been pessimistic about what the future holds for learned societies such as SGM. As disintermediation through social media strips away much of their function, it is not clear where they should turn. However, I suspect that they will all jump on the model adopted by the Royal Society of Chemistry (Chemistry society turns subscriptions into gold). This will provide some temporary respite.
But whether this is the "right" thing to do, or whether the societies would be better looking further ahead in developing arXiv-style Green open access subject repositories, only time will tell. Is competing head to head with PeerJ a smart move? It may work - until PeerJ eventually trumps society journal impact factors.

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