Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, May 05, 2008

The story of an OA journal of plastic surgery

Bob Braun, Millburn surgeon finds Rx to help less fortunate, Star Ledger, May 5, 2008.  Excerpt:

...In the African island nation of Mauritius, there is one plastic surgeon....That Mauritian doctor doesn't do much cosmetic surgery....He repairs faces and bodies disfigured by burns or wounds or accidents of birth.

And he does it with the help of a Millburn [New Jersey] plastic surgeon and that doctor's temple congregation.

"He can be overwhelmed," says Mark Granick of fellow doctor R.P. Gunnesee. "He needs all the help he can get." ...

But what Gunnesee says he needs even more [than equipment and supplies], Granick says, is current information. Research. New surgical techniques. The sort of material found in clinical journals that are not easily available -- a year's subscription can costs thousands.

So Granick, a professor and chief of plastic surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey at Newark, did what he could do about that, too: He and two others established their own medical journal.

A free online, open-access journal that, while publishing scholarly articles on research in plastic surgery and related fields, also provides doctors all over the world with clinical instruction on surgical techniques.

"In many countries, this sort of information is just not available," says Granick.

The name of the journal is ePlasty: The Open Access Journal of Plastic Surgery.

Granick says the open-access approach of medical publishing offers a number of advantages. The articles are free to readers -- and thereby accessible to doctors working in countries where there simply is no money for journal subscriptions....

Unlike paper journals with limited space, open-access, on-line journals have virtually unlimited space.  "So we make decisions on what is important to be published, not on what we have space for," Granick says....

Like paper journals, ePlasty is supported by advertising from companies that sell, among other things, surgical instruments and other devices. The publication, which had its formal opening last month, so far is not self-supporting. Granick, his co-editor Stephen Milner of Johns Hopkins, and managing editor John Kucan of Southern Illinois University support the journal with their own funds.

"We do expect it to be financially independent soon," says Granick....

PS:  We blogged the launch of ePlasty on April 17, 2008.