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IUCr 1999 Triennial Report - Report of Promotion Committee

In 1996, the Executive Committee decided to set up a special Promotion Committee, with the aim of improving the financial position of the IUCr. The first task of the Committee was to appoint a Promotions Representative. As a result Miss A.J. Sharpe was appointed to this post in early 1998. Since then, a campaign to market the IUCr journals and services more aggressively to the crystallographic community as well as to structural science communities in biology, chemistry, materials science and physics has begun.

Increased participation at meetings, whether it be with an exhibition stand, the supply of promotional material for delegates' wallets, or as part of an informal joint marketing agreement with Oxford University Press, has raised the profile of the IUCr and its publications. An initiative to highlight journal articles within the IUCr Newsletter is designed to tempt individuals to petition their libraries for subscriptions, and an on-line order form now provides a convenient way to subscribe.

While it is important to promote all IUCr journals, particular attention has been given to the relatively new Journal of Synchrotron Radiation. Early results show that the number of personal subscriptions has risen owing to increased exposure at relevant conferences and users' meetings. The emphasis is now on increasing institutional subscriptions by targeting synchrotron and neutron sites. The imminent on-line appearance of Acta Cryst. Section D and the journal's recent redesign and doubling of frequency present exciting promotional opportunities for that publication.

Attractiveness and value in the market place are areas that need constant monitoring, and innovation is the buzzword for mature journals. Market research and competitor tracking may reveal ideas for new sections and presentation.

Special Issues, whether milestone-celebrating compilations or conference proceedings, are important in increasing the impact of a journal. They are, however, expensive to produce. The sale of advertising space and of extra copies of these issues via conferences and advertising campaigns in the journals, the IUCr Newsletter, and on the IUCr web site has gone some way to recovering costs.

To give some idea of the impact at this early stage of the Promotions exercise, the total advertising revenue generated (January 1998 to March 1999) is USD 50,694. Most of the income has resulted from the following Special Issues: SRI '97 Proceedings (May 1998 issue of Journal of Synchrotron Radiation) USD 10,940; Fiftieth Anniversary of Acta Cryst. and the IUCr (November 1998 issue of Acta Cryst. Section A) USD 20,340; CCP4 Proceedings (November 1998 issue of Acta Cryst. Section D) USD 5,607. Additional revenue has come from sales of the World Directory of Crystallographers database and mailing lists compiled from this (USD 2,152) and from the sales of Special Issues (USD 4,800).

The Promotion Committee membership is currently A.M. Glazer (Chair), F.H. Allen, P.W. Codding, M.H. Dacombe, W.L. Duax, H.D. Flack, S.R. Hall, J. Harada, S.J. Maginn, A.J. Sharpe (Promotions Representative) and P.R. Strickland, with the President and General Secretary of the IUCr as ex officio members.

A.M. Glazer, Chair

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Updated 6th June 1999

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