In November 2013, the AAA Executive Board (EB) adopted a series of recommendations from the Committee for the Future of Print and Electronic Publishing (CFPEP) that embrace new ways of producing and distributing its journals and endeavor to get the association’s publishing program on sustainable footing. These changes also ensure the association will have resources for new innovation (see “Mind the App Gap”). Specifically, the EB moved that member print copies (for all the titles covered in the Wiley-Blackwell service level agreement) will become fully digital starting in 2016. Individual members will be able to buy at cost a print subscription to any journal published by sections that member has joined. The EB authorized creation of a publishing oversight working group within CFPEP, a working group that will have three section representatives. And finally, the EB required that sections who would like to be included in any 2016 Request for Proposals to publishers would need to submit five-year plans (covering 2016–20), which will be reviewed by a Publishing Oversight Working Group of CFPEP. Even though the publishing contract does not expire until the end of 2017, we need to plan to either renew or locate a new partner in 2016.
Much like fieldwork, the publishing world is a work in progress. These changes do not represent a break with the past, rather, they show the ongoing advancement of the publishing program, a necessary progression that will improve the accessibility and visibility of our journals in response to changes in the publishing environment faced by newspapers, university presses, and other scholarly societies.