Building upon the Canadian Journal of Public Health's Long Tradition of Excellence to Enhance Quality and relevance/S'appuyer Sur la Longue Tradition D'excellence De la Revue Canadienne De Santé Publique Pour En Accroître la Qualité et la Pertinence

By Potvin, Louise | Canadian Journal of Public Health, January/February 2014 | Go to article overview

Building upon the Canadian Journal of Public Health's Long Tradition of Excellence to Enhance Quality and relevance/S'appuyer Sur la Longue Tradition D'excellence De la Revue Canadienne De Santé Publique Pour En Accroître la Qualité et la Pertinence


Potvin, Louise, Canadian Journal of Public Health


It is with considerable enthusiasm, but also some degree of humility, that I sign this first editorial as Scientific Editor of the Canadian Journal of Public Health (CJPH). In fact, beginning January 1, 2014, I have taken on the responsibility of bringing to you, our readers, a journal that will grab your attention, pique your interest, question your practices and keep you in the forefront of public health developments, not just in Canada but throughout the world.

A new scientific editor for a journal such as the CJPH means a renewed vision and new projects. Over the last 15 or so years, the world of scientific publication has seen dramatic change. In fact, almost 30 years after having published my first article in a scientific journal, it seems to me that the relationships between scientific literature, editorial teams, readers and authors have completely changed.

Older readers will surely remember having sent a card (postcard style) to the author of a potentially interesting article, of which they had seen an abstract in the weekly publication Science Digest, asking for the article to be sent to the return address indicated on the card. In the same vein, dear authors, when was the last time you paid to get a stack of reprints to send in response to the postcards that were sent to you from time to time? Personally, I recycled piles of yet-untouched reprints when I moved to a new office last year. The tsunami of change that swept through scientific publishing with the advent of the Internet, in parallel with the growth in scientific-research investments, not only in economically-developed countries like Canada but also in emerging countries and even developing ones, has profoundly transformed relationships among the players involved in the production and diffusion and use of knowledge. The number of papers and articles published has increased, publication timelines have decreased, ways of accessing knowledge have multiplied, and relations between knowledge producers and users have become more intense and complex. A publication like the Journal must stay the course on quality while adapting to this new environment.

When I submitted my candidacy for the job of Scientific Editor, I put forward four challenges that the Journal must take up to further develop and to be able to continue its significant contribution in pursuit of excellence in public health in Canada, and also the world. These challenges are: to maintain and even improve the Journal's impact in the field of public health practice and research; international coverage of Canadian research and practices in the field of public health; the integration of Web 2.0 as a means of communicating with all of the players involved in the production, dissemination and use of the Journal; and, of course, fundamental to taking up the aforementioned three challenges, maintaining and improving the quality and relevance of the articles published while maintaining the bilingual character of the publication. You will understand that, as a Francophone from Québec, I am particularly sensitive to this last issue. A Canadian journal like ours must be able to attract, review and publish the best possible science and practices, and to do so in both English and French.

To address these challenges, we must be able to call upon the cooperation of Canadian and other world leaders. We must continue to be on the lookout for innovation. We must be able to count on a large pool of experts and volunteers to review articles. And, last, we have to mobilize and tap into the network of assistant scientific editors and members of the CJPH Editorial Board. My vision for the CJPH is that, while maintaining its status as a favoured tool of Canadian researchers for the dissemination of their work, it will increase its relevance for practitioner and researcher colleagues throughout the world. It must also become an essential component in the spectrum of means called upon to promote public health practice that is informed by research and, conversely, for public health research that is relevant to practice, on a global scale. …

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Building upon the Canadian Journal of Public Health's Long Tradition of Excellence to Enhance Quality and relevance/S'appuyer Sur la Longue Tradition D'excellence De la Revue Canadienne De Santé Publique Pour En Accroître la Qualité et la Pertinence
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