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Survey shows how societies spend surpluses

Blackwell Publishing recently carried out a survey with the Association of Learned Professional and Scholarly Publishers (ALPSP) on what societies do with their publishing surpluses. Most societies subsidise the supply of journals to members in some way. Equal numbers said they provide their journal free of charge or at a reduced price.

Surplus was defined as the amount of journal subscription and other revenue, after covering costs related to publishing the journal, that the society is able to use for other activities.

Overall, respondents to the survey said they spend their surplus as a contribution to the general expenses of the organisation, followed by re-investment in publishing and the subsidy of conference fees. Other activities funded in whole or part by publishing surplus include publication of a newsletter, continuing professional development, running scientific meetings, library services and professional advice to government.

The results of this survey show the significance of journals to the finances of societies and the benefits to members who use the journals. In a time when the role societies play in the academic world, and the importance of society journals, are often overlooked, especially in relation to the ongoing open-access debate, Blackwell Publishing remains committed to society publishing.

The leading international publisher of society journals
Blackwell Publishing has strengthened its role as the world�s leading publisher of scholarly society journals. Of the 34 new journals that moved to Blackwell Publishing in 2004, 18 are society journals that have chosen to leave other publishers and an additional 11 were previously self-published by societies. More than 550 of the 700 journals from Blackwell Publishing are academic and professional society titles. This ensures the highest quality and relevance across the wide range of subjects covered.

Blackwell Publishing�s unique position as the world�s largest privately-owned academic publishing company allows it to create long-term partnerships with its clients that enhance learning, disseminate research, and improve the quality of professional practice.

Blackwell Synergy
Blackwell Publishing�s online journals delivery service, Blackwell Synergy (, continues to lead the industry in technical innovation. A wide range of library administrator functions include:

  • COUNTER-compliant usage statistics;
  • Self-service IP and remote username administration, plus Athens access;
  • MARC 21 records and SFX compatible holdings files;
  • OpenURL linking; and
  • Customisable screens.

contact details

Emily Gillingham
Tel: + 44 1865 776868
Fax: + 44 1865 714591