• scientific communication;
  • geomorphology;
  • earth surface processes;
  • open access


The British Society for Geomorphology (BSG), established as the British Geomorphological Research Group (BGRG) in 1960, is considering how best to represent geomorphology and geomorphologists in the light of recent changes in the nature of communication. These changes provide the BSG and other academic societies with challenges and opportunities. Seven drivers of communication change are outlined: the changing position of geomorphology in higher education, the nature of academic interaction, the means of communication available, a transformation in the nature of geomorphological research, changes in funding support, the government role in resource allocation, and developments in quantifying international research impact. Challenges arising from changing communications are identified as occurring beyond the ‘academy’, in the nature of publication within the ‘academy’, and associated with meetings of the ‘academy’. Although national societies now have to contemplate significantly different purposes to provide for their members than in the twentieth century, there are opportunities available that cannot be fulfilled by international organizations alone. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.