Do Psychiatric Journals Have a Future in the Age of the Internet?

By Tyrer, Peter | Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, October 2005 | Go to article overview

Do Psychiatric Journals Have a Future in the Age of the Internet?


Tyrer, Peter, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry


I write this piece as the editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry, which 2 years ago celebrated its 150th anniversary. It started its life in 1853, as the Asylum Journal of Mental Science, with fairly modest aims. Although it was originally meant to be an educational journal for architects, magistrates, and other professionals apart from psychiatrists, it rapidly became a house journal for asylum doctors, dealing not so much with the science of mental health as with all aspects of the conditions within asylums (1,2). In this form, it proved a valuable forum for the isolated doctors given the appropriate title of "alienists" and separated from the rest of the medical profession who enjoyed more constant peer review and support. Eventually, the journal escaped the asylum bond that constricted its development and became the Journal of Mental Science, surviving in this form until 1963, when it assumed its present name under the editorship of Eliot Slater.

I wish The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry all the best as it enters the second half of its centenary-the first 50 years are always the worst-and would like to offer some observations on its future in the next few years, with particular reference to the influence of the Internet and its impact.

Are Psychiatrists Computer Literate?

The average psychiatrist is conventionally alleged to be highly competent when it comes to understanding words, feelings, and behaviour but generally incompetent when it comes to mastering technology. Like many stereotypes, this view is frequently inaccurate, but the notion of the psychiatrist in his or her library, surrounded by books, is much more tied to our work than the notion of the psychiatrist in a paperless office with sentinels of winking computers. There has, however, been no escaping the introduction of the Internet, which has led to many predictions about the ways in which it will change our lives, not always for the better. What is clear is that in 20 years' time it will be extremely rare for any individual in a well-resourced part of the world to be ignorant of the Internet. In 1996, Bill Clinton remarked that "When I took office, only high-energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web. Now even my cat has its own page." (3) If kittens of the future are computer literate, even the most uncool of psychiatrists will have to join them in padding about the Net.

Indeed, they already seem to be. At a European conference on neuropharmacology, held in October 2004, 80% of the 545 delegates who completed assessments used on-line psychiatric journals (see www.cnsforum.com), and while they may not represent all psychiatrists, they are clearly using the medium in large numbers. In November 2004, all the journals published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists changed to on-line submission, so we have been able to monitor on-line use. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, one of the journals that the Royal College of Psychiatrists publishes for postgraduate education, has had 12 000 downloads of full-text articles since it went on-line, and I know from conversations with other psychiatric editors that this is not an exceptional finding. We have also asked our readers their opinions about our new on-line system. Two-thirds of them are highly positive; only one-third grumble. We know there will always be a few-and they are not all grumpy old men-who will be reluctant to embrace this new technology, but it seems likely that their numbers will steadily diminish.

What these data tell us is that the psychiatric fraternity is keener than might at first seem evident to embrace on-line technology and that this technology is perceived to have particular educational value. The growth of what has become known as distance learning is going to be especially important in large countries such as Canada. Simultaneously, the increasing sophistication of video and Internet conferencing, which I noted recently when I was speaking in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St John's, Newfoundland, is going to be an enormous boon. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Do Psychiatric Journals Have a Future in the Age of the Internet?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.