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The Quarterly 2011


The Quarterly - Monthly and Yearly?

The world of medical journal publishing is in a serious state of flux. Gone are the days of just paper journals arriving in your mail or being perused in a dusty library. Today, we are faced with a plethora of forms, from purely print journals to online journals to the short-lived, but novel, Twitter Journal of Nanoscience. We are also faced with various models, from traditional user-paid journals to sponsor or author paid open access journals. Increasingly, authors and editors are asking whether the journal article is evolving appropriately or remains 'stuck in the past'. There is even an online Journal that gives you a 100% guarantee that your article will be rejected for publication - the Journal of Universal Rejection (http://www.math.pacificu.edu/~emmons/JofUR/).

In 2011, The Quarterly is making the move from a principally quarterly print journal, with online versions of articles, to an open-access online journal, where articles are published throughout the year as soon as they are accepted. The print journal will still be published on an annual basis, picking up the best articles from the year. This is an increasingly common model for open-access online journals. It also allows for more interactive comments and post-publication peer review, a model that is being utilised by a number of journals, such as WebMed. It also allows for experimentation with different article formats, such as the British Medical Journal's pico-articles. For the purists, the question remains however. How can we call the journal The Quarterly if we only publish a print version yearly? Well, if the Woman's Weekly can be published monthly and Douglas Adams can have five books in his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, then I believe we can keep calling it The Quarterly.

The new articles will all start to appear over the next few months. The President's and CEO's reports will continue and be updated regularly, but will be interspersed with a range of articles of interest to all our readers. One article each month will be selected as the impetus for discussion via a web conference with the author. This will hopefully generate some interesting conversations and provide a platform for members to ask questions and pursue lines of enquiry. The first of this web conference series will be facilitated by Drs Grant Phelps and Andrew Johnson as they compare and contrast the Senior Medical Performance strategies of Queensland and Victoria.

Can I encourage all our readers to consider publishing in their area of expertise, to capture the lessons learned (or relearned), and to provide an ongoing and iterative resource for both Candidates and Fellows alike. As we enter 2011, now is the time to dust off the keyboard and to address those contentious and thorny issues. I wait with great interest.

Dr Andrew Robertson

i Morris S. Is the journal article fit for purpose, or stuck in the past? Learned Publishing 2009; 21:3- 4.

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