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Issues Related to Publications

Summary of what follows. Mark Filippi here questions that the journal NDPLS of the Society should be compulsory, especially since it uses $55 of the $75 dues. His letter to the editor just published in the Newsletter follows, and then some email correspondence, and a perspective representative of Robin Robertsonís view of the make-up of the Society, as related to this issue.

Dear Editor [submitted 10/09/2005) and published in the SCTPLS Newsletter, Vol. 13, No. 1, October 2005].

Having had some brief experiences working within the committee structure this past year, I'm more aware of the inequities and incongruities that exist between the membership, the greater NDS world, and the SCTPLS leadership, vis-a-vis, the Executive Committee. Here's an example.

I am struck by this one line in the renewal forms as it appears on the SCTPLS website...  
$55 per membership year is allocated toward the subscription to NDPLS.

That's a huge percentage of my annual contribution to the Society! Not knowing the production costs and other monetary aspects of the NDPLS journal, I'm not quibbling about the $55 amount.
My issue is how implicit membership renewal is in 'funding' it's publication. I wonder if every year I was told that my $75 entitled me to two NDS books on the SCTPLS bookshelf, a choice of five NDPLS articles from the prior year and the obligatory annual poster, I'd actually look forward the renewal letter to see what's in the package this time? Maybe I'd get bounced to an NDS product page and have the option of purchasing $55 worth of software, CD's, e-books, and other member-generated material/services. Why is my renewal so bound to just NDPLS? Since we have such a prolific membership, wouldn't it serve our interests to market our 'wares' to 'our own' first, and let those that truly desire to fully fund the NDPLS personally chose to do that? Is it time to ask this?
I'm all for what the NDPLS has achieved, although my work and it's focus often don't cross paths.
My concern is that we are bypassing an opportunity to broaden our base for the NDPLS' benefit.
I requesting we explore the option of letting members reallocate their $55 to benefit our members.  

With Turbulence,

Mark R. Filippi, DC
SCTPLS member since 1997


Some other comments from earlier correspondence with Mark. His questions to me are in blue, my responses to those in red, and his responses to mine in black. Some editing occurs now:

At 04:58 PM 10/5/2005, Mark wrote:

For example, the CHAOPSYC/SCTPLS membership ratio? What is it? Not good. About 30% of chaopsyc are members. About 30% of the Society is on Chaopsyc, last time I checked (with Mary Annís help).


[This is in error. The figure is closer to 10% or about 30 members of the Society, which also translates to 30out of just over 300 members of the CHAOPSYC list as well. Thus in Markís comments next, it is 9/10, not 7/10 people not interested FDA-11/15/05]

That's telling. So 7/10 people interested enough in NDS aren't drawn to join a Society that studies it? Seems like we're not attractive to people IN our circle, let alone ones outside of it. It goes back to the fact that as it stands, SCTPLS appears to be an academic/theory/research-driven organization and the NDS community is more interested in applications and the cross-pollination of NDS' many tools.

Since the structure of the SCTPLS binds the reformation of the way it presents itself (What will the IRS say???), we are faced with the more informal process of figuring out a way to enroll the listserv members in some fee-for-service events/virtual memberships or some other means to include them.    

The NDPLS subscriber/SCTPLS membership ratio? I'd love to know the percentage of non-SCTPLS members are using the listserv and 'reading' the journal. As a start...I think all the members get the journal. [yes] I doubt that there are too many readers of the journal outside of the membership. There must be a fair number. Steve could report on the number of subscribers that are not members. The institutional (library) list is fairly short.

It's an important # to obtain. If Steve's argument involving steering the Society toward the tone of the NDPLS journal, he has no basis in reality [from which to make such a claim]. If this is presented to him from a standpoint of fact, not opinion, no personalities need to clash. The NDPLS is a fledgling journal, plain & simple.
It, like all fledgling journals, needs to listen to it's readership and in this case non-readership. To let the NDPLS siphon [all but] $20 [$55 out of $75 dues according to the above] from SCTPLS members who have no interest in it [and it] only distorts the numbers. The NDPLS needs to become a more academic-bound journal and not a Society member throw-away.

I'm upset that we wasted the opportunity in DEN, had a 'protested' conference the year before and are becoming an elitist academic group more and more.... Well frankly, I am to blame leaving strategy to [others], and for missing the previous year, but [no one planned] any strategy. My putting it on the society list was stopped, we should have put it out for a mail vote instead of waiting until Denver, it never should have come at the end of the conference and the end of the business meeting, which is why I didn't confront anything much at the time. The effort was over. Only one person saw the absurdity of claiming the sentence saying other things could be allowed other than dynamics. Dan Miller pointed it out. I could have mentioned that it was important to expand the original definition as too confining, and the context made it clear that expansion should be dynamics-related. Better wording could be made. I wrote that sentence, and should have expanded it. There is no way to write a perfect document no matter how you approach it, but looser is better than tighter, which can be too limiting. By the time that discussion was over, it was too late to do anything else.

[snip] Do we want to 'hope' the members get involved or take a course where every renewing member gets to tell SCTPLS their interests, expertise and their
applications of NDS in their work. That information could make our conferences better next year. Do we want to continue to have all these lousy overlaps between the listserv, the NDPLS journal & the SCTPLS members? Do we want a site so butt ugly no one in the public media knows it's up there? :)

My 3 cents, MRF 10.06


Robin Robertson View:


Robin has long been concerned about a tension between those in the society with a more metaphorical bent and those with a more technical bent. He and I have been dialoguing in the society about a rapprochement. Mark deepens the issues and again looks for solutions that might help. These solutions have an impact on the journals and governance of the society. (fdaís note).


We suggest that if you have questions or opinions concerning this policy of the society, that you communicate them to us and to the President of the Society.


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Page created 10/13/2005, last updated 11/15/05 fda