Questions you may have about the recent changes to the print journal package
RCPsych members and associates now need to tell the College (opt-in) if you want to continue to receive printed copies of the College journals from January 2023. Below are some answers to questions you might have about the change.
1. Why is the College making this change?
Full details about this change are on our detailed opt-in page.
2. How many journals are now included with my membership?
From January 2023, members will still have access to all journals online. Members can also choose to receive up to two of the College Journals in print via their membership account. This is also the case for Fellows, Specialist Associates, Affiliates and International Associates
Pre-Membership Psychiatric Trainees (PMPTs) will also continue to have online access to all journals. If PMPTs wish to receive any of the journals in print, these are available via Cambridge University Press at a heavily discounted subscription price of £50 per journal per year.
3. How do I tell the College I want to receive printed copies?
Members can select to receive up to two journals in print via your online membership account.
If PMPTs want to order printed copies, they can do so via the Cambridge University Press Customer Services team via phone (+44 1223326070) or email.
4. I want to receive more than two journals in print – can I still do this?
Yes, additional print subscriptions are available via Cambridge University Press Customer Services team via phone (+44 1223326070) or email for £50 per subscription per year.
5. If the College is saving money from this, can I have a reduction in membership fees?
Unfortunately, no. This change has, in part, been made to recoup some reduced income from Journals to the College as a result of industry pressures.
6. I’ve changed my mind about receiving printed copies. Can I update my preferences?
If you would like to update your preferences for the two copies included in your membership, you can do so via your online member account. We will remind you to update your preferences every year, to ensure that we continue to only send out print copies to members who wish to receive them.
If you have paid a subscription to Cambridge University Press, this will be an annual subscription and can only be changed each year.
7. I’d like to learn more about the extra features available online – can you help me?
Please see this page outlining the online features available. Follow the Journals on Twitter to stay up to date with new developments via @TheBJPsych
8. Why wasn’t I consulted about this change?
This change was approved by the Council of the College and Board of Trustees. In addition, Editorial Boards, Faculty Chairs and Executives were consulted via two engagement sessions outlining the changes. The questions raised in these meetings have informed these questions and answers.
9. I’d like to learn more about the environmental benefit of reading the journals online
This is hard to estimate, but we are hoping to significantly reduce the current carbon emissions of the College and when we can, we will report the impact.
As a benchmark, the College mails approximately 320,000 print copies to members each year, and 50,000 printed journal copies equals:
- 450 trees cut down
- 17.25t CO2 emitted during paper production
- 6.56t CO2 emitted during print production
- 1.995t CO2 emitted if we mailed copies 500 km by truck
- 42.5t CO2 emitted if we mailed copies 2000 km by plane
10. Does the charge for additional journals include any kind of ‘carbon tax’?
The charge has been calculated based on cost of printing and distributing the journals and a small overhead for processing the subscriptions. It does not currently include any kind of ‘carbon tax’.
11. How do I access journal content online?
You can access the journals using your RCPsych membership login. Please see the instructions on how to link your account to the journals online.
12. I’d like to get involved in journal work – how can I do this?
There are a number of opportunities to get involved – keep an eye on the ‘Posts for Members’ page or get in touch with a journal directly:
13. How much money does the College save from this change?
The financial side to the reasoning is more about balancing books than making/saving additional money. We cannot share exact figures due to commercial sensitivities and these questions being published on a public page.
14. Will you be researching different reader/user habits and preferences whilst developing the app to ensure the diversity of needs is accommodated?
We understand there are many different ‘types’ of readers for our journal content. The features and functionality of the desktop/web platform would be difficult to match, and we expect that those wishing to conduct in depth research would continue to do this on their computer via Cambridge Core and/or via PubMed. Our goal is for the app will enable the browsing experience that a print copy offers. It will also include quick access to other online content such as videos and podcasts.
15. Will the app include all five of the College Journals?
16. Why don’t you charge a token fee, say £20, for receiving any printed copies?
The decision to continue to include some printed copies at no additional cost is based on the data that we currently have. These data suggest that we have a mix of preferences among the membership and we hope this new package balances these. Perhaps in time, printed copies will not be included in the member package but we would prefer to make this decision based on the usage data we get from the next year or so.
17. Where will I find the app?
The app will be available for IOS and android via the recognised app store.
18. Aren’t video abstracts just a ‘gimmick’? Do they hold any research value?
Users have different media usage habits. Some readers may consume audio-visual material rather than text, and video can also be very helpful for pedagogy. Video discussions with authors can also be a useful reference point and valuable in that they can add more context to what’s included in the main article. Video and audio content can also be a great way to digest content ‘on the go’.
19. Will there be any changes to the College books programme?
There are no changes to the programme apart from continuing its excellent growth and development!
20. My query has not been answered
Please do not hesitate to contact Lizzy Hay, Head of Publishing via email.