Editorial: Journal Prospectus for 2008: A look at 2007 and beyond

Al Kline DPM

Another year is before us and we are again looking to the future for stimulating case presentations. I am pleased to see the journal move forward and breaking new ground in open-access publication.This year marks a name change for our journal. We are now called The Foot & Ankle Journal instead of the Podiatry Internet Journal. This name change reflects our hope in attracting all foot and ankle specialists desiring open access publication. We are still proud this journal began as the first open access journal for podiatrists.

Some publications would say that a quality journal does not present case reports and will focus more on original works. I couldn’t disagree more. I believe that the case study represents the essence of what we see in our everyday practice and institutions. It also allows us to share information in a unique, open format with our colleagues.
For most case reports to be accepted by a journal, it must represent something unique and extraordinary. This is not always true in the spirit of our journal. We want even the student and resident to experience contribution to their respective field in a case report that they have taken the time to research. They will also have learned something from it that they can share with their respective colleagues. Writing a good case report takes time, energy and considerable research. We, as editors, should not discourage this process by over editing works and resist the urge to completely re-write the work. Our journal has a distinct focus on attempting to help some authors write a quality case presentation by offering helpful insights and tips.

The value of a good case report is reflected in its ability to convey information that is helpful, instructional, and educational in content and presentation. In the July/August 2007 issue of The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery, Dr. Scott Malay presents a very valuable editorial on “the value of an interesting case report“. I suggest everyone read his editorial. More importantly, the editorial describes the three fundamental sections of a case report: Introduction, Case Report and Discussion and a well written explanation of each context.

In 2007, we accepted some interesting cases presented to our former journal that, I believe, exemplifies our goals. Cases were submitted and uploaded to our site within 2 weeks of submission. Some cases required more editing than others and valuable ‘tips’ were learned in the process. Although the journal has not reached every doctor and institution, our progress is slowly reaching the masses. Many of our articles are now in the google search engine. Once the original article is uploaded, it is usually available in the google search engine within 2-3 weeks. Of course, the articles are free without subscription or price. The editorial board feels strongly that the information in our journal should be shared and available to anyone who is interested without a price. We also saw a variety of articles in 2007 from countries such as India and New Zealand. This diversity reflects well in our respective professions.

In 2008, the January issue of The Foot & Ankle Journal has three distinct articles from Holland, India and New Zealand. All three articles were submitted in mid December 2007 and uploaded on-line by January 1st, 2008. This year, the journal will continue to actively add features to our website. We have also made some minor changes to the look of the articles to reflect a more readable format. This year also marks our integration of our website with WordPress. WordPress has allowed the articles to integrate into various search engines for world wide access through the internet. It also allows the author to highlight color photos and attach PDF files for color printing right to your home, office or institutional printers.
Another feature that we will pioneer in 2008 will be video clips and surgical video as attachments imbedded in the articles. This will also help to better explain case presentations and techniques. It will also allow the author to discuss a surgical case or technique.

The future looks bright for The Foot & Ankle Journal. We are proud that the journal is the first open-access publication in the area of podiatry and foot and ankle orthopaedics. Once the journal increases its volume of submissions, we will begin the task of securing an ISSN to be listed with PubMed, MedLine and other database internet programs through the National Library of Medicine. We wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year!

Al Kline DPM
Chief Editor, The Foot & Ankle Journal (formerly the Podiatry Internet Journal)

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