The terms of society membership are changing to maintain current fees, reflect contemporary research practice, and improve our environmental footprint.
Dear members of the BSP
Thank you for all your support of the British Society for Phenomenology, to both our long term members and those of you who have more recently joined the society.
I am contacting you to let you know the BSP is changing the terms of society membership to maintain current membership fees, reflect contemporary research practice, and improve our environmental footprint. This change concerns the print edition of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology (JBSP).
Currently, renewing and new members of the BSP join on an annual basis, and for this receive four issues of the print edition of the JBSP and access to JBSP Online, which as well as releasing new articles ahead of the print edition also has all previous issues going back over 50 years.
Going forward, renewing and new members of the BSP will still be able to join on an annual basis for the same fees that are currently in place, however what they receive will be different. Members will continue to receive access to JBSP Online with all previous issues and pre-print articles, but will no longer receive the four print issues. If people wish to collect the four print issues of the JBSP for the year in which they are members of the society, they will be able to do so with a special membership discount at a reduced cost. All authors who publish in the journal will continue to receive a free print version of that journal issue.
Why are we making this change?
The cost of producing the print edition for all members has not been covered by the fees the BSP collects from our membership for some time now. And as our membership grows and production costs rise, year on year, losses have become unsustainable. Our current fee structure – £40 and £20 for students, emeritus, and not in work – has been in place since early 2017, and one solution would be to increase these fees. Another would be to increase the cost of our yearly conference, which is the main way in which we maintain and grow our membership. Of course, such increases would make both membership and conference progressively and even, for some, prohibitively expensive.
We believe the best solution resides in the membership no longer receiving the print edition by default. The way people conduct research has been transformed over recent years due to new technology, and so how the journal publishes articles has also changed as a consequence. The print version of the journal now publishes articles that were released online between three to twelve months later; the print version of the JBSP has become more of a souvenir edition than the primary way of accessing and conducting research. Not only that, the online version is more useful for finding articles and searching within articles.
There are also a number of significant positive and beneficial outcomes of this change. Currently the number of articles that can be released by the JBSP is dictated by the cost of producing the print version of the journal. By unlinking publication from the print version we will be able to increase the number of quality articles. This change will also allow us to grow the society without escalating financial risk or increasing journal or conference fees. More importantly, the production and postage of print versions of the journal by default for our members, when for many it is no longer the primary way in which they engage with the JBSP, is wasteful and has an unnecessary and detrimental environmental impact. Ceasing sending the print version by default will improve our environmental footprint.
When will the change happen? What will it mean for me?
> For all current members, membership terms remain in place until their period comes to an end. In other words, you will continue to receive print versions of the journal during the current period of your membership.
> From today, 28 December 2021, renewing and new members to the BSP will no longer get the print version of the JBSP by default. Our membership page will reopen by end of Monday 3 January 2022 for people who wish to renew their memberships over the coming year.
> If you currently pay through an auto-renewing subscription via PayPal, we will be cancelling the auto-renewal. You will receive confirmation via PayPal in the next few days. If you wish to renew your membership you can do so once your current period comes to an end from the membership page of our website.
> Going forward, if members do wish to collect the print edition, they will be able to purchase a subscription with a special membership discount for a reduced cost of £15 per issue (as opposed to £86 without membership). Advice on this will appear on our membership page later in January.
> All authors who publish in the JBSP will continue to receive a free print version of the journal issue in which their work is featured.
If you do have any questions, please contact our membership secretary Edmund O’Toole: [email protected]. We really hope you will support us in this change, and we look forward to working with you in growing the British Society for Phenomenology and the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology over the years to come.
Keith Crome, President of the British Society for Phenomenology.