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The era of digital diffusion and changes in biomedical publishing

Calvache, José Andrés

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Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology (Revista Colombiana de Anestesiología): January-March 2020 - Volume 48 - Issue 1 - p 1-2
doi: 10.1097/CJ9.0000000000000149

The technological revolution of recent years has produced an absolute and irremediable alteration in the creation, production, diffusion, distribution, reproduction, use and consumption of contents of biomedical scientific journals.1 These changes include the way of transmitting knowledge and represent new and renewed evolutionary strategies of communication. Thirty years ago, we could predict that the electronic and technological revolution would dramatically change and gradually reduce the use of printed publications.2 We have reached that point, and regional and global scientific journals are no unaware of these changes. There has been a gradual shift toward the online content publication as a priority form of dissemination.

The physical print run of the Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology exceeds 580,000 printed pages for each issue published, with high economic, energy, environmental,3 and distribution costs among our readers. In the digital age of scientific publishing, editorial, and scientific committees are responsible for striving to improve and optimize available resources to ensure the editorial process and scope of publication. Of course, this decision includes our modest—but never insignificant—contribution to the planet's carbon footprint.

The advantages of an online publication are multiple and include the possibility of incorporating new and efficient editorial models, generation, and early dissemination of content, integration of new formats, and interaction with social and knowledge networks, immediate updating and continuous portability, lower distribution costs, hosting additional content to each manuscript,4 among others.1,5 In view of all these situations, we wish to inform our readers and users that, starting with issue 48:2, corresponding to the month of April 2020, the Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology will only be distributed online, guaranteeing the scope and extensive dissemination of our contents. Likewise, new strategies will be introduced to improve the readability of our materials on digital media and thus expand the web presence of content available for multiple devices. The broad scope of our magazine goes hand in hand with its open access policy and its future projection.6

For readers, this means that the contents of the journal can be accessed from anywhere in different formats and there will be access to the most recent publications, those awaiting publication and additional materials for each published article. We are aware of the possible weaknesses of this form of dissemination as the only strategy for the future, and in that sense, the editorial board and the S. C. A. R. E. are ready to listen to our readers and their comments.


1. Gonzáles Tous M, Máttar S. The question to be resolved: print or electronic scientific journals. Revista MVZ Córdoba 2009;14:1785–1786.
2. Jeng BH, Albert DM. Reaching the tipping point: from print to online publication. JAMA Ophthalmol 2013;131:90.
3. Shah IA, Amjed S, Alkathiri NA. The economics of paper consumption in offices. J Bus Econ Manage 2019;20:43–62.
4. Calvache JA. Scientific journals and reproducible research. Rev Fac Cienc Salud Univ Cauca 2018;20:12–15.
5. Sciortino JE, Siemens DR. Welcome to your digital life: embracing change in medical publishing. Can Urol Assoc J 2015;9:81.
6. Rincón-Valenzuela DA. We have never resigned ourselves to be mere craftsmen of anesthesia: past, present and future of the Colombian Journal of Anesthesia. Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology 2012;40:6.

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Copyright © 2019 Sociedad Colombiana de Anestesiología y Reanimación (S.C.A.R.E.). Published by Wolters Kluwer.