Making best use of the journal online

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Excerpt

Much is happening in the world of scientific publication as the internet has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way that medical research is published and accessed, largely by a move to Open Access and the less desirable growth in predatory publication.1 The ANZ Journal of Surgery is in the fortunate position of attracting good quality papers, despite this shift. The downside is the limitation of space in the hard copy of the journal, resulting in a long waiting time from a paper's acceptance to it finally appearing in hard copy. The current page budget is 99 pages per issue, for an annual total of 990 pages. Once accepted, a paper is immediately available through Early View in the journal website; however, there are currently 400 articles on Early View awaiting allocation to an issue. Images for Surgeons is the category with the longest waiting time, but there are approximately 150 research articles, equating to approximately 600 pages, that ideally should be published with as little delay as possible.
The Council of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has approved an additional 150 pages for the website version of the journal for the 2017/2018 volumes, to be spread among the 10 issues. This will mean that selected articles can now be published online, but not in hard copy, resulting faster publication for authors who will still have a PubMed citable reference and an entry in the journal's hard copy table of contents. For the journal, the back‐log will be eased and there will be greater flexibility to fast‐track appropriate papers. The ANZ Journal of Surgery Instructions to Authors already state that Images for Surgeons may be published in the online version of the journal only and Original Articles that have been approved for publication may appear as print and/or as digital content at the discretion of the Editor‐in‐Chief. For similar reasons, should the material submitted with any manuscript be too large to justify publication in the printed journal, non‐essential material may be published online as Supporting Information. Such information provides greater depth and background for the interested reader and may include tables, figures and datasets. A particular advantage is that videos can also be included, enhancing those papers orientated to illustrating surgical technique.
With this emerging hybrid model of hard‐copy and online publication, readers may wish to access the online version of the journal more frequently than they may have in the past. Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons can do this readily through the library portal on the College website (http://surgeons.org). It can be found through the ‘A–Z title listing’ and it is prominent on the website itself. The College library also offers a journal access and management tool called BrowZine which allows the addition of up to 64 e‐journals for a virtual bookshelf. Other readers may be able to do so through their institutional libraries, for example, through universities or hospitals. Most libraries will provide a specific tool on their websites which either provides a list or allows for a search to discover information about the online journal to which they subscribe. They may call these ‘A–Z Journal List’, ‘Find a Journal’, ‘Journal List’, ‘Journal Holdings’ or something similar. In other instances, journals would need to be searched for from within the library's overall catalogue. Usually, once a journal is found in the list, there is a link which allows connection directly to that journal on the publisher's platform. If access to a university library is not available, try hospital‐based libraries and state‐based clinical information portals such as CIAP (Clinical Information Access Portal, http://ciap.health.nsw.gov.
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