Nicholas E Burgis*
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA 99004, USA
Received Date: March 03, 2014; Accepted Date: March 05, 2014; Published Date: March 07, 2014
Citation: Burgis NE (2014) Journal of Bioterrorism and Biodefense: Past, Present and Future. J Bioterror Biodef 5:e110. doi: 10.4172/2157-2526.1000e110
Copyright: © 2014 Burgis NE. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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In September of 2010, the Journal of Bioterrorism and Biodefense accepted its first manuscripts for publication; one from the Washington, D.C. area , another from Asia . In a short time, I would be recruited to the editorial board, and a year later I would begin my tenure as Editor-In-Chief. Looking back, the first manuscripts were predictive of the disparate parties who would soon embrace a new open-access journal concerning bioterrorism and biodefense, allowing JBTBD to become a leader in the field.
Without a doubt, the open-access movement has forever transformed the way academic articles would be published. Today, easy, electronic access to groundbreaking science is the norm; whether or not immediate free access is granted is a matter of question. When the subject matter is that of bioterrorism/biodefense, global vigilance is required. The threat of bioterrorism stems from both state and nonstate actors; and often arises in underdeveloped parts of the world, where access to articles via traditional publication models may be a barrier for those proximal to the perpetrators. Hence, it is essential that new studies concerning the subject are disseminated quickly and without barriers for accessing the information, such as the open-access model.
As the open-access movement continues to grow, pitfalls in the new publishing platform have been identified. The emergence of new open-access journals is significantly growing, and hints of a gold rush mentality are evident. Our inboxes fill with invitations to the latest journal, whether or not it is in our field. Indeed groups have constructed lists of journals, and sting operations have been concocted to warn fellow academics of violations in the peer-review process for several open-access journals . These efforts highlight obstacles the open-access movement must overcome. I firmly believe that a strong editorial board which recruits the most qualified peer-reviewers is the best way to insure that high quality peer-review is maintained by JBTBD. The JBTBD editorial board is very sincere in our efforts for insuring a proper peer-review of each article we consider for publication and we honor the relationships that have been developed with researchers in the field. As a result we have successfully avoided these pitfalls.
It is evident that the dedication and hard work of the editorial board and peer reviewers are of key importance for insuring that academic integrity is maintained for the articles we publish. Ultimately, for peerreviewed publications, it is the researchers in the field, who review manuscripts and influence decisions on publication. Therefore, now, more than ever, it is important for the leaders in the field to accept invitations to review papers from fledging open-access journals, so that they may supply their frank opinion of the manuscript in question, lest it fall into the hands of less qualified reviewers.
Clicking through past issues, two trends become noticeable: (1) JBTBD articles originate from disparate parts of the globe, and (2) JBTBD articles that originate from the US tend to be from researchers at public universities, Federal agencies or entities contracted by Federal agencies. This second point brings me to future initiatives of the journal.
As I talk to colleagues in the field about publication in the journal, the subject of PubMed listing is typically raised. For researchers in the biomedical fields, PubMed listing is very important; if the article isn’t there, it will be more difficult to find. JBTBD has contacted the NIH concerning this topic and we have been advised that inclusion of NIH funded articles in the journal will make our application for PubMed listing much more attractive to the review panel. For most biomedical fields in the US this is not an issue, but for bioterrorism/biodefense, funding often comes from other federal agencies such as DOD, military or EPA. As a result JBTBD has a significant barrier to PubMed inclusion. To address this, I urge the editorial board to continue to seek submission of articles form NIH funded researchers. In the coming months, this will be the main initiative for JBTBD.
As we look to the future of JBTBD, I must give a heart-felt thanks to those who have supported the journal in the past. Publication of highquality articles is time consuming for all involved, yet the peer-review process typically produces a final product that is improved over the initially submitted manuscript. Without the tireless support of editorial board members, and invaluable expert advice of our peer-reviewers, JBTBD could not have become a new, strong voice in the growing fields of bioterrorism and biodefense. For this I am extremely grateful, and I look forward to being of continued service to the authors, editors, reviewers and readers in the bioterrorism and biodefense fields.