From the 114th Annual General Meeting held on 2nd April 2007 at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge.
The President thanked David Aldridge for organising the Invasive Mollusc meeting at St Catherine’s College.
The President invited Richard Cook to talk about membership of The Society. There were 193 members of The Society at the end of 2006, including 15 new members. A significant number of members (58) had not renewed their membership by March 2007, which may be an oversight on their part. The President wanted to push for an increase in membership.
Two meetings were held in 2006. The first meeting, which was combined with the 2006 AGM, was held at the Natural History Museum. This was a well attended meeting with an excellent talk from Philip Bouchet of the National Museum of Natural History, Paris, entitled “Big is beautiful: lessons from a massive collecting effort on coral reefs”. An abstract appeared in Issue 47 of The Malacologist
The second meeting, the 9th annual Molluscan Forum, was held on 3rd November in the Palaeontology Demonstration room at the Natural History Museum. The Forum, organised by Alex Ball and Manuel Malaquias, was well attended and hosted 16 speakers and 9 posters. Contributions were wide-ranging and abstracts and photographs appeared in Issue 47 of The Malocologist. The President noted that the quality of the Forum increases year-on-year.
Unfortunately, the joint meeting between the Malacological Society, the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the Societé Française de Malacologie (SFM) for September 2006 did not take place despite considerable planning effort. In view of our history of good joint meetings with the SFM, albeit some years ago, Council still feel that this option should be reconsidered. Simon Cragg suggested that our French colleagues may not be set up for joint meetings whilst Robert Cameron opined that Health and Safety issues and insurance might have been the problem.
The President congratulated Bill Bailey on the quality of The Society’s Bulletin, The Malacologist. Issues 47 (August, 16 pages) and 48 (February, 24 pages) contained news of research work and malacological books, the annual Forum, and forthcoming meetings, together with reports from research grant holders and the annual award winner. Financial accounts appear in this issue.
Bill Bailey, having edited the newsletter since taking over from the first editor, Dr June Chatfield, in August 1993 with Issue 21, will step down, with the approval of members, and be replaced as Bulletin Editor by Dr Villie Flari, the current Secretary.
The Journal of
Molluscan Studies is well ahead of other molluscan journals in the
ratings with up to 3000 people seeing it. The Journal’s publisher,
Oxford University Press (OUP), have now completed the scanning of
all back numbers of Journal of Molluscan Studies (and its precursor
Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London) back to its inception
in 1893! This archive is now available free online to Society members.
Full instructions describing how to access this archive are in this
issue of The Malacologist. Access to the archive for institutions
is available by subscription or purchase from OUP, and this will result
in additional income for The Society (details not yet available).
The ISI impact factor for the Journal in 2005 was 0.758 (compared with 0.411 in 2004), which is very good news. The Journal now stands at number 57 in the list of 100 zoological journals, and is restored to its traditional leading position among international malacological journals. Circulation for the Journal in 2006 was 188 institutional (of which 29 were online-only and 89 print-only) and 193 membership subscriptions (compare 206 and 205 respectively for 2005). In addition a further 1359 institutions have electronic access to the Journal through publishers’ consortia and corporate agreements (compare 1040 in 2005), and 1348 (compare 1188 in 2005) have access through OUP’s Developing Countries Offer (for details see the OUP prices page http://www3.oup.co.uk/jnls/prices/ and click on Developing Countries Offer http://www3.oup.co.uk/jnls/devel/). This means that the Journal is now available to 3088 personal and institutional subscribers (compare 2666 in 2005).
The new pricing structure has been fixed for 2007. The cost for a combined print plus online institutional subscription is £295 ($516); print-only and online-only subscriptions are each £280.
The Society’s website, which is looked after by Tony Cook, recorded over 81,000 hits in 2006, many of which were from non-academics. This is up from around 50,000 visitors in 2005. Although there were slight peaks of usage in March and December at over 8,000 visits per month, the number of visitors never fell below 6,000 per month. Over half the visitors come from internet providers with the .com domain name indicating that they are private users. Thus Yahoo.com, aol.com and ntl.com are popular internet providers among our visitors. Whilst the website, therefore, is serving the education and research communities with .ac.uk and .edu domain names prominent, these locations do not constitute a large proportion of visitors. It is not possible to locate the origin of .com visitors but of the remainder over 20 countries registered more than 100 visitors in the year.
No one page shows great popularity indicating that the site is probably being found by search engines rather than being regularly visited by individuals who have book-marked the website. The home page is most commonly viewed and accounts for about 10% of the pages visited. The information page is the next most popular, hosting about 4% of the total visits. Spin-off activity from the website has grown this year with a number of organisations making contact through the website. Mostly the contacts have been requests to link to commercial websites and these requests have been denied. Active links are maintained to other malacological websites. Malacological requests are passed on to relevant members of The Society when specialist expertise is required or dealt with by reference to information already available.
The Annual Award and the Research and Travel Grants are dealt with separately below. Although there was a good response from schools for The Society’s Education Award last year, this year there have been no submissions. Georges suggested that money allocated for this year’s Education Award should, instead, be used to advertise the award next year. He further suggested that if there are no submissions for the 2008 Education Award then it should be discontinued.
The President thanked Council members for all their hard work in 2006.
Professor Georges Dussart,