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September 19, 2007

 

Memorandum

 

To:              Members of the American Anthropological Association

 

From:          Bill Davis, Executive Director

                   Alan Goodman, President

Subject:       AAA/Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Agreement

 

We are pleased to inform you that the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. have signed a contract for a five year publishing partnership to commence in 2008.  The public announcement should come later today as a joint press release.

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing was formed in February 2007 as a result of the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing Ltd. By John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (founded in 1807), and its merger with Wiley’s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business.  Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field.  Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,250 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, go to www.blackwellpublishing.com or http://interscience.wiley.com

Under the agreement, Wiley-Blackwell will publish, distribute and promote AAA’s twenty-three anthropology journals and newsletters. Wiley-Blackwell will also host AnthroSource—the premier online portal to full-text anthropology articles serving the research and teaching needs of scholars and practitioners in the U.S. and around the world.

The AAA Executive Board’s decision to partner with Wiley-Blackwell was the result of a year-long process, centering on a detailed request for proposals, evaluation of publisher submissions, interviews, and reference checks with other scholarly societies.  The request for proposals was developed with input from journal editors, authors and members who had communicated their concerns to AAA’s Executive Board, Committee on Scientific Communication, Committee on the Future of Print and Electronic Publishing , and staff over the past four years.  The RFP was sent to nine publishers.  Six responded with proposals, and five were interviewed. 

In its development of AnthroSource in 2002, the core goals of AAA included developing a portal that could provide scholars with innovative discovery tools for accessing scholarly content, in text, photo, audio and video media, and an electronic means to expand the reach of anthropological knowledge to additional readers world-wide.

The AAA Executive Board voted unanimously in favor of a partnership agreement with Wiley-Blackwell.  Members of the Executive Board saw Wiley-Blackwell’s stellar reputation for creative partnerships with learned societies, its substantial investment in innovative technology and its world-wide network of offices as providing AAA with the greatest potential to propel AnthroSouce to the cutting edge of digital publishing and expand the readership of AAA’s publications and the dissemination of anthropological research to critical new international audiences.

Under the new partnership, AAA members and journal subscribers will have uninterrupted access to AnthroSource and AAA’s print publications.  We will continue to provide AnthroSource at no cost to under-resourced institutions.   Journal editors and the AAA will retain complete editorial control over publication content and form.  The content of our existing standard author agreements will remain unchanged.  

Ownership of all journal content will remain in the domain of the AAA.  AAA will make final decisions on subscription pricing for all 2009 and later publications.  All Wiley-Blackwell contractors and subcontractors must comply with a code of fair labor practices.  In addition to these agreements, Wiley-Blackwell and AAA will undertake a series of rolling three year strategic development plans for each publication.

The contract incorporates a financial agreement between AAA and Wiley-Blackwell that is very different from that which we had with the University of California Press .  Under the new profit-sharing agreement, Wiley-Blackwell will manage both revenues and expenditures for the Association’s publications program and share some of the risk and reward associated with it.  Excess revenues over expenditures will be shared annually on a 60% (AAA)/40% (W-B) basis.  The agreement provides for a guaranteed minimum income to AAA over each of the next five years.  The guarantee will total approximately $2.7 million over the 5 year contract period.

This change in the financial agreement with AAA’s publishing partner will mean that our Sections will no longer be directly charged for the production and distribution services provided by the publisher.  The impact on our Section budgets will be immediate in 2008 and all publication sponsoring sections will see an improvement in their net publishing financial activity.  While the AAA Board adopted formula for distributing AnthroSource digital revenues will remain in place for 2008, the Committee on the Future of Print and Electronic Publishing , the Committee for Scientific Communication and AAA the Executive Board will review alternative models for allocating future royalty payments between and among the Association and Sections.

 

  

 



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