Riding on the crest of electronic publishing wave
1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty
of Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Department of Biomedical Imaging, Faculty of
Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The story so far
When biij came into being in early 2005, it was envisioned
as a tool for the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Today, biij continues
to fulfill this role, having gone through a process of evolution and growth.
In the early days , the email system was the main means
of communication. All manuscript submissions, including its figures and images,
were sent as email attachments to the managing editor. The subsequent reviewing
stages were also done via email. To simplify the tracking process, the managing
editor developed an in-house software to view and update the status of each of
the submitted manuscripts. It was developed using the Active Server Pages (ASP)
programming language and a Microsoft Access database, and is only viewable by
the editors. Although the software served its purpose well, the journal has
grown so much so that its requirements for additional features far outweigh the
resources that were currently available.
From January 2007, biij gradually implemented the open
source Open Journal Systems (OJS) software for online manuscript submission,
tracking and management. The software was developed as part of the Public
Knowledge Project, managed in partnership between the Faculty of Education at
the University of British Columbia, the Simon Fraser University Library, the School of Education at Stanford University, and the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing
at Simon Fraser University .
From the outset of biij's birth, the publishers have
always emphasised the searchability and availability of biij�s contents. In
October 2005, biij became a member of CrossRef  and provided a unique
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for each of the published manuscripts,
including the abstracts from selected meetings and conferences. This ensures
that biij�s contents remain available in the future, even if there are changes
to the structure of its website.
Biij is now indexed in a number of indexing databases,
including Scopus, Embase, and Compendex (since January 2008); Chemical
Abstracts Service (CAS) (since April 2006); INSPEC (since March 2006); Index
Copernicus International (since April 2006); Google Scholar (since December
2005); and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (since September 2005). In
November 2008, Elsevier also agreed to include all manuscripts prior to 2008 in
its Scopus and EMBASE database.
biij contents are currently being submitted to Pubmed
Central , the online repository for biomedical and life sciences journal
literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) . This process is
part of the requirements for the application of evaluation for the
Pubmed/Medline database, to be initiated sometime in 2009.
The future and beyond
The main objective of a journal is the dissemination of
scientific knowledge. The concept of biij was to offer a platform for effective
communication between the authors and readers . One jargon that has been
used is �enhanced discourse�. It refers to an expanded and facilitated
scientific discourse about research, online letters to the editor and
discussions concerning articles with links to the articles in question.
To achieve the above, a new feature was introduced
recently, a feedback/ comment box where readers can send their comments to the
journal. This feature, hopefully, will enhance the communication between the
authors and the scientific community.
There are, of course, challenges that lie ahead. For a
biomedical imaging journal, high quality images play a prominent part in the
manuscripts. However, imaging journals still publish images in low resolution
formats, such as jpeg. Until today, there is still no appropriate interface for
readers to display and interact with DICOM images in real time while reading
the paper. Many researchers and readers recognise that there is a need to have
a browser-based image viewer embedded into the journal in a seamless manner.
The other challenge is to maximise the multimedia features
of biij. One of the biggest attractions for journals to go electronic is the
potential utilisation of multimedia in the paper � for example, the inclusion
of video clips, 3D movies, animation, etc.
The journal Medical Physics is using the Electronic
Physics Auxiliary Publication Service (EPAPS) . It is an electronic
depository for material that is supplementary to papers appearing in journals
published by or through the American Institute of Physics (AIP). Appropriate
items for deposit include multimedia (e.g., movie files, audio files, animated
.gifs, 3D rendering files), colour figures, data tables, and text (e.g.,
appendices) that are too lengthy or of too limited interest for inclusion in the
printed journal. Materials are available free of charge to users via links from
the online journals or by browsing the EPAPS' depository directories.
However, not many biij authors have taken advantage of
this multimedia feature. One of the reasons could be due to the technical
hassles involved. It may take several more years for this feature to become the
As Internet technology is progressing ever so rapidly, the
landscape of electronic publishing will be continually changing as well. The
world is witnessing a revolutionary change in the paradigm of scholarly
Abdullah BJJ, Ng KH. Exploring new vistas in biomedical journal publishing. Biomed Imaging Interv J 2006; 2(4):e51.
PKP. Open Journal Systems [Online]. Available at http://pkp.sfu.ca/?q=ojs. (Accessed 10 December 2008).
CrossRef [Online]. Available at http://crossref.org/. (Accessed 10 December 2008).
Pubmed Central [Online]. Available at http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/. (Accessed 10 December 2008).
U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), PMC Overview [Online]. Available at http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/about/intro.html. (Accessed 10 December 2008).
American Institute of Physics [Online]. Available at http://www.aip.org/pubservs/epaps.html. (Accessed 10 December 2008).
|Received 16 December 2008; accepted 10 January 2009
Correspondence: Department of Biomedical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel.: +603-79492069; Fax: +603-79581973; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kwan-Hoong Ng).
Please cite as: Kadri NA, Tan LK, Ng KH,
Riding on the crest of electronic publishing wave, Biomed Imaging Interv J 2009; 5(1):e1