A learned society (/ˈlɜːrnɪd/; also known as a learned academy,
scholarly society, or academic association) is an organisation that
exists to promote an academic discipline, profession, or a group of
related disciplines such as the arts. Membership may be open to
all, may require possession of some qualification, or may be an honour
conferred by election.
Most learned societies are non-profit organisations, and many are
professional associations. Their activities typically include holding
regular conferences for the presentation and discussion of new
research results and publishing or sponsoring academic journals in
their discipline. Some also act as professional bodies, regulating the
activities of their members in the public interest or the collective
interest of the membership.
4 Membership and fellowship
5 Online academic communities
6 See also
7 Notes and references
8 External links
Some of the oldest learned societies are the Académie des Jeux
floraux (founded 1323), the
Sodalitas Litterarum Vistulana (founded
Accademia della Crusca
Accademia della Crusca (founded 1585), the Accademia dei
Lincei (founded 1603), the
Académie Française (founded 1635), the
Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (founded 1652), the
Royal Society of
London (founded 1660) and the
French Academy of Sciences
French Academy of Sciences (founded
Scholars in the sociology of science[who?] argue that learned
societies are of key importance and their formation assists in the
emergence and development of new disciplines or professions.
Societies can be very general in nature, such as the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, specific to a given
discipline, such as the Modern Language Association, or specific to a
given area of study, such as the Royal Entomological Society.
Most are either specific to a particular country (e.g. the
Entomological Society of Israel), though they generally include some
members from other countries as well, often with local branches, or
are international, such as the International Federation of Library
Associations (IFLA) or the Regional Studies Association, in which case
they often have national branches. But many are local, such as the
Massachusetts Medical Society, the publishers of the internationally
known New England Journal of Medicine.
Some learned societies (such as the
Royal Society of New Zealand) have
been rechartered by legislation to form quasi-autonomous
Membership and fellowship
Membership may be open to all, may require possession of some
qualification, or may be an honor conferred by election. This is
the case[clarification needed] with some learned societies, such as
Sodalitas Litterarum Vistulana (founded 1488), the Italian
Accademia dei Lincei, the Académie Française, the German Academy of
Sciences Leopoldina, the UK's
Royal Society and Royal Academy of
Engineering or the French Academy of Sciences.
Some societies offer membership to those who have an interest in a
particular subject or discipline, provided they pay their membership
fees. Older and more academic/professional societies may offer
associateships and/or fellowships to fellows who are appropriately
qualified by honoris causa, or by submission of a portfolio of work or
an original thesis. A benefit of membership may be discounted
subscription rates for the publications of the society. Many of these
societies award post-nominal letters to their memberships.
Online academic communities
Following the globalization and the development of information
technology, certain scholarly societies—such as the Modern Language
Association—have created virtual communities for their members. In
addition to established academic associations, academic virtual
communities have been so organized that, in some cases, they have
become more important platforms for interaction and scientific
collaborations among researchers and faculty than have traditional
scholarly societies. Members of these online academic
communities, grouped by areas of interests, use for their
communication shared and dedicated listservs (for example JISCMail),
social networking services (like Facebook, Linkedin) and academic
oriented social networks (like Mendeley, Academia.edu).
Main category: Learned societies
List of learned societies
Text publication society
Notes and references
^ "The Environmental Studies Association of Canada - What is a Learned
Society?". Archived from the original on 29 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May
^ a b "Learned societies & academies". Archived from the original
on 3 June 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
^ "How virtual science communities are transforming academic
research". Retrieved 10 May 2013.
^ "Participation in virtual academic communities of practice under the
influence of technology acceptance and community factors".
doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.10.051. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
Wikisource has the text of a 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
about Learned society.
Scholarly Societies Project from the University of Waterloo
Libraries—database of hundreds of scholarly societies in various
fields, including some of the oldest societies
Eclectica, virtual exhibit on the history of Canadian learned
https://commons.mla.org The online scholarly network of the Modern
BNF: cb119458948 (data)