Some of the readers of this Wonca Europe website will have noticed that since 1 January of this year, the European Journal of General Practice has ‘open access’ for all its readers. ‘Open access’ means that you not only can download the abstract but also the full-text version of all articles published in this journal. For those of you, who were not yet aware of this, try for yourself at www.tandfonline.com/toc/igen20/current or click/tap the tab ‘Journal’ of the Wonca Europe website. Then, click/tap on an article that raises your interest, and you will be able to read the full paper on your screen. Another click/tap, on ‘pdf’, and you have downloaded the article to your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
I hope that many readers of the Wonca Europe website agree with me, that this is a historic step forward. Having started in 1995, the European Journal of General Practice was indexed in Index Medicus/Medline (‘PubMed’) in 2003 and in the Science Citation Index Expanded (and therefore its listing in the Journal Citation Reports with an ‘impact factor’) in 2012. The Journal is published online since 2006, and from this year on, 2017, the European Journal of General Practice provides open access to all its readers. Thanks to the generous investment of Wonca Europe, we are able to offer author groups with a corresponding author from a member country of Wonca Europe an Article Processing Charge (APC) of only €400. And for a short paper (1,500 or fewer words) the APC is even lower, only €200! For your information, the regular APCs for this Journal are €1000 and €500, respectively. The arrangement between Wonca Europe and the Publisher of the European Journal of General Practice, which enables this substantially reduced fee is valid for the years 2017-2021.
This favourable outcome is the fruit of many discussions and negotiations between the Publisher (Informa Healthcare, now Taylor and Frances), the Wonca Europe Executive (Job Metsemakers and Anna Stavdal), and the Editor-in-Chief (Jelle Stoffers), which started somewhere in 2013. We all hope that the low APC will attract many authors who want to publish their work in a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal on general practice, family medicine and primary healthcare.
Imagine: all colleagues in Europe - and the rest of the world - now can read and use your article in full-text format! Your work is available to all colleagues, students, vocational trainees, teachers, fellow researchers and even interested patients. Your complete article is at their fingertips, on their smartphones, tablets, laptops and office computers. Moreover, you can bring your message to the attention of your followers and friends, using Twitter and other social media; for them, your paper now is merely one click or tap away.
Thus, we hope that the intended readership of the European Journal of General Practice will soon discover that for them there are no barriers anymore for reading our articles. You, as practicing GP or family physician, teacher, vocational trainee, student or fellow researcher can now view, read, download, and forward - using e-mail, WhatsApp, or Twitter etcetera - our full-text articles.
Finally, we expect that the European colleges and societies of General Practice/Family Medicine will notify their members that they now can read the scientific articles of their European colleagues without obstacles. We also expect that the Wonca Europe member organisations will suggest their researchers to publish their work not only in their native language but also internationally, in the European Journal of General Practice.
The European Journal of General Practice now can try to achieve its ambition of becoming ‘the’ scientific medium connecting the worlds of researchers, teachers, and practitioners of family medicine in Europe. To this end, I would like to call on all colleague authors to submit your manuscripts to the European Journal of General Practice! Furthermore, I would like to call on all readers of our journal to tweet and like our published articles! Together, we can build that community of ‘authors’ and ‘readers’ in general practice/family medicine in Europe.
Jelle Stoffers, Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of General Practice
on behalf of the Editorial Board: An De Sutter (Belgium), Carl Llor (Spain), Manfred Maier ( Austria), Igor Švab (Slovenia), José Maria Valderas (United Kingdom), Henk van Weert (the Netherlands), Adam Windak (Poland) and Marie-Eve Rougé Bugat (France)