Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research Vol.52 267-268 April 2009. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/ed0209)
© American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Karla K. McGregor, Editor for Language JSLHR
Here in my office at the University of Iowa, I have to my left
six shelves of scientific journals and to my right four file
drawers of journal reprints. I spent hours organizing the reprints
by theme but quickly found that too cumbersome. So I spent more
hours organizing them by authors' last names. I don't remember
the last time I opened one of those drawers.
Instead, like many of you, I find it more efficient to search for and retrieve journal articles online. If I am doing a quick fact check, I skim the article on my computer screen. If I want a more careful or leisurely read of particular articles, I print only those articles. Online journals allow me more flexibility, greater efficiency, and the chance to contribute to a greener planet. That's a pretty good day's work.
Beginning in 2010, all ASHA journals will be available exclusively online. I know that many of you will miss the printed journals. Although there is something wonderful about holding the printed issue in your hands, I encourage you to keep an open mind about online journals. If flexibility, efficiency, and healthy environmental choices are not enough for you, consider these additional advantages:
- You can learn more: Web technology allows for so many advances. Articles currently link to other articles and to CEUs, and the journals' Web sites can point you to lots of other resources, including the recently added "Most Read" and "Most Cited" reports. Soon embedded video of treatment techniques, audio files that provide examples of disordered speech or stimuli, and all sorts of additional research materials that couldn't fit on a printed page or hadn't even been developed because of the constraints of text-only reporting of research will revolutionize the way you use journals.
- You can have earlier access to new information: With online publishing, the lag between completion of peer review and publication will steadily decrease as the constraints of print issues cease to govern how much can go into each issue. Ultimately, the transition to online journals will help us continue to attract the highest quality research by appealing to the needs of authors for shorter turnaround times, and that will provide readers much better access to scientific literature.
- You can access an entire library of journals: We have decades of journal issues available online. As an ASHA member, you have unlimited access and you can search them through PubMed or Google Scholar, or even right on each journal's Web site. It's like having a library of research at your fingertips.
I hope that you are convinced of the great value in going exclusively online or are at least willing to keep an open mind. As the ASHA membership increases in size and as the body of scientific research grows with each issue, we have to focus on producing the journals in a way that gives all ASHA members the greatest amount of access.
As a first step in staying in touch with your online journals, be sure to go to http://journals.asha.org and sign up for e-mail alerts. That way, the electronic tables of contents can be sent directly to your inbox. Just click the "Sign up for e-mail alerts" link on any of the journal home pages and enter the e-mail address where you want to receive alerts.
Online publishing offers us a wealth of new resources. We literally have knowledge and cutting-edge research at our fingertips! I invite you to join me in welcoming this change and taking advantage of the many wonderful benefits that ASHA's online journals have to offer—not the least of which is the chance to free up some much-needed space on your shelves and in your file drawers!
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