|September 4, 2003
Volume 34 Number 1
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
Web Is the Way
Health educator sees online journals as the future
"I think paper is ridiculous," declared Mark Tomita, Health and Community Services, extolling the benefits of an online scholarly journal versus the traditional printed-paper journal. As editor of his department's new online Californian Journal of Health Promotion (www.cjhp.org), Tomita sees online publication as the future for scholarly journals, offering inexpensive start-up and publication, expanded format possibilities, fewer author restrictions, and outreach to different populations.
"Scholarly expression is not two-dimensional," Tomita said. "With online publishing, we can explore knowledge in multidimensions, using video, audio, PowerPoint, and more." CJPH features in-text links to video and audio clips, PowerPoint presentations, and links to related Web sites.
In Issue 1, published March 1, Mary Portis, Health and Community Services, and five directors and organizers of Team Chapman in Chico took advantage of CJHP's online flexibility to demonstrate the many facets of their program for creating community pride and cohesiveness. Photographs and video clips feature traditional songs and dancing from community cultural groups, as well as projects such as building a peace garden.
Portis also joined Diana Flannery, Health and Community Services; Mark Stemen, Geography and Planning; and former student Alicia Eller in publishing an article on the Outdoor School service-learning partnership. Linked videos show CSU, Chico environmental students playing ecology awareness games with local elementary students at the Butte Creek Ecological Reserve on Honey Run Road.
Flannery is a member of the CJHP editorial board, along with Lyndall Ellingson, Health and Community Services; Becky Damazo, Nursing; Pamela Johansen, Social Work; and Paul Lopez, Sociology/Multicultural and Gender Studies. The journal has 19 associate editors and 16 assistant editors, and all articles are peer-reviewed.
The journal's practice-oriented focus on local health education is unusual in scholarly journals, Tomita said. Many of the CJHP articles come from health practitioners in the field, he said, not exclusively from professors and researchers, although the "Theory and Research" and "Beyond California" sections invite articles from outside California, on topics of interest to California health educators. In the first issue, those sections include an article on health care among the indigenous populations of Baja California and one on the future of technology in health care education.
Issue 2, published June 1, features Mexican American health issues, such as pesticide safety for migrant farmworkers, lead poisoning in Hispanic children, and Latina teen pregnancy prevention programs. Many of the abstracts are published in both English and Spanish. "People like specialty issues," said Tomita, "because they get all the articles of importance on a single subject in one spot." Issue 3 will be published online Sept. 1.
Tomita plans future special issues to feature neighboring states, starting with "The Health of Hawaii" in winter/spring 2004, followed by issues on health education in Oregon and other states. "We hope to inspire other states to establish their own state journals," Tomita said.
Tomita also encouraged fellow faculty members to set up their own online journals. "If other journals are not publishing what you want to see, start your own," he said, "It's easy to get started." He sees this as "a way to democratize scholarly publication" and "raise the standing of Chico State among California universities," as well as to offer more publishing opportunities. He offered to hold workshops to help faculty start a journal.
Tomita received a Strategic Performance Grant from the dean of Behavioral and Social Sciences for equipment to develop CD-ROMs of the journal. Each issue is available in CD format, available for order online and at the A.S. Bookstore on campus.
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