The orthopaedic journals are the most experienced institutions when it comes to high quality information. Most of them have now moved to post a full text version of their "papers" on the Internet but try to support their subscription base by requiring a high price for access to this information. Since the material is posted anyway it would make financial sense to charge a low price and see higher readership. As this changes, the nature of publication is likely to change as Internet-specific features bear fruit. These features include faster turn-around time, integration of feedback into the work and the ease of updating. Those interested in informatics will be trying to hasten and smooth this transition.

Table 1 Comparison of Journal Articles and Internet Pages

Journal articles

Internet Pages

Experienced editorial staff

High Reputation

      Professional rewards for publishing

Searchable through Medline

Peer Review system

      Good & bad

Expensive (barrier to access)

Time consuming

Not fully available




Resists organization

Comprehensive Peer Review (possible)




The peer review system used by the journals is often cited as a key advantage

and by contrast the Internet is condemned because there "is no peer-review"