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In January 2006, the CJHP Editorial Board, as well as members of CSHP Council and staff, selected individuals from the Society’s general membership (including students), and representatives of both the CSHP Research and Education Foundation and the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy participated in a day-long strategic business-planning session for the CJHP. In conjunction with an environmental scan, for which we received input from other stakeholders, this planning session culminated in a 6-year strategic business plan with the purpose of serving as both a compass and a road map for the Journal.1
Four years later, in January 2010, the CJHP Editorial Board held another strategic planning meeting with the CSHP Executive and staff members to review progress and discuss a long-term vision for the Journal.
During the past few years, several visible enhancements have been made to the Journal:
The members of the Editorial Board would also like to share with you, our readers, some of the CJHP’s objective performance indicators. Table 1 summarizes data for articles published from 2005/2006 to 2009/2010. With the launch of eJPress, it became possible to track various statistics for submitted manuscripts, and Table 2 summarizes, for the period 2007 to 2010, data for the peer-reviewed articles in CJHP, specifically number of submitted manuscripts, acceptance rate, and average turnaround times from submission to initial decision and from submission to final decision. Both of these tables demonstrate that the performance of the Journal is progressing in a positive direction.
Much of the 2010 strategic planning meeting was spent discussing our long-term vision for the CJHP. We began by trying to define where the CJHP is going and to identify how we can best make the transition. We discussed the number of issues to be published each year, the potential move to permanent open access and “online-only” publication, and possible implications for expenses and revenues.
Regarding open access, both PubMed Central and the National Institutes of Health strongly encourage journals to make their content accessible to the public (via PubMed Central), no later than 12 months after publication (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/), but preferably immediately. Most researchers and authors prefer to have their work available in open access format right away, so that they can reach a global audience. It is argued that scholarship builds on the work that precedes it and that robust research and scientific development depend on readily accessible sources that allow for the development of new ideas. In addition, scientific bodies and funding organizations are now mandating (or encouraging) all funding recipients to make their papers freely accessible immediately after publication. Although concern was raised during our strategic planning session that the CJHP is viewed as a tangible benefit of CSHP membership and that making it “freely available” might diminish this benefit, the Editorial Board’s response to this concern focused on the immediate and positive impact that open access would have on the quality of the Journal (by encouraging more and better submissions and by allowing the Journal to have a more immediate global impact). Providing CSHP members with a better-quality Journal would be a positive move, even if the Journal itself would no longer be an exclusive member benefit.
Regarding the availability of the Journal in “online-only” form, nearly half of respondents to the 2009 CSHP Membership Survey indicated that they would prefer to receive the CJHP in this format exclusively. Although the march of technological advancement makes me believe that eventually all journals will be online only, most journals today are available both in print and online. The most likely reasons for continuing to publish a print version are the anticipated loss of advertising revenue and perhaps a perceived loss of prestige with online-only publication.
Because of uncertainty about the impact of open access and online-only publication on CJHP revenues, CSHP Council, during its 2010 Midterm Meeting, postponed a decision on the CJHP Editorial Board’s recommendations that the full texts of all CJHP articles continue to be open access immediately and permanently and that the CJHP be published online only (beginning in January 2011). These recommendations will be revisited when Council meets before the 2010 Summer Educational Sessions. The CJHP Associate Editors and I remain hopeful that the CJHP’s vision of being “an academic journal that focuses on how Canadian pharmacists optimize safe and effective drug use in patients” will be fully realized and that the Journal will be freely accessible to readers around the world in the near future!
I would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Sonya Long and Colleen Drake in preparing this editorial.