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Most medical journals have significant delays between manuscript acceptance and publication in print due, in part, to unavoidable practical reasons. Publishing articles online ahead of the print version can circumvent this delay and make important clinical and scientific data quickly available. The BMJ introduced its advanced online publication section in December 2003 and was followed by the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases as the first of the BMJ specialist journals. The JNNP introduces Online First this month.
The editorial team will select one or two articles per week for advance publication. It will choose those that it considers may have particular impact for clinicians, patients, and researchers. As the process beds in, we hope to increase the number of articles chosen. Authors will be asked for their permission to be part of JNNP Online First and they will have an opportunity to proof the manuscript before publication. The unedited manuscripts will be published on a weekly basis; edited, typeset versions may be posted as they become available. The final print version will be stamped with the JNNP Online First logo and it will be highlighted in the Table of Contents within the issue. The final print version will include the date of initial online publication and all versions will be linked online. All articles will be assigned a unique code—digital object identifier (DOI)—and guidance on how to cite the article will appear on the website.
The Online First articles will be indexed by PubMed/Medline within days of publication, thus establishing primacy for the work. The articles will also be searchable through the usual search engines and via JNNP online; the search results will default to the most recent version. Publishing online ahead of print has proved a valuable resource, bringing results rapidly to the public. We are pleased that the JNNP can now offer this service.
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