Please read the leading note in Secretary's Notes relative to possible changes in the makeup of the Proceedings.
Important Please Read
An extended study and an analysis of the circulation of the Proceedings shows that its circulation has about reached a maximum so long as conditions remain as at present. By this is meant that the regular and associate membership of the Naval Institute seems to be as large as can normally be expected in view of the following:
a) the percentages of officers in the various grades who are members of the Institute have been published from time to time in the Proceedings. These percentages indicate that, for the active list of the line, nine out of every ten Rear Admirals are members; and for the other grades, the circulation shows that the Captains number 70%, Commanders 60%, Lieutenant Commanders and Lieutenants 50%. In other words, it seems that the greater percentage of young officers do not become members until reaching the grade of lieutenant;
b) the Naval Institute has recently gained nearly 300 Associate Members from civilian life, who were obtained by circularizing the membership of the Navy League.
It is evident therefore that for the Naval Institute to increase the circulation of its Proceedings, it will be necessary to make the Proceedings more attractive to those in civil life who are eligible for associate membership, or to those who think it sufficiently interesting to be worth the subscription price.
The question naturally follows: “In what way may the Proceedings be made more attractive to potential civilian Associate Members and at the same time carry out the mission of the Naval Institute?” Is it possible to still retain the high professional standard of the articles and at the same time make the Proceedings so attractive as to greatly increase the associate membership from the field referred to above?
The Secretary-Treasurer has heard the query answered both in the negative and in the affirmative. Those on the negative side say that it would be impossible, as well as undesirable, to make any radical changes in the Proceedings without sacrificing to a more or less extent the mission of the Institute, and that it would be undesirable to have a large civilian associate membership. Those who answer in the affirmative say that it would be highly desirable to greatly increase the civilian associate membership, and that this might be done by making the Proceedings more attractive; that by so doing it will appeal to all those in civil life who might have a natural inclination toward the sea and who are sympathetic toward the Navy; that changes could be made which will not lower the high standard of the professional and technical articles. Among the suggested changes are the following:
(1) Change the name of the Proceedings to “U. S. Naval Institute Magazine.” This could not, of course, be done without putting the matter to a vote of the entire regular membership in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws. The reason given for changing the name is that the word “Proceedings” is a misnomer and has been for many years, although it was the correct word when the Naval Institute was founded. It will be recalled that at the time of its foundation the members of the Institute met from time to time to discuss professional naval subjects and to read professional papers. The practice of publishing the transactions of the meetings together with the publication of the professional papers which were read led to the name “Proceedings,” certainly the correct word under the circumstances. The question arises as to whether the new title suggested is a more fitting one as well as one that would make a stronger appeal to the civilian mind. There would be but little loss of identity in such a change, as the words “The United States Naval Institute” would still be retained.
(2) The addition of pictures and illustrations of unusual interest in the Proceedings has been suggested as one way to create more interest and the Board of Control has already approved of this change, which will be undertaken on a small scale at first with little additional expense.
(3) A third suggestion has been to use the same size type for the “Discussions,” “Professional Notes,” “Notes on International Affairs,” and “Book Reviews,” as is used in the main body of the Proceedings. The reasons are obvious as the smaller type used for these departments is very much harder to read. This would naturally cost more money, but the increased income of the Proceedings at the present time might very well be put into the magazine for the benefit of the readers. The Board of Control has authorized the editor to take steps to gradually accomplish this result.
(4) A fourth suggestion has been made to increase the page size of the Proceedings to y"x\o", which is the size of the average magazine published today. Without increasing the amount of material, the publishing cost of binding and press work would be reduced by approximately one-third, the practical results of which would be to reduce by about 40% the increased cost should the entire magazine be printed in the larger type referred to above. The increase in the size of the magazine would not only help to offset the increase in cost due to the use of the larger type, but would also naturally aid in publishing larger and better pictures and illustrations.
(5) A fifth suggestion has been made that there is no necessity for two contents pages, and that the one on the inside should he retained, thus leaving the front cover available for a three-quarter page half-tone engraving of an appropriate illustration. Comment has also been made that the Naval Academy seal has no special significance on the Proceedings of the Naval Institute, inasmuch as the two organizations have no official connection, and that the Institute’s seal on the title page is sufficient.
Of the five suggestions listed above it is apparent that the suggested change of the name “Proceedings” to “Magazine” and the use of the half-tone engraving on the front cover are the only real radical changes, and the Board of Control would not make the former change without reference to a vote of the entire membership, nor would it care to make the latter without comment from the members. The other three suggestions are now being investigated by the Board of Control.
In the meantime the Secretary-Treasurer earnestly requests comments on the five changes suggested, and particularly upon the change of name and the use of the outside front cover for a three-quarter page half-tone engraving.
The circulation of the Proceedings since January, 1916, has increased 527 copies; the membership of the Institute, since January, has increased 280 members.
Many opportunities should present themselves to the readers of the Proceedings to get interesting pictures, and it has been decided to add a picture department to the Proceedings by beginning on a small scale. Many interesting pictures are taken by the regular commercial companies, and there appears to be no reason why just as many interesting ones should not be taken by our members for publication in the Proceedings.
The Institute would therefore be pleased to receive photos of special interest, and, if found acceptable, payment will be made for same, in addition to the usual courtesy acknowledgment when and if published.
Naval Historical Foundation
It has been brought to the Secretary’s attention that perhaps some readers of the Proceedings would be interested to know that it is now possible for them to contribute to the Naval Historical Foundation by leaving a part of their estate to that organization. As the Foundation has been incorporated, it is now possible for a will to provide that a part of one’s estate be left to the Naval Historical Foundation. The address of the above organization for the present is Room 2728, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. See articles of Incorporation and ByLaws, published in the May, 1926, issue.
Due to detachment from the Naval Academy, Resignation of Lieut. Commander Richard Stockton Field, Editorial Staff U. S. N., Assistant Editor of the Proceedings, and Lieut. Commander H. W. Underwood, U. S. N., compiler of the Professional Notes, have submitted their resignations. The vacancies have been filled by the appointment of Lieut. Commander C. H. McMorris, U. S. N., as Assistant Editor, and Lieut. Commander W. G. Greenman, U. S. N., as the compiler of the Professional Notes.
Commander McCandless Resigns from Board of Control
In view of his orders to sea, Commander Byron McCandless, U.S.N., has resigned as a member of the Board of Control of the Institute, and Commander G. V. Stewart, U. S. N., has been selected to fill the vacancy.
Membership: New members not previously published:
Atherton, C. H. Mr.
Bane, J. C. Mr.
Bertholf, Wallace, Capt. U.S.N.
Bruton, Henry C. Ensign, U.S.N.
Coit, E. S., Miss DeLeon, C., Mr.
Drury, M. J. Ensign U.S.N.
Fowle, J. R. Mr.
Gates, M. W., Mr.
Chambers, F. T., Captain (CEC), U.S.N.
Gminder, E. E. Ensign, U. S. N.
Gosnell, H. A. Lieut, U.S.N.R.
Hilbert, W. E., Lieut. U.S.N.
Hopping, H. L., Ensign, U.S.N.
Hower. H. H. Mr.
Josephthal, L. M. Rear Adm. N.Y.N.M,
Lahn, J. A., Ensign, U.S.N.
Lee, Chas, S. Mr.
Patterson. T. H. H., Mr.
Pollock, E. T., Capt U.S.N.
Quigley, W. M., Lt. Comdr. U.S.N.
Robinson, G. B. Mr.
Russell, E. L. Mrs.
Sada, Boulouse, Mr.
Torrance, N. F. Mr.
Upshaw, F. B. Lieut. U.S.N.R.