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Canary in the Coal Mine?


PC Magazine will publish their last print edition in January 2009. Even though I now read most things online, PC Magazine was always fun to get in the mail and devour. Some print editions are just more enjoyable to read rather than the online editions. PC Mag was one, NEJM for some reason is another. AJHP and JAMIA for unknown reasons to me just are not. I prefer to read those on line or read the individual PDFs.

So while I morn the death of PC Magazine print edition, I wonder if this is the canary in the coal mine for print journals in general and specifically AJHP and JAMIA?

At the ASHP House of Delegates I introduced an amendment to urge AJHP have an option for online edition only. Even if it is a small percentage that choose the option, it would decrease production costs and prevent a ton of waste. I recently cleaned my home office, it was incredible how much AJHP made up the dump run. After some debate, the motion passed with a wide majority.

What some people “in the know” discussed with me (off line) was that AJHP gets a lot of revenue from the print edition. Having some % choose online only would decrease the circulation numbers and potentially decrease revenue. Online advertising remains healthy, even in this down economy. So, part of me thinks ASHP or their advertising agent is not exploiting the online journal potential enough. Wouldn’t be more honest with advertisers to show them that x% choose online versions only? That percentage where not looking at the print version anyway, therefore the advertisers where not getting the value they might have thought they where. Advertisers could then target online readers with other offerings. I do not think advertisers are oblivious to the fact that there is movement to online reading. PC Mag proves that with the tech crowd. Some % of the profession is in that demographic and would prefer not to have the package of paper and plastic shipped to them twice a month.

Please join me in urging that AJHP have an option to receive the journal in an online version only. It would help with the environment, decrease production and mailing costs and keep yours and my office less cluttered. The canary in the mine has died, it is time to take measures to insure AJHP remains healthy.

One Comment leave one →
  1. poikonen permalink*
    12/26/2008 3:03 pm

    As a follow up the NY Times reported that Overall Ad revenue was down
    20.9%! Internet ad revenue was down only 3.8%. Further evidence that advertises are less likely to cut paper ads versus on line ads.

    My extrapolation is that without more online advertising AJHP is toast.

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