Bulletin, February/March 2007

Message from the Publisher

The Board of Directors has voted unanimously that the Bulletin will be distributed in an electronic-only format later this year.
This will not eliminate the substantive association-related communication from ASIS&T that members receive. Instead it will offer members the same high quality news and articles in a format that offers greater flexibility for delivering increased content and more in-depth coverage.

The Board has been considering this action for several years, and the decision was neither precipitous nor lightly made. It was necessary because the Bulletin has a net cost of around $60,000 per year. While that amount is not now critical, it is a significant level of expenditure that requires careful stewardship by the Board.
In Board planning activities, it was seen as financially inevitable that the Bulletin would have to eventually become electronic-only. As our members are well aware, the information environment is rapidly changing. A format change for the Bulletin reflects the Society’s willingness to embrace this change. No advantage was seen in delaying the decision.

We have every intention of maintaining the Bulletin’s current editorial and production quality. In fact, it is expected that some of the possible savings will be consumed by additional editorial and production expenses as articles become longer and/or more numerous. We have every expectation that current editorial content and production quality will remain.

This change has substantive benefits for members. The e-only format can enable expanded coverage of subject matter by removing the hard page limit, can allow more, and more in-depth articles, and offers the potential for the addition of supporting material as well as links and expanded or enhanced graphics and illustrations.

This new format also offers new ways to interact with readers. For example, if appropriate and desired/requested by readers, we could include blogs so that discussion can take place around the articles with the authors. Every Bulletin editor has bemoaned the lack of Letters to the Editor. The e-only format can facilitate reader input if the readers and authors so desire.

We envision creating a new e-mail list that will be strictly controlled for ASIS&T announcements only (e.g., meeting and publication announcements). You will be notified when new content to the Bulletin has been added. Such a list necessitates that we have a working e-mail address for all, but we will be working to achieve that anyway to facilitate electronic voting in ASIS&T elections as was approved in the latest bylaws amendment.

Please feel free to write to me at rhill@asis.org with your comments, concerns or suggestions. We hope that you agree that creating an electronic-only Bulletin will take a high quality ASIS&T tradition into the new environment. It is a sound business decision as well as a move that fits with the mission of our organization.

Richard B. Hill, Publisher