Council is grateful to the Natural History Museum for providing facilities and to Suzanne Williams for organising the 2008 AGM and conference. The financial situation of The Society has become increasingly favourable despite a continuing decline in membership. There has been regular discussion at Council meetings about the paradoxical situation by which the membership costs The Society money; thus we would be financially more solvent if we were a Society without members!
Members of The Society have the option of borrower's rights from the library of University College. Details will be supplied in the August Bulletin.
As a result of the visit of Mark Davies to China, The Societyhas been given an embossed folder to show that it is a member of the International Society of Zoological Sciences until 2012.
Recent memberships statistics are 2005 = 198, 2006 = 193, 2007 =135 (though some further renewals are expected). These statistics exemplify the gradual downward trend in membership.
Three meetings were particularly significant for The Society during the year. The first, on the subject of Invasive Molluscs was organised by David Aldridge and held together with the AGM at the University of Cambridge on 2nd April 2007. Secondly, The Society had a significant presence at the Unitas/World Congress of Malacology meeting at Antwerp.At the conference dinner, alongside awards from other Societies, the Malacological Society of London made a public award for the best student oral presentation and another for the best student poster. Thirdly, Manuel Malaquias organised the tenth annual Molluscan Forum at the Natural History Museum, London with excellent oral and posterpresentations from an increasingly international group of students.Manuel is thanked and congratulated for the quality of organisation of this event. Although Manuelis moving abroad, the Council hopes that he can retain in active contact with The Society and the Council.
The Malacologist issue 49 (August, 32 pages) and issue 50 (February, 40 pages) covered the World Congress of Malacology in Antwerp, The Society's Cambridge meeting on Invasive Molluscs, and the Molluscan Forum at the Natural History Museum. The increase in pages, to 72 in one year compared to 48 per year for the previous four years and 32 per year a decade ago, is attributable mostly to an increased number of research grant reports. This reflects the changing role of The Society in providing more research and travel support with a reduced role in organisation of meetings, although the annual Forum continues to attract a large number of participants. The increased number of pages combined with the introduction of colour has seen the total cost per member increase to £9.37 per member per year (based on membership at end of 2006) from £3.74 a decade ago. Another factor contributing to this rise is that, although production costs are directly proportional to number of copies, the number of copies distributed free to contributors and copyright libraries has risen slightly, while membership has declined over the same period.
The Editor, Villie Flari, has moved to the United States, but production has continued at the University of Manchester through the assistance of the former editor, Bill Bailey.
Journal of Molluscan Studies
We have initiated a series of Review Articles, hoping eventually to begin each issue of the Journal with a review of around 10 pages on a topic of general or specific interest. Two such reviews appeared in volume 73. Members are encouraged to submit suitable reviews or to suggest potential authors.
Members are reminded that they can access the entire electronic archive of Journal of Molluscan Studies (and its precursor Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London). Full instructions describing how to access this archive were published in The Malacologist in August 2007. Sales by Oxford University Press of institutional subscriptions to this archive have resulted in a considerable additional income for The Society over the past year (see Treasurer's Report).
The ISI impact factor for the Journal in 2006 was 0.968 (compared with 0.758 in 2005 and 0.411 in 2004), which is very good news. The Journal now stands at number 51 in the list of 114 zoological journals.
Circulation for the Journal in 2007 was 177 institutional (of which 32 were online-only and 82 print-only) and 171 membership subscriptions (compare 188 and 193 respectively for 2006). In addition a further 1707 institutions have electronic access to the Journal through publishers' consortia (compare 1359 in 2006), and 770 (compare 698 in 2006; note inaccurate figure from OUP in Editor's Report for 2006) 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 2825 personal and institutional subscribers (compare 2438 in 2006).
The new pricing structure has been fixed for 2008. The cost for a combined print plus online institutional subscription is £310 ($574); print-only and online-only subscriptions are each £295.
Volume 73 contained 50 papers and research notes, totalling 418 pages. The delay between acceptance of a manuscript and electronic publication was about 4 months. Submission of manuscripts rose by 21% to 158, and the acceptance rate was 32%.
Difficulties experienced during 2006 with poor copyediting have now been resolved, resulting in proofs of improved quality. The control of quality of figures continues to be a concern. The cover image of volume 74 part 1 was particularly poor, and this will be rectified in forthcoming parts.
Our board of Associate Editors is now: Thierry Backeljau (molecular phylogenetics and genetics), Liz Boulding (population and reproductive biology), Robert Cameron (ecology and genetics of terrestrial Mollusca), Simon Cragg (life histories, sense organs), John Davenport (marine ecology and physiology), Mark Davies (marine ecology and behaviour), Villie Flari (physiology and behaviour), Dan Graf (freshwater bivalves), Liz Harper (marine bivalves), Robert Hershler (freshwater gastropods), Manuel Malaquias (opisthobranchs), Ellinor Michel (ecology, freshwater gastropods), Peter Mordan (terrestrial Mollusca), Diarmaid Ó Foighil (genetics, freshwater bivalves), John Taylor (Neogastropoda, mineralogy, ultrastructure), Mikael Thollesson (opisthobranchs), Janet Voight (cephalopods), Tony Walker (biochemistry) and Suzanne Williams (molecular phylogenetics and genetics).I am extremely grateful for the hard work and support of all these colleagues. I am sorry to report that Brigitte Grimm has resigned as an associate editor (with responsibility for slugs and agricultural pests) and I thank her especially for all that she has done for the Journal and for The Society.
Officers and Council
Despite the fall in membership, the above reports show that The Society has had another successful year due to the motivated commitment of the Council members and officers. On behalf of the membership, I would like to thank those officers of Council members who have dealt so admirably with publications, finances, membership, administration, the web and the awards. Particular thanks go to Villi Flari, retiring as Bulletin Editor and both Alex Ball and Mark Davies who are retiring as Council members. The Council is pleased to note the resumed service of Bill Bailey as editor ofThe Malacologist, and the continuing role of Elizabeth Platts as Treasurer.
I take particular pleasure in reporting that 'Bill' Bailey has been awarded an Honorary Membership of The Society in view of his long and diligent service as a Council member, past-President and Editor of the Bulletin (now called 'The Malacologist'). During his tenure, the Bulletin morphed from being a cyclostyled, relativelyinformal report of Society activities into a substantial, coloured publication which acts as an admirable corollary to The Society's Journal.
We were sad to note the sudden death of Alan Bebbington who was a member of the Council for a substantial period. At various times, he served as Council member, Secretary and President, and stepped into the breach as Treasurer on the sudden death of Tom Thompson. A full obituary appears in this issue.
Georges Dussart, President, April 2008