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Joint BMRA/MRS Research Directory in Pipeline

November 1 2001

In a bold new move, the MRS and the BMRA in the UK have decided to rationalise their directory publications. This is in place of the previous publication of the two separate listings of research suppliers and services.

On the one hand, the MRS Research Buyer's Guide has traditionally been the more established and widely recognised title, covering most UK research suppliers. Editorially, it has reflected the "broad church" of MRS membership, including non-BMRA agencies, viewing facilities agencies, and a significant number of independent research consultants. Whilst it may well have claimed top spot as a reference work, it has never claimed to be a comprehensive list of all research sources.

On the other hand, BMRA's Buying Research (which was published in 2000) has served the primary role of a BMRA members' handbook, listing all BMRA members, providing useful information for research buyers, and providing them with high-value reference material.

Now, according to the joint statement from Ivor Stocker, the BMRA Chair, and Sally Ford-Hutchinson, the MRS Chair, the organisations have agreed a different approach. It is hoped that the merged title will enable the BMRA to have greater prominence in the Research Buyer's Guide, and also to serve its own members directly in a more cost-effective way. In this sense, the guide will ensure that:

  • All BMRA member entries will have the BMRA logo prominently displayed.
  • The BMRA will prepare a substantial text for the prelims of RBG explaining the merits of BMRA and its member companies. This section will be appropriately highlighted.
  • A comprehensive alphabetical index of all BMRA members will be published within this section so that the total membership of BMRA is clear.
  • The words "incorporating BMRA members" and the BMRA logo will appear on the cover of the RBG.

Under the new agreement, the BMRA's own publication of the old Buying Research will be available as an electronic reference tool, available on the internet and CD-ROM. It will become a combination of SelectLine, the searchable directory of members, "Researcher Toolkit", a collection of practical information to support member researchers in the design and delivery of research projects, and the winning papers from the BMRA's Research Effectiveness Awards. The CD-ROM version will be produced and distributed to research buyers so that they have an off-line member and information search facility if they prefer.

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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