The contents of the last regular print edition of Arthritis Research & Therapy will be finalized at the end of 2010, which marks the latest evolution of the journal and reflects the undeniable shift to electronic communication of science in the past decade. The Editors-in-Chief, Prof Peter Lipsky and Prof Sir Ravinder Maini, discuss in an editorial the reasons behind, and opportunities presented by, the journal’s decision to become an exclusively online publication.
Although BioMed Central was the first commercial open access publisher – and the Internet is fundamental to open access – BioMed Central has continued to publish a small but decreasing number of print journals, until now.
Arthritis Research & Therapy, first published by Current Science Ltd in 1999, was conceived with a strategy to take full advantage the benefits of online publishing. It has previously made innovative decisions in the rheumatology community, such as making all research open access and, latterly, publishing only the abstracts of research articles in print to help remove limitations to article length and to reduce publication times. This move to online-only publication will benefit readers, as they will see more cutting-edge review articles, and authors, who will no longer be faced with the choice of paying for color figures in non-research articles, as well as further limiting the environmental impact of the journal.
We expect that more innovations in rheumatology research publishing will be facilitated by the journal’s transfer to BioMed Central’s newly-designed journal platform in the coming months, and we will be communicating with the journal’s registered users via an online survey to establish what other online features would most benefit this rapidly-changing field.
By innovation and investment in new services for our readers, authors and reviewers we hope the journal will continue to readily drive and adapt to the change (or is that disruption?) the Internet has caused to publishing arthritis and rheumatic autoimmune disease research.