Who reads orthodontic on-line journals?

Alberto Mazzocchi MD, DDS, VJO associated editor
Bergamo, Italy


Recent statistical data about VJO web site shows the following distribution for areas: North America and Mexico 60%, Europe 33% (Italy 16%), South America 6.3% and Asia 1.2%.
Readers’ ages range from 31 to 52 years.
We must consider these results. On-line information (on internet) began first in America and later in Europe. The typical colleague that accesses internet is an orthodontist who can use a PC and its programs. Usually he is from 30 to 50 years old. Over 50 orthodontists are less prone to switch on a computer or they think that continuous learning means traditional procedures (video cassettes or meetings).
And what about new generations? No doubt that young people can use a PC, can surf on internet and can search for documents or information in thousands of web sites.
Experts say that on-line information will be the future of continuous learning.
Will an exclusively on-line journal (like VJO) be able to be the future tool of learning?
Home consultation, 24 hours availability, translations in three languages, low cost, rapid communications with authors are the principal benefits. The challenge will be in maintaining high quality reports for orthodontists from all over the world.
In the January’s AJODO editorial, D.Turpin pointed out that the famous American journal, available on-line since several months at www.mosby.com, was visited only by 9% of readers and 16% of institutions. Maybe orthodontists who read the journal, do not need to consult the same articles on line. The on-line version of a printed journal is only an unuseful copy?
It is difficult to answer. In the following months, we will probably understand if scientific journals need printed copies or speed, low cost, immediate access give a chance to exclusively on-line products.