is a saying I have heard, that "growing old is mandatory, but growing
up is optional."
the last several decades, I have been involved in many discussions
with members about when AAPG would "go digital" with the BULLETIN.
When I became executive director five years ago, we were estimating
the "go digital" point for the BULLETIN at around 2007.
then-president Steve Sonnenberg formed an ad hoc committee to determine
the logic and timing for "going digital." John Lorenz, then-AAPG
editor, chaired that committee, and it made recommendations "why"
the Association should change to digital format as soon as possible.
president Pat Gratton charged the AAPG Executive Committee to meet
in January to decide exactly "how" and "when."
let me explain "why," because there are usually several complex
causes that make a simple event happen.
The first "cause" in this case was the high cost of postage and
to a lesser degree the cost of printing the BULLETIN. Since 1995
our dues have only increased by 17 percent, but average postage
for the BULLETIN increased by 47 percent!
been able to keep its dues low by cutting costs, offering a voluntary
digital-only BULLETIN and finding new revenue sources; however,
we cannot cut enough to keep up with the growth in postal charges
-- as well as printing cost increases.
The second reason is that many AAPG members are requesting digital.
had a multitude of members talk about how they were running out
of space for paper copies. Since we offered the digital option three
years ago, over 7,000 members elected to receive the BULLETIN in
digital form only.
Thirdly, digital is now an acceptable format for peer-reviewed
articles among scientific societies. This was not true even four
years ago. Now, many authors are requesting digital format so
they are not as restricted on color or space.
our sister societies have made the move to digital as their primary
format for their flagship publication with paper copies available
for additional cost.
we also had a number of reasons to continue producing paper copies
of the BULLETIN. Some members do not have digital access or just
prefer reading hardcopy. Sometimes, I still prefer to take a copy
of the BULLETIN with me to read on a plane.
too, that I am reading "on screen" significantly more now than in
libraries still prefer paper copies for their subscriptions, so
we still need to make several thousand paper copies each year to
meet their needs.
the "why." Now to the "how" and "when."
meeting in January, AAPG's Executive Committee decided to make the
primary format for the BULLETIN digital and the secondary format
paper copy. Starting June 1, every AAPG Active and Associate member
automatically will receive digital online access, plus a CD-ROM
on special publications.
calendar of services.
leadership understands that members want a choice, so as a transitional
measure, those members who do not have digital access, or just prefer
paper copy, can elect on the dues statement or by notifying headquarters
to receive the monthly hardcopy of the BULLETIN instead of the semiannual
also can order both the CD-ROMS and paper copies of the BULLETIN
for an additional charge.
Committee hopes that most members will take the opportunity to use
full digital access of the BULLETIN, but has provided an avenue,
at no additional cost, for members to continue to receive paper
copies for the time being.
decided to lay the foundation for the future by easing into the
new world of electronic publications, even as we struggle to keep
dues as low as possible in the face of rising costs.
note that we will continue to mail paper copies of the EXPLORER to all members.
your patience as we make this change.