What Happened at the Denver Conference:
After a year of exploration and analysis, the Publications Committee recommended that the AEJMC Board of Directors contract with Sage Publications to handle the production of the organization’s three journals: Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, and Journalism & Communication Monographs. During its Saturday, Aug. 7, meeting in Denver the AEJMC Board unanimously approved this recommendation. During the fall of 2010, AEJMC will work to develop a contract with Sage Publications. The contract will move AEJMC journal production from an in-house platform to a publisher platform as of the first issue of 2012.
Two reasons have served as a catalyst for this change.
One is that AEJMC central is not able to provide the full-text online services of our current issues. We will not abandon hard copy; in fact, we are insisting that the journals maintain print versions. But it is also clear that most of our younger AEJMC members support the movement to online products. The complexity of having a high quality web presence that would be available to the world at large while also privileging member access is something at which publishers excel, and we think there is no need to reinvent that wheel.
The second reason is that AEJMC simply cannot provide the global marketing needed to keep our journals among those in the top tier of communication journals. Outside publishers are in a strong position to help us build audiences in a global way, and that kind of internationalization will become increasingly important.
After issuing an RFP in February, the Publications Committee interviewed three publishers in June. All eight members of the committee were at that meeting and unanimously agreed that this was the appropriate next step for the journals. All three journal editors were also at that June meeting, and were able to ask questions of the publishers.
- AEJMC will NOT stop providing hard copy versions of the journals. Members and paid subscribers will have BOTH hard copy and online access to current issues, beginning in 2012.
- Members will have the option to receive only online access, but that will be each individual member’s decision.
- Classroom use of our journal content will continue to be FREE.
- Outside subscription prices will increase, but these would still remain much lower than the prices for the divisional journals (which are almost all served by commercial publishers). Over time, AEJMC will be a full partner in negotiating future increases.
- Membership dues will NOT increase as a result of this change, but they will not go down.
- This contractual arrangement will begin in January 2012, giving editors and AEJMC Central ample time to plan and implement.