...from the publication: Eat Right Weekly - January 11
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Why Is Journal Published Both in Print and Online?
The Academy often receives very thoughtful questions and suggestions from members. One that comes up frequently is, why do we continue to print the Journal? Wouldn't an online-only publication – or at least an option for reduced dues if one chooses online only – be the direction to go? These are very good ideas and the Academy continues to look into these suggestions. The answer is complex, so we thought we'd share with our membership what we have to consider when weighing these options.
The costs of reviewing manuscripts, editing, printing, binding and mailing the Journal are defrayed by the member dues allocation, as is the case in all associations that offer their members a professional, peer-reviewed journal. The Academy has a contractual obligation with our publisher Elsevier that defrays these myriad expenses based on a per member payment. This cost is calculated per member, whether they receive the Journal in print, online or whether they opt not to receive the Journal at all. Why is this so? Because costs are based on a circulation of 72,000, which allows the Academy to receive substantial bulk discounts on paper, production and in other areas.
Advertising revenue is a significant cost defrayer as well. The impressive circulation of 72,000 attracts high-quality advertisers. Reducing the circulation by offering a "no Journal" option would decrease the Journal's ability to attract advertising. This ultimately would mean a dues increase might be needed to defray Journal costs now covered by ad revenue.
In addition, the online Journal is considered a part of the per-member dues allocation. There are many costs and several staff members involved in producing just the online version, including copy editors, web designers and web content editors. Thus, a "no print" Journal option would not reduce dues.
While online publications have seen a steady increase over the past years, most members actually prefer the print Journal. The main reasons are that the print Journal is easy to access, easy to take with you and easy to share.
To summarize, there are several reasons a print edition is favorable:
- Advertisers see our members as the conglomerated experts on nutrition science and information and believe our readers to be the "movers and shakers" in the industry.
- Although half of members have visited the online Journal to find an article, check the table of contents or for other research purposes, regular online readers are still in the single-digit minority when compared to the print Journal.
- Large circulation of over 72,000 sets us apart from our competitors as an attractive source for advertisers.
- The Journal continues to see increased advertiser revenue, which is not the case in many comparable publications.
- Increased ad revenue positions the Journal with other highly cited and visible medical journals.
- The Journal's unparalleled print circulation enables the Academy to obtain significant bulk postage, paper and ink discounts not available to journals with smaller circulations.
- Same number of editors, copy editors, graphics and production experts and other staff are needed for the online Journal as are for the print version.
Many costs related to Journal production, whether print or online and because of contractual obligations related to these costs, there are no expense savings related to an "online only" or "no Journal" offering.
Concerned about the environment? The Journal and our publisher Elsevier understand the complexities associated with environmental business practices. We encourage you to review Elsevier's commitment to the environment.
We monitor the five basic areas in which all publishing (and many others businesses) affect the environment: paper, ink, workflow, energy and delivery. You'll be pleased to learn that with our use of pre- and post-consumer fiber, non-chlorine bleaching process, lower levels of petroleum ink and electronic proofs, our environmental practices are on par with other businesses dedicated to making cost effective, realistic and eco-friendly business changes over the long term.
Also, if you are concerned about throwing out old Journal issues, there are several organizations that take donations of scientific and medical publications as teaching and reference materials in developing areas of the world.
An article in the April 2011 issue of the Journal, "Print vs. Online: Can There Be a Cohabitation of Competing Media and How Readers Can Benefit," also discusses trends regarding print versus online publications. Just log into www.eatright.org and find the Journal in the member section under "Journal/Publications."
For more information about the Journal or how to donate old issues, email Journal@eatright.org.
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