– By Wayne Richardson, P.Eng., CMOS President –
The CMOS Bulletin is embarking on a new adventure. We are no longer publishing a print version! I must confess to being sceptical about this initiative at first, but as I have settled in to being President of CMOS I have become acutely aware of the positives of bringing this idea to fruition.
As I was writing my commentary for the last Bulletin I was realizing that by the time the message was open and available to non-members, any impact of the contribution to the overall discussion of science in Canada would be months past due. Ditto for the great scientific work and commentaries that are to be found in the contributions from all CMOS members in our Bulletin. It is time to share our work and opinions of scientific issues in real time!
The Bulletin is now easily available to people all over the world at http://bulletin.cmos.ca/, in a format that is widely accepted and has broad appeal. This will dramatically increase the readership, and the reach of articles published by all members.
The content will be updated on an on-going basis, ensuring that members have ready access to the latest CMOS news and events, and to articles published by your colleagues.
The Bulletin can be accessed and read in a variety of ways, to suit different needs and preferences. As well as the dynamic on-line site, once every two months members and subscribers will receive an e-newsletter of recent Bulletin stories to your inbox. Also, on a bi-monthly schedule, a downloadable PDF will be made available. So, if the preference exists for some of you to have a hard copy, then you will still be able to print one up and read it at your leisure.
All of the content of the Bulletin will now be detectable by Google. In the simple PDF format of old, all articles published in the Bulletin were virtually invisible.
The new format eases sharing of published articles, especially through social media – a link which was not previously possible.
CMOS researchers are working in areas of high societal priority. In these changing times, access to factual information and informed opinions are profoundly important. All content on the new Bulletin website is searchable, supporting sharing of knowledge with educators, policy makers, researchers and community leaders around the world.
By embracing new technology such as our dynamic on-line website, social media, and an App to view congress programs, CMOS and its members can improve our relevance to society.
In the previous format, the Bulletin was mailed out six times a year, to those CMOS members that had requested the service. At an average of 40 pages per issue, this amounted to approximately 100,000 printed pages every year. The carbon footprint associated with the paper, ink, production, and distribution to addresses across the county is now one footprint that the Society and its members will be erasing.
The environmental savings lead to a financial savings, since production and delivery costs are eliminated. This is an important move for a non-profit society.
The on-line format will also be more enticing for corporate advertisers, thus increasing the potential for generating advertising revenue.
Apart from all of those advantages already mentioned, it is my hope that the Bulletin will now have a number of other benefits to the Society, including improving appeal and loyalty from old, young and new membership. The dramatic improvement in the reach of content that is both searchable and highly shareable will support an improvement of the national and international visibility of the Society.
It is also my hope that the modern and dynamic layout, as well as the renewed focus on content that is both highly readable and relevant, will attract a greater number of high quality submissions to the Bulletin from you, our CMOS members.
The bulk of the work to bring our CMOS Bulletin into a fully on-line format has fallen to our new editor Sarah Knight. Sarah has done a remarkable job to honour the long-term quality of the Bulletin, while bringing it into a modern format whereby CMOS can become a much more influential and informative volunteer organization, with a clear role in shaping science activities, funding and policies in our areas of knowledge and expertise. We should be able to reach a much broader, general audience with our new Bulletin format. The combination of our Bulletin with our focused, scientific, Atmosphere-Ocean Journal, and our annual CMOS Congress, will enable CMOS members to share our scientific expertise and informed advice as we work together towards resolving increasingly worrisome local, regional and planetary issues.