Secretary's Report (2012)

Econometrica, Vol. 81, No. 1 (January, 2013), 411–421





THIS REPORT STARTS by describing the evolution of the Society’s membership and of the number of institutional subscribers. Information is provided on both a midyear and an end-of-year basis. The latest information available, as of June 30 of the current year and of selected previous years, is provided in the top panel of Table I. The bottom panel of Table I reports the final number of members and subscribers as of the end of 2011 and selected previous years. For any given year, the figures in the bottom half of Table I are larger than in the top half, reflecting those memberships and subscriptions that are initiated between the middle and the end of that calendar year.

The Society reached the historical record of 6,046 ordinary and student members at the end of 2010, probably due to the very high number of sub- missions to the World Congress in Shanghai, China. At the end of 2011, the total number of members had gone down to 5,202, a figure that is 14.0 percent below that of 2010 and 6.6 percent below the average of the period 2005–2009. The midyear figure for 2012 suggests that the decrease is going to be reversed this year, with a membership close to the average of the period 2005–2009.

In 2011, the number of institutional subscribers accelerated its declining trend, reaching 1,407 subscribers, which represents a 14.2 percent reduction with respect to the figure in 2010 and a 39.2 percent reduction with respect to the figure 10 years before. As noted in my previous report, this reduction could be related to the tightening of library budgets in high income countries as well as to the increase in institutional subscription rates agreed by the Executive Committee in 2009, which was especially significant for the new category of middle income countries. The midyear figure for 2012 suggests that this year there will be a smaller reduction in the number of institutional subscribers.

Table II displays the division between print and online and online only mem- berships and subscriptions. Since the choice between these two alternatives was offered in 2004, there has been a continued shift toward online only. This is especially significant for student members, 88.2 percent of whom chose this option as of June 2012, but the shift is also very significant for ordinary mem- bers, for whom the proportion of online only reached 64.8 percent in June 2012. It is also noticeable in institutional subscriptions, for which the propor- tion of online only went up from 37.3 percent in June 2011 to 42.0 percent in June 2012.

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