Survey says: AAPG members value the AAPG BULLETIN as one of our most important member services – and it turns out that its value is even greater than we realized!
Many professional societies view publications as a “profit center,” but AAPG takes the view that publications better serve members with a goal to break even financially. The BULLETIN, now in its eleventh decade of publishing high-impact petroleum geoscience, is a fantastic bargain because of this approach. Making the BULLETIN available at as low a cost as possible also serves to further the AAPG strategic goal of advancing science.
The AAPG Publications Department is lean, mean and focused on cost control, and its high publication quality and low publication cost are even more impressive when compared with peer societies. For example, the switch to electronic delivery of the BULLETIN in 2005 decreased financial losses associated with publishing 17,000 copies. The 7,000 BULLETIN subscribers who still want hard copies pay a surcharge for print, postage or both, depending on their location and membership level.
Peer societies are similar to AAPG in offering a print publication like the EXPLORER with membership. However, they differ significantly from AAPG in how they make their peer-reviewed journals available to members. AAPG offers the BULLETIN in digital form free of charge to members. Peer societies charge an average of $46 per year for digital journal delivery – and even more for hard copies.
The good news about the AAPG BULLETIN doesn’t stop at its price: Its quality continues to increase.
Manuscript submissions climbed to 210 during 2009, the highest number since record keeping began in 1990. Increased submissions allow the BULLETIN to be more selective about what it accepts for publication; indeed, the acceptance rate has tended to decrease for the last few years as more authors decided that the prestige of the BULLETIN and the relatively short response and publication times made the BULLETIN the best journal in which to publish their work.
As the BULLETIN becomes an even stronger journal, potential contributors cannot rest. It is crucial that authors continue to submit manuscripts for consideration and that more reviewers come forward to help with the increased manuscript volume.
Readers also can help to identify potential authors for contributions to E&P Notes – papers that focus on current plays and field descriptions that help readers understand how to improve their exploration and production activities in analogous fields. These are among the most popular papers, so encouraging potential authors increases the likelihood of valuable science making its way to those who read and use it most!
The BULLETIN moves into its next stage with the recent election of new editor Stephen E. Laubach, who will start his term of service on July 1. Change is inevitable, but the quality of the science and the financial bargain it represents are likely only to increase.