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Prize offered for most innovative web publication
A t present, the Journal of Medical Ethics appears in duplicate: one version on the web, one version in paper. There has been little difference between these two copies. But the web and paper publishing offer different opportunities for the reader.
A bound conventional paper copy of a journal offers a compact, transportable, easily readable, discrete collection of knowledge. It is like a carefully crafted book. Papers can be collected according to theme with a physical presence. The physical collection of papers can create a theme and present knowledge in a certain way. It takes a minimum of four months from the time an article is finally accepted to the time it can appear in the beautiful collection that we all know as the journal.
An electronic journal offers more flexible presentation style and enormous potential to surf to other articles and sites of information. It is a gateway to knowledge.
Electronic publishing can also be extremely rapid—it takes one day to put up an uncorrected prepublication copy of an accepted article on the web. The journal is moving to a system of prepublication of accepted articles prior to final publication on the web and in paper of corrected copy.
As of 2003, the Journal of Medical Ethics will take more advantage of these different publication media. As a part of this, we wish to encourage innovative web publication. The Institute of Medical Ethics, which founded the journal, has offered a £250 prize to the most innovative web publication in medical ethics. The winning presentation will be peer reviewed and appear prominently on the journal's website where it will be freely accessible. It will be linked to the BMJ which is also free access. A version of the winning presentation or summary will also appear in the paper version of the journal.
We hope that contributors will take full advantage of the web to employ video and audio material and to link to other material on the web.