Materials Research Society
Aligning a new society-level strategic direction and a quickly changing publishing landscape helped MRS pick the best-fit publishing partner.
Conferences are so deeply embedded in the culture and cadence of science and academia that it is hard to imagine what professional life would look like without them. Many organizations are looking to replace conferences with virtual events, but simply streaming the same sessions on the same schedule may prove insufficient. Shifting meetings to virtual formats requires reconceptualizing meetings for the needs of attendees working from home — and rethinking business models, technologies, and processes as well. Societies and associations with annual meetings will need to think the implications for member engagement and member renewals, manuscript recruitment, education, and other ripple effects.
Societies have two fundamental choices when it comes to publishing their journals: they can remain independent, managing all facets of the publication business, or they can work with a larger commercial or not‐for‐profit publisher. If a society chooses to work with a larger publisher, it will invariably do so via a publishing services agreement. This article discusses the challenges and complexities facing independent society publishers and the reasons why some societies choose to enter into publisher services agreements, whereas others choose to remain independent.