The Academy of Social Sciences has received funding from the ESRC to commission a systematic evaluation of the contribution made by learned societies. This is a follow-up to the largely descriptive work undertaken in 2008 and published as Developing Dialogue. In light of the questions being raised by Open Access publishing over learned society income, the Academy wishes to evaluate and quantify the ways in which learned societies use their income from publishing to support and contribute to the research ecosystem and the wider public.

The project is being overseen by a steering group including Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society and member of the Finch Group, Sally Hardy, CEO of the Regional Studies Association, John Beath of the Royal Economic Society, Vivian Hurley of the British Academy and Fiona Armstrong of the ESRC, as well as Stephen Anderson, Executive Director of the Academy.