Paper vs On-line Publication – Taking Advantage of Both!
With a current inflow of 600–700 new submissions yearly and an impact factor above 4, Acta Dermato-Venereologica (ADV) is improving steadily. The editorial board is convinced that this success is the combined result of ADV’s long history as a paper journal with a well-established peer-review process and, for the last 5 years, its growth as an on-line publication with immediate Open Access (OA). Whereas digital publication is cheap and can be made freely available on the Internet, printing is expensive and paper journals are costly to distribute, often leading to page restrictions. However, provided the subscription fees (now mainly from libraries) cover our printing costs, we will continue to publish a paper version of ADV. The question then arises as to how a scientific journal can best combine the old and new worlds of publishing technology?
For obvious reasons, an efficient synergy between analogue and digital publishing requires cost-effective editing of all papers, taking advantage of the best aspects of each media. There is general consensus that scientific writing should be succinct and straightforward. Unnecessary repetition and redundant information often obscure the scientific message and should be omitted irrespective of the mode of publication. ADV is aware of the need for, and appreciation of, good methods of research in dermatology, in experimental settings as well as in clinical trials. Hence, if a long Materials and Methods or numerous tables and figures are deemed necessary for a full understanding of a paper, this material can preferably appear solely as an e-supplement, which, in the case of an OA journal, is just a click away on the computer from the pdf-version (= paper edition). Thus, without abandoning the goal of publishing an easy-to-read pdf-version of the journal, the e-version of ADV may contain much additional information for the in-depth reader.
Faced with less attractive alternatives, such as omission of whole parts of a manuscript or having to pay high page charges, we hope that many authors prefer our more flexible model with paper/on-line/OA publication and the possibility of e-supplements. This policy, now also reflected in our instructions to authors, will enable us to publish more articles per issue, thereby reducing the time from e-publication to final appearance as a printed paper with all bibliographic data available.
We also want to inform authors that, because of this new policy, suggested changes in a preliminary accepted paper may appear at a late stage, albeit always indicating in the proofs whether such suggestions come from a language expert or the editor.
Uppsala in April 2015
Anders Vahlquist, Editor-in-Chief Artur Schmidtchen, Co-Editor