New GHSP Journal Pushes the Open Access Envelope

K4Health Highlights

Ruwaida Salem

CCP | Associate Managing Editor, Global Health: Science and Practice

The K4Health Project is pleased to announce the launch of our inaugural issue of the Global Health: Science and Practice (GHSP) Journal.

GHSP Cover 1

The cover of the first edition of the journal Global Health: Science and Practice

GHSP is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal that aims to reach those who implement and otherwise support global health programs. Our inaugural issue contains 13 papers on a variety of current global health topics of interest, including:

  • Antiretroviral treatment as prevention of HIV transmission
  • Use of chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care to improve newborn survival
  • The promise of contraceptive implants to meet growing family planning demand
  • Reducing child undernutrition in Mozambique through a peer-to-peer behavior change communication model
  • Eradicating polio in India through the support of a network of community mobilizers

We will officially launch the journal on Tuesday, March 26, with an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, but the content is now available online.

The Open Access (OA) movement has gained momentum in recent years. A recent paper indicated that the number of OA journals has increased nine-fold between 2000 and 2011, from 744 to 6,713. In fact, many traditional, subscription-based journals have started to add OA journals to their portfolios. For example, just a few days ago, The Lancet announced that it will be launching its first OA journal, The Lancet Global Health, in June 2013 with four research articles. Content will focus on original research on global health topics, with a potential for more country-level and grassroots findings, and will be available for free to readers. However, authors will have to pay an article-processing fee of $4750 at the time of acceptance (with exemptions for authors whose main funder is located in a low-income country).

Like The Lancet Global Health, we at GHSP also want to encourage authors from low-income countries to submit and publish their work themselves. Authors submitting articles to GHSP will not be charged any fees, and our editorial team will provide copyediting assistance to authors of accepted articles. What sets us apart is that while The Lancet Global Health focuses on publishing results from carefully controlled research studies, as do most scholarly medical and health journals, we believe it’s equally important to share and learn from the experience of program implementers working in the field. Thus, Global Health: Science and Practice focuses on extracting lessons learned from programmatic knowledge and experience that are systematic, replicable, and applicable to other settings.

In addition, GHSP will employ a crisp communication style that emphasizes key points prominently to help busy readers get the information they need efficiently. For example, each article will start with a short SOCO—a single overriding communication objective—that summarizes the key take-away message(s). Other key points will be highlighted in a sidebar throughout the article.

We also will strive to make the journal a global collaboration by employing interactive techniques, such as engaging in discussions through social media, including on our Facebook page and Twitter account. In the near future, we will be rolling out a commenting feature on our journal website to allow readers to submit comments on individual articles.  

GHSP will be published on a quarterly basis, but we will make accepted articles available on a rolling basis through our “Advance Access” feature, providing authors with the benefit of rapid publication and distribution and readers with immediate access.

Open access has the potential to level the playing field across all corners of the world in terms of access to essential health information. It is also capable of increasing the visibility and use of important health research and experience, which can, in turn, encourage more innovation. We hope that GHSP will be a useful and trusted source of information that the global health community can contribute to and benefit from to advance the ambitious global health agenda ahead of us.

GHSP is published by the Knowledge for Health Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and in collaboration with the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.