Wiley Society Member Resources

Explore Trends

What have we learned from surveying society members for the past four years? We explore trends from the past four years and help you predict what your members will care most about in years to come.

Apply the Insights

Your members know what they want. Do you? What benefits should you offer to keep members coming back and attract new members in areas to help your society thrive?

Using insights from our survey, we’ve mapped out what investments will have the greatest positive impact on your communities.

International Members

Our survey indicates that members from regions including Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East are more likely than average to join a society within the next twelve months. They are also less likely to be current members, meaning they represent a potential growth area for your society to develop international networks. Society member benefits need to be relevant and accessible for global audiences. How can you support this potential for growth?

My society’s biggest challenge is...
  • AMaking international members aware of who we are as an organization.
  • BProviding services for which international members have reliable access.
  • CEnsuring international members feel welcomed and included in engagement events.
Does your society engage in social media?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Do you have existing members in your key growth regions?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Members from Africa and parts of Asia want societies to invest in tools to help build better relationships. Social media can be a powerful online collaboration tool for members to engage with one another. Make sure that social strategies are timed to coincide with daytime hours of the regions you are targeting and are sensitive to local issues and concerns.
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Consider how members can become champions for their local peers. Peer recommendation is very impactful. Existing members are more likely to recommend that their peers join a society if they actively read your publications, engage on social media, and attend the annual meeting, so focus on enhancing those benefits to increase recommendations and grow in key regions.
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Individuals in Africa and Central Asia (including India) are more likely to join a society if they think they will be able to connect with a global community, access relevant content, and gain support for their careers. Ensure that member benefits can support these goals and that communication strategies reflect them
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Does your society provide digital resources for members to use?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Do you have locally-specific tools for professional development?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Digital content can sometimes be less reliable in parts of the world where access is a greater issue, but it is essential that international members have digital resources. Explore ways to streamline access and new content types that might encourage higher engagement with digital content.
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Whether or not a member is satisfied with the career development opportunities provided by a society has profound impact on whether a member would recommend a peer join a society. Members from Central Asia and Africa are more satisfied than most with the career development opportunities through society membership, so harnessing that desire and ensuring professional development benefits are satisfying for all international members will help drive recommendations and growth in these regions.
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Members from places like Africa and Central Asia are much more likely to join a society if they can find support there in advancing their career. Ensure society communication strategies emphasize the prestige of your organization, your mission, and the impactful careers enjoyed by existing members. Mentoring relationships and opportunities to network both locally and globally are important for future career advancement.
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Do your conferences and events have online equivalents?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Do you have existing members in the region you are targeting?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Members from Africa and parts of Asia want societies to invest in tools to help build better relationships. Conferences are a key way to engage and build relationships, but it isn’t always possible to travel to an annual meeting. Ensuring that there are digital collaboration tools in place, or that there are other online events that can help members engage with each other can help attract people from these regions.
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Research shows that peer recommendation has a powerful impact on society members. Build local networks of champions for your society to support and encourage growth in those regions. This benefits the career of your Member Champions, and helps expand your network. A testimonial campaign from current members will personalize the member experience, help promote the Member Champion’s career, and encourage people to join.
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Members from key growth areas like Africa and the Middle East are more likely than other members to engage with their fellow members, either on social media or through networking events. Targeting these members with communication strategies that focus on how membership will enable their ability to connect can help build community.
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Members outside of academia

Those who work at universities or colleges are more likely to be current society members, and they are also more likely to join a society in the next year. But in many fields there are key member demographics who work outside of academia: practitioners such as teachers, doctors, and nurses; potential members working in industry, government, and so many more. How might you reach these demographics?

My society’s biggest challenge is...
  • ADeveloping member benefits that those outside of academia value.
  • BEncouraging members outside of academia to engage with our research and our community
  • CDriving awareness of our organization and reaching potential members outside of academia.
Do you have member benefits that have positive impact on applied or practice-based fields?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Are there networking opportunities to engage with those outside of their professional setting?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Members need to see the professional value of society membership, as well as the feeling that they are part of something bigger than themselves in terms of a society’s community and mission. Benefits that have tangible professional benefits outside of academia, like certifications if relevant to your field, or learning tools like podcasts and webinars, can help members gain experience and knowledge and encourage them to join.
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Though member benefits should be tailored to your current communities and the community spaces that you’re trying to grow, the same core values remain consistent across the research community regardless of place of work. Make sure that you offer a variety of benefits around content, community building, access to expert advice, and tangible career advancement opportunities to attract all types of potential members.
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Global community and career advancement are still important to those in fields outside of academia. Societies are potential places to help bridge the research and practice gap, where the two can have interactions about shared concerns and come together to solve problems. These networking activities can also lead to professional opportunities later.
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Do you offer publications or other digital content geared toward an application-focused audience?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Is your conference relevant to those who aren’t producing research?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Those who don’t work in academia are still very interested in content, but they engage with it a less frequently than those in academia. They have a greater need for other content formats, however, like a professional practice publication or magazine. Start small, explore whether a blog that focuses on research application is right for your society to help attract these members.
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Overall, members outside of academia are attracted to societies for some of the same key reasons: access to the publications and the opportunity to attend the conference. Engagement barriers are often related to a sense of feeling unwelcome or not invited to a society, or are cost-related. Consider ways to help bridge those gaps and demonstrate to members the value their diverse perspectives bring to your society.
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Those outside of academia are less likely to produce their own research. But they are still very interested in attending meetings, and use research to help inform their jobs and stay at the cutting edge of their field. Make sure that you’re considering the members you want to target – in the industries you want to attract – when planning events and programs.
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Do you have an existing member base in the community outside of academia that you’re trying to reach?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Are your publications read by potential members outside of academia?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Peer recommendation is critical to the sustained future of societies. Existing members are more likely to recommend that their peers join a society if they actively read your publications, engage on social media, and attend the annual meeting, so focus on enhancing those benefits to increase recommendations and grow in key demographics.
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Make sure the value of your publications for potential members in applied fields is clear. Remember they may not always have time to search extensively for what they need or have the time to devote to long literature reviews. Diverse types of content that help readers understand the value research has to their professional lives can help to encourage membership.
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Members who read research more frequently are more likely to consider society membership in the future, and more likely to recommend society membership to peers. Strategies that help enable access to or raise awareness of research and it’s value to key workplace demographics can help overcome the gap and perhaps encourage society membership.
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The next generation of members

Last year in our member segmentation, we identified the “Climber” segment. These members and potential members are typically earlier in their career, and value societies for opportunities to build networks and community and engage with other members. Climbers represent the future leaders of societies, those who will engage in a deep and meaningful way provided they feel supported and empowered by their societies.

My society’s biggest challenge is...
  • AHelping new people in the research community build their career.
  • BSupporting new members engagement with other members and ensuring they feel like valued.
  • CUnderstanding the expectations newer members have in terms of communication.
Are any of your existing career services targeted to new members?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Do your career services focus on opportunities to build connections between members?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Climbers want career services that go beyond job listings. They want to learn how to succeed, and they want to engage with other members in order to achieve their goals. Climbers are more likely to volunteer on committees, network, and participate in mentoring programs, so make sure that the success and prevalence of those programs is clear to potential members.
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Climbers, and others in the next generation of members, understand how important networking and building connections is for their career advancement. Society membership represents a chance to be a part of a prestigious professional network that can help them be successful in life. Ensuring that you have diverse career services in place will help attract more members of the next generation, and more of that key member segment: climbers.
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Climbers want career services that go beyond job listings. They want to learn how to succeed, and they want to engage with other members in order to achieve their goals. Climbers are more likely to volunteer on committees, network, participate in mentoring programs, so make sure that the success and prevalence of those programs is clear to potential members.
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Does your society provide a variety of opportunities for members to participate?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Does your community have an active digital collaboration network?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Climbers are more likely than many other groups to engage with other members. They do this by contributing to the society at large, either by volunteering on committees or mentorship programs. Ensuring that they have the chance to do this and that there are multiple opportunities for them to participate will help make them feel the value of membership.
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We want to ensure that the next generation of members are committed to bringing about change and evolution in the research community. We don’t want them to join just because it feels like a requirement for their job. Making sure that members are engaged and collaborating with one another, and that this experience is meaningful especially for members early in their careers can help support a sustainable future.
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Climbers want to build better relationships with fellow members using digital collaboration tools. Investing in ways to support this desire, and showcasing a vibrant community that engages with and supports each other will help attract climbers and other people who are just starting their careers.
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Is your society active on social media?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Does your society have a variety of publications and resources beyond research journals?
  • AYes
  • BNo
Climbers, and newer members, are more likely than any other group to be actively engaged on social media. Building a robust presence that is engaging, fun, and personal, will help members feel engaged and continuously connected with the society. Maybe there are also opportunities to get Climbers involved in controlling your society’s social accounts.
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Climbers and those who are just starting their career are more interested than other demographics in more informal publication types. In terms of tone and frequency, the next generation is more used to being in touch with greater frequency and casual matter-of-fact communications. Explore and invest in a variety of content formats that are familiar to attract these members.
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More than other demographics, Climbers and other new members are attracted to informal publications like a newsletter. Explore ways to invest in community-based content that helps inform members about their community and the latest research. These investments can help attract members who are seeking to engage with content in different ways.
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