Survey offers insights to aid academic associations

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Results from a survey of researchers and research-based professionals by John Wiley & Sons have revealed the most valued benefits offered to members by scholarly societies.

When asked which aspect of society membership appeals most, 27 per cent of respondents indicate that access to a peer-reviewed journal publishing scholarly research is most appealing. Another 26 per cent said that continuing education and training opportunities are most valued. Many respondents indicated they joined an academic association due to the quality of research content, prestige of the organisation and networking opportunities.

Roughly 26 per cent of those surveyed were not affiliated with a society during the 12-month period prior to taking the survey. Of those in the non-member group, 24 per cent thought the cost was too high, 15 per cent noted they had never been invited to join, while 12 per cent indicated it never occurred to them to join a society. Another 12 per cent did not know what associations were available in their field.

Diane Cushman, executive director of the National Council on Family Relations and a member of Wiley’s Society Advisory Board, said: 'The survey was inspiring. I am encouraged by Wiley’s work to support societies and this survey goes a long way to helping me find solutions to our challenges.'

Philip Carpenter, Wiley’s senior vice president and managing director for research communications, added: 'Understanding our communities and the challenges they face is crucial to Wiley. We will continue to survey researchers and professionals each year to further understand what is important to them and use that knowledge to develop strategic services for our society partners.'