Your colleagues discuss their strategies for accepting advertising in scholarly journals.
Q. We're taking a hard look at our ad strategy (display and classified) for our two, quarterly print journals. Can those of you who take paid ads in your print journals (not magazines) please share your thoughts about your ad/edit ratios, where you place the ads (e.g., front vs. back of book), color vs. b/w, etc.? I'll also welcome any comments along the lines of 'Ads in journals are tacky' or 'Are you crazy? No one wants to buy ads in journals anymore.”
A. We are looking at this as well, and probably "need” to make it happen this next year.
We are considering making it more of a "sponsorship” or "underwriting” opportunity versus advertising. The question remains: What are we willing to "give up” to make it appealing to the underwriter or sponsor?
James Baumann, director of communications & marketing, The Talking Stick, Association of College & University Housing Officers-International
A. We are going the way of sponsorship/underwriting because our ad sales has dropped drastically over the years. We accept 4-color for the inside front cover, the inside back cover, and back cover, and black and white for any other page of advertising. Prices have held steady due to the lull in ad dollars. We tried adding incentives, such as offering a website banner with a paid 4x contract, but none of those incentives worked. Ours is a quarterly, peer-reviewed technical publication in a niche industry, so the frequency is not a big incentive either.
The lone, steady ad we've had on the back cover sees us as a "good cause” as opposed to a valuable sales tool. We're making one last-ditch effort on hard ad sales with some special topic issues coming up. But if that doesn't make the cash register ring, the sponsorship/underwriting concept is probably a better bet.
Jill Hronek, director, communications, Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, The Sherwood Group Inc.
A. My association's medical journal is online only and doesn't take ads; but it does get a small, steady stream of reprint purchases from companies whose products are mentioned. We don't solicit reprints; still, because we're a clinical journal (reporting applied rather than pure research), we get a fair amount of interest.
To respond to member demand, we're considering a move back to print; if we go that route, we'll take ads.
An interesting note on pursuing advertisers: At a Stanford/Highwire conference a few years ago, an editor from the American Medical Association reported that it tried to sell ads for golf clubs in JAMA. No luck – though the audience was right, advertisers said that doctors would not be in the frame of mind to buy golf club ads while they were reading a medical journal.
Constance Hardesty, editor in chief, Trends Magazine, American Animal Hospital Association
A. The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is a monthly, peer-reviewed clinical journal. We print both display and classified ads in the publication. Display advertising is placed in the front of each issue and is interleaved with the front matter. The editorial well contains no advertising. The classified ads are placed in the back. We also place advertising on the back cover. Classified ads can be purchased in an array of sizes, and we offer the option to print in color. Click the 'Advertising' link onAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeonsfor the rate cards.
You can also view a PDF of the classified ads from the most recent issue. We do not have a digital flipbook version of the journal, so the display ads appear only in the print version. We are just dipping our toes into the waters of advertising on our website.
Laura Goetz, senior editor, Journal of the AAOS, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
A. We fully intersperse display advertisement in our journal, although classified ads usually appear in the back of the book (mainly because this is where most readers traditionally look for classified ads). Frankly, the more ads that we have, the better. We can always add more pages to the journal if needed. We really don't worry that much about the ad/ed ratio. Although we claim it is usually 60 percent editorial and 40 percent advertisements in our rate card. We have no problems with running the reserve percentages. It's a lot easier to deal with my board of directors if we're making a profit, versus the alternative.
Fred Haag, vice president of publications and communications, Group Practice Journal, American Medical Group Association (AMGA)