The communications committee is a temporary committee that deals with the communications and publications of the society.

It studied for example whether the society should have its own journal. Recently, it initiated, organized and oversaw the redesign of the society’s homepage.


2015 Communications Committee Report 

by Maria Kronfeldner


Members 2013-15: Richard Burian, Silvia Caianiello, Michael Dietrich, Colin Garvey, Maria Kronfeldner (Chair), Manfred Laubichler, Sabina Leonelli, Shunkichi Matsumoto.

Important documents related to this:

- Dietrich report publication committee 2009-11

- Laubichler report (to Ana Barahona, date unclear)

- Agenda PC-committee (2014)

- Proposal to council regarding website relaunch

- Job description website relaunch

- Contract with website designer


At the beginning of the 2013-15 cycle, the committee received the so-called “Dietrich report” (2009-2011), specifying goals for the future of the society’s publications. These goals were transformed into practical steps towards a new division of labor (see editorial board) regarding the communications and publications of the society and a roadmap towards the relaunch of the society’s webpage that was often out-of-date, which has led to multiple complaints. After intense discussion among the communications committee members, a proposal was presented to council and the respective motion passed. This included the decision to hire a professional web designer since designing webpages is by now too labor-intensive so that to hand it over to volunteers was considered as inadequate.

The committee then issued a job description and contacted a list of web design services and asked for cost estimates. After blind review of the proposals by the committee members, one was chosen. A contract was issued by the treasurer. The reprograming was supervised by the chair of the committee, in close interaction with the secretary. As part of this, content got reorganized, the logo got revised and suggestions for further communications of the society (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs) were suggested. Since the new secretary, Sean Valles, is willing to try without associating an additional web editor, no such web editor will exist. The responsibility to oversee the development of the backend of the new site was handed over to the new secretary Sean Valles shortly before the meeting in Montréal. The Secretary also accepted to further discuss with the student advisory committee how to use Facebook, Twitter and a Blog. During the council meeting in Montréal it was also decided that the hired webdesigner will also be hired as a webmaster (see minutes of meetings). Finishing the re-launch of the society’s page within the 2013-15 cycle was not possible for various reasons and will thus continue into the 2015-17 cycle. The communications committee will hand over that responsibility at a suitable test stage to the editorial board of the site.

At the beginning of the 2013-15 cycle, another long-term and major goal of the communications committee was to develop initiatives so that the society can keep pace with the opportunities our digital world offers. Thus, the aim for the 2015-17 cycle was to try to find ways to support OA initiatives within the society and with journals of interest to the society. Since new rules for the access to such journals was negotiated by the treasurer independently during that cycle and no proposals for that goal were suggested, nothing in that direction happened. The goal might be taken up later, after the relaunch of the society’s page.