Why a new journal?
Each day we all receive announcements of new online journals or existing online journals. They request articles, offer membership on editorial boards and request for peer-reviewers. The numbers are exploding—so why create a new online journal, Global Reproductive Health (GRH)?
Global Reproductive Health is the journal of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS). This is a unique organization which concerns itself with reproductive issues across the globe. The organization has a special interest in reproduction in developing countries. Therefore, a forum is needed to investigate the state of the “ART” around the globe. This is a unique endeavor compared to most of the other online journals, because it is the official journal of an organization, not a free-standing journal.
There are number of reasons that the online model has captured the publishing industry. Online journals can be delivered immediately to the readership via the web, eliminating the necessity of dealing with antiquated mailservices. It facilitates quick responses in getting information out to the readership. It obviates the need for expensive paper. Most importantly though, is the way that people read journals currently. Older readers like paper journals and usually tear articles out and read them at their convenience. This is not the way journals are read by younger readers. They download the table of contents, check off the few abstracts they are interested in and/or the occasional paper and either read it online or print out a few samples of what they are interested in. Most offices today have a pile of paper journals collecting dust in a corner, still in the wrapper.
Why do online journals require a fee for each article?
The only costs that are eliminated, although not small, are the cost of mailing and paper. Other costs remain: peer-review, copyediting and marketing etc. These all require people to carry out these tasks and people must be paid. I predict that the cost will go down as advertisers realize that electronic journals are a good way to get their message across about their product. Certainly, the internet in general has demonstrated that online advertising pays. In the beginning, no one was interested in advertising on the web, today it is a multimillion dollar business.
The journal will have four issues per year, but there will be online rolling acceptances; as soon as articles are copyedited, typeset, and final, they will be posted. Multiple types of articles will be entertained including: reviews, mini reviews, commentaries, editorials, case reports, images and original research articles. Richly illustrated articles are encouraged.
Another important aspect of the journal is complementing the society’s mission to provide educational opportunities throughout the world via various formats including: meetings, symposium and workshops. These will be covered by the journal by extracting important works presented at these various venues and publishing selected articles from the proceedings.
Included on the journal website will be a breaking news features.
The journal will be targeted for all reproductive healthcare professionals.
The nature of the web allows for instant communication between the reader and the journal, and we welcome this interaction; both in regards to the science and improvements in our format.
IFFS has an active social media commitment and much of the content will be included.
The first issue of the journal “Surveillance” was extremely well done and well received.
Peer-review will be carried out in most instances by the committed editorial board.
Our goal is to serve the International Reproductive Science Community with a broad scope of articles that are current, interesting, informative and citable, and appearing in a rapid fashion.
“Journals must continue to manage not just the shifting landscape of the production and publishing of medical knowledge, but also the broader currents of their social, economic, and political contents. This responsibility cannot be borne by editors alone. Readers’ decisions —which subscriptions they keep, which free content they browse—will shape the decisions of journal editors, sponsors, and advertisers. Priorities and prospects for journals in the future depend on how, and how well, physicians use them today”1.
The journal’s main emphasis, as well as the society’s, is education.
The journal, if it is to succeed, must be a strong adjunct of the society.
I welcome you and I look forward to your submissions.
Alan H. DeCherney, MD
Editor in Chief, Global Reproductive Health (GRH)
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no financial conflict of interest with regard to the content of this report.