COMMENTARY

Medscape General Medicine: April 9, 1999-December 31, 2007. This Epilogue Is not an Epitaph

 


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Medscape General Medicine, with the acronym MedGenMed, was begun in 1999[1] as an experiment in medical publishing, to test whether a for-profit company, unrelated to organized medicine, could create and sustain an open-access, exclusively online, peer-reviewed, general medical journal entirely free of charge to authors and readers. The journal expanded in 2002, incorporating 6 other Medscape eJournals as eSections.[2] Eight years and 4 owners later, we can pronounce the experiment a success. The corporate strategic purpose for Medscape General Medicine was to provide a bridge for wary and computer/Internet-naive 1999 physicians between traditional medical journals, which they understood and trusted, and the Internet, which they neither understood nor trusted. That strategy was so successful that many readers do not now recognize the difference between Medscape and MedGenMed and trust both highly. Our sequence of owners has nurtured MedGenMed by encouraging it to function as a veritable R&D tank for medical journalology, for which we are very grateful.[3] One key element of MedGenMed's success was its inclusion in PubMed/Medline from 2000.

This editorial marks the end of the active publication of MedGenMed. Of course, it is archived "forever." In January 2008, Medscape General Medicine will graduate to become The Medscape Journal of Medicine. Same journal, different name. Why? Tune in to the next editorial early in January 2008 and we will tell you. We expect to continue to innovate in the same ethical, creative, and professional manner[4] for which we are becoming well known. This new world of medical journalology remains exciting. Medscape General Medicine has prided itself on huge reader reach and diversity in 237 countries; rapid throughput from receipt to publication, with a median of 42 days over many hundreds of articles; ethical professional editorial behavior; variety of interesting content; and creativity of presentation and dissemination. Long live MedGenMed!

That's my opinion. I'm Dr. George Lundberg, signing off for Medscape General Medicine.

 

 

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