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Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182847b4b

The Launch of PRS GO: What You Need to Know

Rohrich, Rod J. M.D.; Sullivan, Daniel M.Div.

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Dallas, Texas

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Received for publication December 21, 2012; accepted December 21, 2012.

Disclosure: The authors serve as Editor-in-Chief and Senior Managing Editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this Editorial.

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An earlier Editorial on the trends in medical publishing introduced open access journals as a complementary publishing model for academic medical journals.1 Open access represents a different distribution model for publication of scientific data that has become widely accepted globally over the past decade. For “gold” open access, authors or funding agencies pay to have their accepted manuscripts published, and in so doing, the content remains free to anyone with Internet access. In addition, the authors retain the copyright to their material, and the material can be reused, repurposed, or republished by the author, provided that the original publication is properly referenced. Another hallmark of many open access journals is that the typical time from acceptance to publication is much shorter than that of traditional journals, being measured in weeks rather than months. A subsequent Editorial discussed the growing international audience for medical data and the beneficiaries of open access publishing.2 Authors, researchers, libraries, agencies that fund scientific research, journal publishers, and individuals all benefit from open access article publication.

Over the past many years, the Editorial Board, the leadership of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the publisher of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS), Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, have researched and discussed the potential of launching an open access journal that would serve as a companion to PRS. In May of 2012 at the Journal's annual strategic planning meeting, we collectively decided to create an open access journal. There were numerous reasons that prompted us to make this decision, including the following:

* Retention of high-quality manuscripts. PRS receives a large number of manuscripts, but because of our page budget, we have to turn away a high percentage of very good manuscripts. Launching an open access journal would enable us to publish those very good papers.

* Publication of publicly funded studies. Many public funding agencies mandate that research generated from their grants be published in open access journals. Until now, those papers could not be sent to PRS. By creating an open access journal, PRS will now be able to receive and publish such papers.

* International acceptance of open access publication. Open access publishing receives wide acceptance worldwide. Launching a companion open access journal will enable PRS to have a new platform for global dissemination of plastic and reconstructive surgery information.

* Precedent. Numerous other medical and scientific journals have started open access journals, including Circulation, Nature, Science, and Annals of Thoracic Medicine, to name a few.

* Dedicated editorial team. The Editors, Editorial staff, and publisher of PRS possess exceptional ability and continuity that they will add to the open access journal. Although the open access journal is new, the team is experienced.

* Respectability, value, and indexing. Open access journals are peer reviewed; many are exceptionally competitive and selective. Many open access journals have Impact Factors (some quite high) and are indexed in PubMed Central.

A team from the Editorial Office, American Society of Plastic Surgeons Executive Office, and publisher developed the business plan for the new journal, and after numerous meetings and discussions among the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and Journal leadership, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Executive Committee approved the creation of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, or simply PRS GO.

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PRS GO will be a peer-reviewed, open access journal owned by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and run by the PRS Editorial Office. By the time you read this Editorial, the Journal will have been receiving manuscripts for publication for 3 months, since mid January. Manuscripts are submitted (and reviewed) through the same online submission system we have used for over 8 years, the PRS Enkwell system (; authors submit to either PRS or PRS GO through that single system. The Editorial Board is composed of members from the PRS Editorial Board and a large number of additional members, people who have demonstrated special capability in reviewing over many years. Furthermore, the PRS GO Editorial Board has numerous international members, representing 23 countries in addition to the United States. Because we want PRS GO to be an international journal, we have designed the Editorial Board to have approximately 50 percent international members. All of the international members have been carefully chosen on their merits as longstanding reviewers of PRS, history of publications, and good reputation in the international plastic surgery community. We are proud to have them as ambassadors for PRS GO. Furthermore, the review process for PRS GO will mirror the same process used for PRS. Anyone who has reviewed for PRS by means of the Enkwell system will find the process identical, yielding a familiar, streamlined, and efficient system.

The April 2013 issue will be the inaugural issue of PRS GO. All papers have successfully undergone the rigors of peer review and been accepted, and the publication process is similar to that of PRS in many ways. In brief, accepted papers for PRS GO are preprocessed by the PRS Editorial Office staff; figure quality is ensured and all necessary forms are collected. At that point, the paper is sent to the publisher for processing and the author is sent to the e-commerce site for payment of article-processing fees. Authors receive proofs of their articles, and once a paper is ready, it is posted in PDF format to the PRS GO website ( The appearance of the PRS GO website will be similar to that of the PRS website, with a few key differences: it is somewhat simpler, the highlight colors are blue instead of red, and all of the recently posted (published) articles are listed in chronologic order, with the most recently posted articles at the top of the list. Every month, the articles that have been published will be gathered into a “compendium”; articles in the compendium will be displayed in both HTML and PDF formats. The PDF versions of articles will appear similar to their counterparts in PRS, with minor differentiations. Not only will papers be published online, but the compendia will be delivered by means of the iPad edition as well, free of charge. Note that the iPad version of PRS GO will launch later in 2013 and will not be available for many months. Figure 1 shows the cover of PRS GO.

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
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Submitting a Paper to PRS GO

How can an author submit to PRS GO? There are two ways to do this. An author can submit a paper directly to PRS GO through our Enkwell website ( Under the “article type,” you will notice a differentiation between PRS articles and PRS GO article types. Table 1 shows the various article types for PRS GO; you will note that even though PRS GO has a somewhat more economical set of article types than does PRS, the range of articles is sufficiently broad.

Table 1
Table 1
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Even though it is a companion journal to PRS and has complementary purposes and intentions to PRS, PRS GO is a completely new and separate journal from PRS. As such, it has its own Information for Authors, available on both the website and the Enkwell website. The Information for Authors will appear familiar to authors who have submitted to PRS, with additional information on the aims and scope of PRS GO, open access publication, and the process of article publication after acceptance. We encourage you to review this new document before submitting your paper to PRS GO.

In addition to submitting a paper directly to PRS GO, papers submitted to PRS may be redirected to PRS GO. This transfer of papers from PRS to PRS GO represents the second way PRS GO will receive manuscripts. All papers sent to PRS are evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief and also Editorial Board and review panel members. With the creation of PRS GO, a new part of the review process is the recommendation that a paper may be better suited for publication in PRS GO rather than in PRS. As a result, many of those papers will be redirected to PRS GO through the PRS Enkwell system, but only at the discretion and decision of the Editor-in-Chief. Authors of papers so redirected will have the opportunity to revise their papers and have them published in PRS GO. Note that the transfer of papers from PRS to PRS GO is designed to be seamless. Authors will not have to resubmit their manuscripts or files; all of that is done automatically by the Enkwell system. We believe this seamless system will contribute to an enhanced author experience, and we hope to make it as convenient as possible for authors.

A significant difference with PRS GO will be the different author copyright forms. Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication by PRS sign copyright transfer agreements over to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, who becomes the sole owner of the content. With PRS GO, authors will sign a Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivative 3.0 License. Use of this license enables authors/creators of content to retain ownership of the copyright for their article/content and gives the American Society of Plastic Surgeons a license to publish the content. The Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivative 3.0 License agreement allows anyone to share and reuse the scientific material, provided that the original authors and original source (PRS GO reference) are given. Such downloading, use, reuse, and so forth does not require permission from either the authors or the publisher. The Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivative 3.0 License does not allow commercial exploitation or the creation of derivative works without specific permission. This license can be accessed at

Publication in any journal, traditional or open access, costs money. Each stage of processing, preparation, publication, hosting of content, and printing and mailing of journals incurs expense. Traditional journals pay for these expenses by generating revenue through subscription fees, license fees, and advertising. Article authors do not pay to be published, but their content is accessible only to subscribers and they do not retain copyright to their material. In distinction from the traditional model, open access journals change the model by charging article-processing fees to the author. However, the author retains copyright, and anyone can view the article for free. PRS GO will have article-processing fees, which differentiate according to the article type (Table 1). Article-processing fees can be paid by the funding agency that commissions a study, an author's department or academic institution, the author himself or herself, or another party.

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After Acceptance: The Publication Process

Although briefly discussed above, the publication process will be similar to that encountered with PRS, albeit faster. Papers that have passed the peer-review process and are accepted will be carefully processed by the PRS Editorial staff. Before sending the papers to the publisher, authors will have to provide all manuscript, figure, and video files in final form, and submit the completed Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivative 3.0 License copyright form and all financial disclosures. At that point, the publisher receives materials and invoices the author for the article-processing fees. As soon as the article-processing fees are received, the publisher then moves forward with copyediting, HTML coding, video processing, and generation of PDF proofs of the manuscript. Authors receive proofs of their articles for careful proofreading. Final posting of the article on the PRS GO website should take approximately 6 weeks after the receipt of article-processing fees; this time frame is very rapid and is one of the key features of PRS GO.

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How to Cite a Paper Published in PRS GO

Once a paper is accepted and published in PRS GO, how should it be cited? This represents an excellent question, because it is an online-only, open access journal, without traditional print or page elements. Citations for PRS GO will follow two standard open access citation conventions, shown in the example below:

1. Rohrich RJ, Sullivan D. Trends in medical publishing: Where the publishing industry is going. PRS GO 2013;1;e1; doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318273284d. Published online 1 April 2013.

2. Rohrich RJ, Sullivan D. Trends in medical publishing: Where the publishing industry is going. PRS GO doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318273284d.

Articles can also be cited by their digital object identifier, which is applicable for articles that are published but have not yet appeared in a compendium. The open access nomenclature is very similar to traditional citation conventions. Following this format will enable authors and reviewers to properly cite open access articles published in PRS.

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Call for Papers

In a similar fashion to PRS, PRS GO relies on the submissions of authors. As a fledgling publication, we need you to submit papers to PRS GO to ensure its vitality and early growth, and to continue submitting once it is established. The journal is a competitive, peer-reviewed publication with a significant international editorial board. Even though it is a nascent journal, it possesses deep roots in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and carries with it the most respected name in plastic surgery publishing, that of PRS. We personally encourage you to send in your papers to PRS GO for consideration, and hope you will also agree to publish with this journal if we transfer over some of your submissions originally sent to PRS. We think you will agree with us that PRS GO represents an exciting next step in the development of plastic and reconstructive surgery journals, the “next big thing” at the start of the twenty-first century.

Rod J. Rohrich, M.D.


Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

5959 Harry Hines Boulevard, POB 1, Suite 300

Dallas, Texas 75390-8820

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1. Rohrich RJ, Sullivan D. Trends in medical publishing: Where the publishing industry is going. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013;131:179–181.

2. Rohrich RJ, Sullivan D. The growing international audience for medical data: Meeting the needs of the many. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013;131:423–425.

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Membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

For information regarding membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, contact:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

444 E. Algonquin Road

Arlington Heights, Ill. 60005

Tel: 847-228-9900

Fax: 847-228-9131

©2013American Society of Plastic Surgeons


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