The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) holds as three of its objectives that it will:
- ▪encourage research and promote knowledge relating to the problems, needs and development of public health;
- ▪promote and provide a forum for the regular exchange of views and information; and
- ▪promote the development and education of public health workers.
The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health is an essential vehicle that PHAA uses to meet these objectives. It provides access for policy makers, those delivering programs, media, students and others to current research and thinking about public health. It is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Association.
Researchers and those looking for research results are increasingly dependant on electronic networks for access to information. The corollary is that if information is not available on these networks it is less likely to be considered, used and cited.
In common with other major publications, PHAA has decided to take the Journal online. We are maintaining availability of printed copies, while ensuring that the Journal is more accessible to public health workers and researchers of all nationalities.
Blackwell Publishing has been selected to provide the Journal's online presence because it has a significant international exposure and track record in health and medical research publishing, is able to provide ongoing marketing, meets PHAA's requirement for the Journal to be made available free or at very low cost in countries where health resources are scarce, and will be able to work closely with our Editors and our administration and print production house, Substitution.
PHAA will provide Blackwell Publishing with as many of the back issues of the Journal as we can access in order for them to provide access to historic copies of the Journal and its predecessors online and in one place. This will provide a wealth of information about public health in Australia across almost half a century.
While we do not anticipate major changes to the current processes for submitting, reviewing and editing articles for the Journal, the new on-line capacity will require some changes to the current contract between the Journal and authors. A new licensing arrangement is being put in place to maintain Blackwell's on-line publishing rights and responsibilities. Copies can be read at the Blackwell's website and will be provided direct to authors for signing when their papers are accepted.
The need for an Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health is as great now as when the Journal started life in 1977. The Journal's online presence will add to its influence across a range of target groups. We urge all those with important and interesting papers in the public health area to submit them to the Journal so that we can ensure a continuing impact for both the Journal and the public health community.