Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Professional associations and joining the profession

I've received several communications after posting about my journal subscriptions recently. The primary question has been "why so many?" followed by "is this normal?"

Probably most of the journals I receive come through membership in learned societies, such as the Aristotelian Society, the American Political Science Association, EPOP, and Political Studies Association.

I first joined a learned society on the advice of Warren E. Miller. Professor Miller told my postgraduate cohort that learned society membership was essential to joining the profession: if you are serious about joining the profession, then you should have an active interest and membership in a professional society.

I have always thought it wise to be a member of at least a few learned societies. Of course, this is not free. However, there are often associated newsletters and journals of possible interest. Plus, there is the bigger prize of forging new professional contacts through contributing to society events and other activities.

I'd warmly recommend those considering an academic career to become involved with at least 1-2 learned societies at the earliest opportunity.

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