In January 1992, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery was among the first medical journals to produce a full-text version on CD-ROM. The CD-ROM, which at first contained the full text of the American volume from 1983 through 1990 and the images from 1990, has been updated regularly. The updated disk that was released on February 1 contains the full text of The Journal from 1983 through 1998 and the images from 1990 through 1998.
In 1996, the home page of the American volume of The Journal went online at http://www.jbjs.org; in May 1997, the American and British volumes became available on a combined CD-ROM on a subscription basis.
Now, the next step has been taken. The full text and all illustrations from the American volume for 1996, 1997, and 1998 are available online at http://www.jbjs.org. The site will be updated monthly.
The Internet version of The Journal mirrors the subscription CD-ROM. Therefore, Medline abstracts of articles listed in the references are included when such abstracts are available. The other features that are found on the CD-ROM, such as fuzzy-logic text-searching, relevance-ranked document retrieval, full indexing of all important text words, and gray-scale and color images, are available as well. Links within the text to images, charts, graphs, tables, and bibliographic references help the user to find information rapidly.
Access to the full text will be available to all users for a trial period through April 1, 1999. After this trial period, access to the tables of contents and to the abstracts will remain freely available to all visitors to the site, but only subscribers to the print or subscription quarterly CD-ROM volumes of The Journal will have access to the full text. During 1999, subscribers to The Journal will have access to the site on an introductory basis as part of their regular subscription to the print volume or the quarterly CD-ROM version. In 2000, access to the full text on the Web will be available to subscribers to the print volume or the CD-ROM for an additional fee.
Downloading of articles will not be available during the introductory period. However, after April 1, 1999, all visitors to the site will be able to download specific articles for a fee.
This additional step along the road of electronic publishing is intended to provide readers of The Journal with information in a readily available form and in a timely fashion. As was noted in May 1997, The Journal will continue to be in the forefront of orthopaedic education to help practitioners to improve their care of patients.
Henry R. Cowell, M.D., Ph.D.