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

Cheap

Available

Updatable

Resists organization

Comprehensive Peer Review (possible)

Chaotic

Commercial

Misleading

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"