Casting a Wider Net
“Our biological existence, social world, economy and religious traditions tell a compelling story of interrelatedness.” Albert-László Barabási, Linked
In 2010, NEUROSURGERY® will employ an aggressive online strategy to improve the quality and breadth of online content, and expand its “network.” In addition to a new “look and feel,” the journal will embrace new distribution technologies and provide content that goes beyond a simple reiteration of the journal’s printed matter. In particular, the goal is to increase the reach and lifespan of our content.
The blog model–regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video–provides an excellent opportunity for NEUROSURGERY® to not only promote the contents of the printed journal, but expose the audience to information that would not make the printed edition for a variety of reasons. With the boom in broadband access and multimedia distribution, supplemental materials have become not simply a footnote to print, but an important element in promoting content and creating interest in an article prior to print publication.
Thanks to online commenting, reader correspondence that was once published after months of delay can be written, published, and responded to within days, if not minutes, facilitating exchange between authors, readers, and reviewers. Commenting systems have evolved far beyond the simple unmediated feedback form at the end of an article. Sophisticated systems such as IntenseDebate and Disqus allow comments to be moderated, organized, ranked, and distributed across multiple media sites simultaneously. The conversation need not take place in one defined area of the web, but across the spectrum of social networking sites.
This is not to say that feedback should exist without moderation. It is essential that online communication among authors, readers, and editors be held in the same regard as printed communication, and the editorial office will play an active role in ensuring that online exchanges maintain an appropriate level of decorum and relevance.
To capture this new model of rapid online communication, the editorial office has outlined a strategy that utilizes not only the blog model, but also social networking channels. You can now follow NEUROSURGERY® updates on both Facebook and Twitter (@NeurosurgeryCNS). These developments serve to not only provide timely neurosurgery-related information that is beyond the usual scope of the journal, but also to expand the online footprint of NEUROSURGERY®. We are also actively exploring new avenues of electronic distribution of the journal to personal devices.
The goal in all these initiatives is simple: to enhance health and improve lives worldwide through the advancement of education and scientific exchange–the CNS mission.